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Honeywell’s B757 Test Aircraft Shapes the Future of Aviation

Honeywell’s B757 Test Aircraft Shapes the Future of Aviation

Honeywell’s B757 aircraft celebrated its 40th birthday in June 2022 – this legendary B757-200 test aircraft was the fifth off Boeing’s original Renton assembly line way back in 1982 and is likely the only existing 757 that has traveled to more than 30 countries across five continents. It has experienced more than 800 flight tests and clocked up over 3,000 flight test hours globally.

The plane attracts attention wherever it flies, not to mention it has a special place in the AvGeek community. The pylon protruding from the fuselage of the B757 is likely its most iconic characteristic. Although a third engine is not always attached, the pylon allows Honeywell to test its turbofan and turboprop engines in real-world conditions and gather critical data that helps with engine development.

This B757 testbed has been utilized for research and development since it was acquired by Honeywell in 2005. It has touched a bit of everything in aerospace, from turbine engines to electrical and mechanical systems, to advanced avionics software and high-speed connectivity solution:

  • HTF7000 Turbofan Engine – The HTF7000 engine series are business jet propulsion systems well-known in the industry for their reliability, durability, and maintainability.
  • TFE731 Turbofan Engine – The TFE731 engine series offer 3,500 to 5,000 pounds of thrust with a legacy of proven experience, performance, and reliability.
  • TPE331 Turboprop Engine – The TPE331 was Honeywell’s first turboprop engine, and the series now includes 18 engine models. It is one of the most reliable and proven turboprop engines in the world.
  • IntuVue RDR-4000 Weather Radar and IntuVue RDR-7000 Weather Radar –Honeywell’s family of industry-leading airborne weather radar systems. IntuVue 3D weather radar solutions provide intuitive weather displays and alerts throughout all phases of a flight’s journey, allowing pilots to optimize flight paths based on weather patterns.
  • Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) and SmartRunway and SmartLanding Systems – The EGPWS reduces the risk of controlled flight into terrain by providing flight crews with timely, accurate information about terrain and obstacles in the area. As software enhancements for the EGPWS, SmartRunway and SmartLanding systems are developed to help flight crews avoid potential runway incursions and excursions.
  • Next Generation Flight Management Systems (NGFMS) – With a completely redesigned architecture, the NGFMS is built to deliver improved fuel efficiency, reduced direct operating costs, reduced pilot workload and improved safety. The new system has been selected by Airbus to meet the air traffic management (ATM) needs of the future A320, A330 and A350 aircraft.
  • JetWave and JetWave MCX – Honeywell’s JetWave family of high-speed broadband SATCOM systems provide reliable in-fight WiFi no matter where you fly. The newest JetWave MCX system enables global in-flight broadband data connectivity on nearly any Ka-band network. As our designated “Connected Aircraft”, the B757 has been showcasing Honeywell connected solutions, for examples, it completed in 2019 the ground testing and flight testing of the JetWave system in China, and demonstrated the JetWave MCX solution during the 2021 Dubai Airshow.
  • Aspire 350 and 400 – The Aspire suite of satellite communication offerings provide in-flight connectivity for business aviation, airlines and helicopters, and bring greater reliability, efficiency and cost savings. 

In June 2021, the B757 test aircraft was updated with our new Honeywell #FUTURESHAPER livery in Sky Harbor, Phoenix. “The 757 continues to be one of our busiest aircraft because of its unmatched capability,” said Captain Joe Duval, Director of Flight Test Operations, Honeywell Aerospace. It is always one of the first to receive our newest products and technologies for testing to drive innovation in the aviation industry and is not retiring any time soon.

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