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Honeywell at the Vertical Flight Society’s Transformative Vertical Flight Conference in San Jose

Honeywell at the Vertical Flight Society’s Transformative Vertical Flight Conference in San Jose

Honeywell’s experts in Advanced Air Mobility showed off their latest technologies and shared insights on how the industry is taking flight during the Vertical Flight Society’s Transformative Vertical Flight Conference in San Jose.

The team received public praise from one of its customers, Vertical Aerospace, and received a steady stream of conference-goers eager to hear about Honeywell’s Micro Vapor Cycle System and new tests of the RDR-84k detect-and-avoid system.

“The integrated approach is key, and when you have a partner like Honeywell that builds actuators, flight controls, and motors and all the integration in between there is a real opportunity to reduce the system boundary and create value for deep system integration. ” Jia Xu, senior director of strategy, told the crowd during his speech on “Enabling Electric Propulsion.

In addition to the Micro Vapor Cycle System, which had its VFS debut at the event, Honeywell also showed:

  • RDR-84K - Honeywell's IntuVue RDR-84K Band Radar is the ultimate all-purpose sensing system, that uses multiple beams to “see” more things at the same time than any commercially available radar.
  • Compact Fly-by-Wire - is a fully electronic flight control system that replaces the conventional manual controls of an aircraft with an all-electronic interface.
  • Small UAV Satcom - Honeywell's Small UAV Satcom is the lightest and most compact satellite communication system on the market.
  • HSINS inertial navigation system - Honeywell's Compact Inertial Navigation System is designed for customers who need a highly-accurate navigation system in a small package with low weight and power requirements.
  • Various navigation sensors- Honeywell’s HGuide micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) inertial measurement units (IMUs) and inertial navigation systems are non-ITAR and are specifically designed for industrial applications.

The show came as Honeywell announced the results of dramatic new tests of its autonomous detect-and-avoid systems. The tests showed that the RDR-84K radar can not only detect airborne traffic, but can also decide autonomously on a course of action. In a game of “high stakes dodgeball” two drones went head to head, in which Honeywell's new technology repeatedly swerved around “intruder aircraft” in a series of tests. These tests are key to the future of pilotless aviation.

“We set up the ultimate game of ‘chicken,’ but the RDR-84K simply wouldn’t let these aircraft get into danger,” said Sapan Shah, product manager, Advanced Air Mobility, Honeywell Aerospace. “This is a leap forward in safety that could have far-ranging impacts across aviation.”

Avoiding unforeseen objects is a crucial part of autonomous drones and other aircraft that fly beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) of an operator. The RDR-84K, a radar system the size of a paperback book, has proven its ability to detect non-cooperating traffic during extensive testing while mounted on helicopters and drones.

Honeywell received praise from Tim Williams, chief engineer of Vertical Aerospace, for its work on Vertical’s VX-4 aircraft. Honeywell is also providing avionics and flight controls systems for aircraft under construction by Lilium and Pipistrel

“It’s one thing to build demonstrators…it’s quite something else to parse through the certifications and requirements to do all the rigorous testing and to bring to bear 100 years of experience in certifying mission-critical systems.” says Jia.

Want to some of our technology for yourself? Honeywell will be attending the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International XPonential show in 2022 in April. Or visit our website and fill out a form to talk with one of our experts and arrange a demonstration.

Chris Hawley
Director of User Experience, Honeywell

Chris Hawley helps develop new technologies as part of the HUE innovation team at Honeywell Aerospace. The team designs electronic systems that are opening up new frontiers of flight, from electric air taxis to supersonic airliners. 


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