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Three Ways to Think Holistically About Aircraft

Three Ways to Think Holistically About Aircraft

Modern aircraft rank among the most complex machines ever invented. They’re made up of dozens of major systems, thousands of components and millions of parts that all need to work together to create the miracle of powered flight.

Designing an aircraft is the ultimate systems engineering task. It demands that teams of engineers work together and think of the aircraft as a single system rather than a random collection of subsystems, components and parts. Wings, engines, flight controls, avionics, control surfaces, landing gear – and other elements – work holistically like a well-tuned orchestra.

In this case, the orchestra is the connected aircraft. Here are three ways that connected aircraft technologies, services and software improve the synergy of today’s most advanced aircraft.

Connected Flight Decks

Gone are the days when cockpit panels were cluttered with all kinds of single-purpose dials, gauges and indicators. Today pilots get almost all the information they need to fly the airplane on just a few liquid crystal displays that are easy to view, use and understand, improving safety and pilot performance. Honeywell’s Primus Epic for Gulfstream Symmetry integrated flight deck showcases our latest and greatest avionics technology, including the aviation industry’s first integrated touchscreen controllers.

Avionics are the nervous system that links systems throughout the aircraft. They range from electronic engine control systems, to cutting-edge fly-by-wire flight controls, to next-generation flight management systems that control every phase of flight.

Connected Aircraft Maintenance

The availability of data is changing the way operators handle maintenance for the better. The industry has evolved beyond merely monitoring system performance. For example, our Honeywell Forge Connected Maintenance solution uses predictive analytics to provide alerts of impending system failures and prescribe recommend actions maintenance teams can take, well in advance.

We use cognitive diagnostics, artificial intelligence and the power of the Industrial Internet of Things to improve maintenance procedures on a wide range of aircraft systems including auxiliary power units, environmental control systems, wheels and brakes, and other mechanical and avionics components. To date we’ve developed more than 70 analytics models across multiple aircraft systems and types.

Connected Data Analytics

The digital era is taking a lot of the guesswork out of aircraft operations and taking decision-making to an enterprise wide level. Honeywell’s big data expertise lets us combine data sets from across the enterprise and display useful information on a single platform accessible by every department. Operators can apply information formerly isolated in separate systems and will see the impact their decisions have on the enterprise’s overall performance.

For example, they can weigh the relative merits and real costs of using the brakes or thrust reversers to slow the aircraft down after landing. One choice impacts maintenance and braking materials costs, the other uses more fuel. With the right data, married and aggregated in the right way, operators are able to make the best decision.

Kathryn Kearney
Content Marketing Specialist
Katie Kearney is the global content marketing specialist for Honeywell Aerospace.


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