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Honeywell and Duncan Aviation Revitalize Captain Tortarolo’s ’73 Bombardier Global 5000

Honeywell and Duncan Aviation Revitalize Captain Tortarolo’s ’73 Bombardier Global 5000

Captain Claudio Tortarolo thought he and his ’73 Bombardier Global 5000 had seen it all—until Honeywell and Duncan Aviation gave his trusty workhorse a new lease on life with three upgrades.


Captain Claudio Tortarolo recently celebrated 38 years in aviation. “I started flying military planes and helicopters in the Argentine Air Force,” he says. “I was stationed in the Argentine Antarctic area, aboard an icebreaker, and my mission was to fly helicopters from the icebreaker in support of all the people who live on the military bases in Antarctica.”

After leaving the military, he flew helicopters for the oil and gas industry, spent a few years flying for different airlines, then entered the world of business aviation, and has been flying executive planes for the past 22 years.

Today Captain Tortarolo flies a Global 5000 for one of the world’s largest fast-food franchisees with restaurants in more than 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. He is always on call, ready to fly company executives wherever business takes them.

“During the pandemic, our plane started to fly more than usual,” he says. “We had many of our executives stranded in different parts of the world and they needed us to transport them. That’s when we began to see failures in our navigation system, in our screens, in our DU-870.”

With the aircraft’s 180-month inspection looming on the horizon, the company counted on Captain Tortarolo to find a solution—and fast.


The first person that Captain Tortarolo reached out to was José Vinicius, Honeywell’s Regional Manager of South America. 

“We had many face-to-face meetings in Argentina,” Vinicius says. “Captain Tortarolo talked about the issues he was having, and we performed a complete analysis on his plane. We determined the solutions that would address all his aircraft needs.”

The plan Vinicius recommended involved upgrading the Global 5000’s displays, navigation system, and 20-year-old radar.

First up was replacing the old DU-870 displays, which Captain Tortarolo describes as a necessity.

“They were ancient cathode ray tubes (CRT) and needed to be updated with modern, more reliable liquid crystal display (LCD) panels. But once we installed the new DU-875s, we realized it opened many opportunities for new options on board, such as having a presentation of meteorology, cartography, navigation charts, and much more. It was really an excellent decision.”

It was also easy to execute. Honeywell’s One-for-One Replacement upgrade made it simple to trade in six DU-870s for new DU-875s on the ramp, in an airport, in a matter of a few short hours.

“After the good experience we had with the DU-875, we decided to continue upgrading,” Captain Tortarolo says.



“We analyzed the offers of several maintenance providers to see who was the best fit,” Captain Tortarolo says, “and Duncan Aviation in Battle Creek, Michigan came out on top. We’ve worked with Duncan since 2010. Even though we come from different cultures, when we work together it’s like we are all on the same team. We knew we could trust them to upgrade our equipment and ensure we passed the maintenance inspection.”

Soon the plan was put in motion as Captain Tortarolo took off in the Global 5000 for Battle Creek for a much-needed upgrade of the navigation system to a CD-830.

A simple plug-and-play replacement, the CDU-830 offers full touchscreen functionality with enhanced visibility. It’s designed to increase reliability, reduce weight, and enhance the human-machine interface.

“We are now directly touching the screen, like any phone we use in our daily lives,” Captain Tortarolo says. “It was a big improvement, but it was just the beginning.”



One of Captain Tortarolo’ s daily realities involves flying across the Amazon basin, a climatic cauldron that produces some of the world’s most violent thunderstorms. It’s essential for pilots to have radar that alerts them to quick-tempered weather conditions ahead.

“Our radar was good for the time it was manufactured, but that was 20 years ago, and today we need to know where the bad weather is,” Captain Tortarolo says. “That’s why we decided to put in the new RDR-7000.”

“The RDR-7000 is a fully automatic 3D weather radar with breakthrough technology compared to the Primus radar,” Vinicius adds. “It’s also the only radar on the market that offers options for turbulence, lightning, and hail detection.”

Now Captain Tortarolo can see storms 320 miles in the distance, detect turbulence at 60 miles, and scan up to 60,000 feet, giving him time to adjust course to ensure his crew and C-suite passengers always enjoy a smooth, safe flight.

As Vinicius says, “With the RDR-7000, the weather can’t hide from us.” 



Today, when Captain Tortarolo takes his seat in the cockpit of his Global 5000, he knows he’s flying with modern, state-of-the-art equipment. He says, “Safety is our number one priority, and that involves everything: the aircraft, the crew, and above all, our passengers.”

Not only do the upgrades enhance safety, but they’re also extending the life of the aircraft, which is critical in this era of constrained budgets.

“At Honeywell, we are committed to helping our customers solve the toughest challenges in the aerospace industry,” Vinicius says. “We listened to Captain Tortarolo’s needs and focused on solutions that increase safety, increase passenger comfort and reduce maintenance costs.” That was the win-win-win Captain Tortarolo needed—just like the teamwork between Honeywell, Duncan Aviation, and his own maintenance department. 

“What amazed me most about this project,” he says, “is how seamlessly our three teams worked together, across different cultures and geographies, to upgrade our equipment, so we now have safer, more efficient flights, and of course, passed our 180-month inspection with flying colors.”

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Honeywell And Duncan Aviation Revitalize Captain Tortarolo’s ’73 Bombardier Global 5000 - Case Study
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