Honeywell Creates Great Flying Experience for Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg built a reputation as one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars by playing characters like soldiers, firefighters, cops and boxers who are willing to put everything on the line. But when it comes to flying to acting gigs, charity events, business meetings and family vacations, safety, efficiency and comfort always come first.
That’s why Mark and his flight operations team partnered with Honeywell to upgrade the flight deck, satellite communications system and other products, services and software solutions on his Bombardier Global Express business jet. The upgrade helps the operations team deliver a better flying experience for Mark and his passengers while also enhancing the aircraft’s value.
Flying in a ‘21st century transporter’
“My business jet is really my personal 21st century transporter that takes me directly to locations anywhere in the world,” Mark said. “It’s an enormous timesaver because I can use my flight time to catch up on work, participate in virtual production meetings, stay in touch with family and friends, or just kick back and relax.”
“Relaxing” is actually a foreign concept for Mark, who is known for his busy schedule and grueling fitness and nutrition regimen. In fact, he often finds time to work out in the spacious cabin of the Global Express during extended flights. “It’s true,” he said with a laugh. “Try to do that on a commercial flight!”
In addition to acclaimed roles in films like “The Departed,” “The Fighter,” “Lone Survivor” and “The Perfect Storm,” Mark is a successful producer with many movies and television series under his belt, including “Entourage,” “Boardwalk Empire” and “Wahlburgers,” a reality show about a restaurant chain he co-owns with two brothers.
Mark’s diverse business interests also include several car dealerships in Ohio along with investments in a sports nutrition company, a bottled water company and Municipal, a sports utility apparel company. In 2001, he formed the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, which has raised more than $10 million for youth service and enrichment programs.
Saying Goodbye to Downtime
Between his show business, business and philanthropic endeavors – and his favorite role as husband and father to four kids ages 10-17 – downtime is rare for Mark Wahlberg. Downtime also is rare for Mark’s airplane, thanks to Honeywell and channel partner Standard Aero, which handled the November 2020 upgrade at its Springfield, Illinois, maintenance, repair and overhaul center.
“The whole process went very smoothly and our downtime was minimal. The entire installation only took 15 days, so we didn’t have to cancel or change any plans, and the support my team received from Honeywell and Standard Aero was phenomenal,” Mark said.
“Randy Parrott and Paul Sloboda, my chief pilots of maintenance, are happy with the new Honeywell equipment, which makes the airplane easier to fly and maintain,” he added. “My family and I love the improved Wi-Fi, which lets us do almost anything we can do on the ground, including watching streaming videos and live TV.”
Creating ‘The Wahlberg Experience’ at 45,000 Feet
Fast, reliable inflight Wi-Fi is a priority for Mark, so his team chose Honeywell’s JetWave satellite communications system, which connects to the Inmarsat Jet ConneX Ka-Band service for the best high-speed broadband in business aviation. They also signed up for the Honeywell Forge software-driven cabin connectivity, flight efficiency and flight services platform. Honeywell connectivity experts created a custom connectivity package tailored to Mark’s needs and dubbed it “The Wahlberg Experience Plan.”
With JetWave and Honeywell Forge, Mark and his passengers can get connected, stay connected and stay productive – anywhere they fly – from the minute they step onto the airplane to the time they arrive at the hangar at the end of their flight.
“I’ve been able to take part in creative meetings, watch dailies and Facetime with the family, and much more, all while flying at 45,000 feet,” Mark said. “None of that was possible with our old system, especially in certain parts of the world.”
Future-Proofing the Flight Deck
Mark also gave the cockpit a facelift with the Honeywell Primus Elite Advanced Features (PEAF) upgrade. With PEAF, Standard Aero replaced the aircraft’s old-school cathode ray tube (CRT) displays with Honeywell’s DU-875/885 liquid crystal displays (LCDs). The new displays are sharper, brighter and clearer than the old CRTs, providing pilots with better graphics and advanced functionality.
The flight deck upgrade also includes a Honeywell SmartView synthetic vision system (SVS) that provides 3D color images of runways, terrains and obstacles, giving pilots a clear view of the virtual flight path. This increased level of the situational awareness is particularly useful when flying to unfamiliar locations, in bad weather, or at night, reducing errors and pilot workload.
“I’m not a pilot, but just one glance in the cockpit makes it clear that upgrading our flight deck has improved the flying experience for Randy,” Mark said. “We’re also getting ready to replace our weather radar system sometime this summer, which is another major step in future-proofing our airplane and provide a safer, more comfortable flight for my family and other passengers.”
The Wahlberg team is planning to upgrade its current onboard weather radar with Honeywell’s latest and greatest RDR-7000 IntuVue weather radar. The unique 3D volumetric radar can detect conditions that could produce lightning, hail, turbulence or windshear in plenty of time for the pilot to change course.
Maintaining all this new equipment will be a breeze, thanks to Honeywell’s Maintenance Service Plan – Avionics Components, which protects Mark from unexpected maintenance events that can ground flights, disrupt operations and cost a not-so-small fortune.
Realizing the Potential of Business Aviation
The Global Express jet with the stylized “W” on its tail has come to play an important role in Mark Wahlberg’s business and personal life. “The airplane is a valuable business tool because it lets me travel all over the world on my own terms to do the work I love,” Mark said. “But its greatest value is in giving me more time to spend with my family.”