Making the Connected Aircraft a Reality

Last quarter, I addressed a software revolution in the aerospace industry that is transforming the way we access and use aircraft data to enhance the flying experience in the cabin, cockpit and operating center. Honeywell is leading that revolution to make the concept of a Connected Aircraft a reality. We’re developing, testing and implementing connected solutions with airliners around the world to streamline decision-making processes and reduce operational costs at every phase of flight.

Now, the Connected Aircraft isn’t just an idea; we’ve brought it to life with our Boeing 757 test aircraft that just kicked off The Power of Connected world tour.

Honeywell’s Boeing 757 is not only outfitted with our latest Connected Aircraft services, products and software, it’s currently travelling to different cities around the world to show customers and press first hand how connectivity is changing the way we fly. Having already stopped in San Francisco, Dallas and New York, it’s on its way across the sea to the Paris Air Show, demonstrating just how efficient, streamlined and fun flying can be while connected. When looking to the skies this summer, you just might spot the 757 flying overhead and covered in new livery that displays where our connected capabilities live within the aircraft.

To demonstrate the true Power of Connected, we are working closely with a growing list of airlines around the world to enhance their connectivity and service offerings. We have developed the technologies, made them accessible through desktop and handheld devices, and offered users a way to connect to the applications through in-flight Wi-Fi powered by GX Aviation. Now, we are putting our connected aircraft offerings in the hands of flight crews, operators and maintainers to bring value to airlines.

In particular, we are taking major steps with Connected Maintenance to help airlines reduce flight disruptions caused by maintenance issues. In May, we worked closely with Cathay Pacific to complete the airline industry’s first-ever trial of our GoDirect Connected Maintenance program. Connecting mechanical parts like the auxiliary power unit, the airline successfully analyzed data to pinpoint critical faults, resulting in a 35 percent reduction in operational disruptions and saving hundreds of thousands in operating and maintenance costs.

After the completion of these trials, we achieved another major milestone when Hainan Airlines became the first airline in the world to officially adopt our GoDirect Connected Maintenance services. As a result of this agreement, we’ll outfit Hainan’s fleets with our connected auxiliary power unit predictive maintenance service, which uses connectivity and data analytics to identify potential mechanical issues before they occur.

The list doesn’t stop there: Honeywell is also conducting GoDirect Connected Maintenance trials with six more global airlines to help them lower costs, reduce delays and improve maintenance with connected services. The trials will continue over the next several months, and will allow us to fine-tune our offerings and further prove the benefits of the Connected Aircraft for airlines and maintenance personnel.

We’ve had a very busy year so far, and with our continued commitment to developing modern technology that makes the flight experience even better, we can’t wait to see what the future of the Connected Aircraft has in store.

About the author: Michael Edmonds leads the Honeywell Aerospace Services and Connectivity business and is based in Phoenix, Arizona.

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