Honeywell is firmly committed to the future of aviation


Launch clients noted in October 5 announcement include the upcoming Lilium Jet, one of several electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft designed to enter service flown by human pilots, although that may change if and when the FAA and other national regulators approve the first truly autonomous aircraft. Another competitor in this congested field, Vertical Aerospace, is building the VA – X4 to fly a pilot and up to four passengers for distances in excess of 100 miles at 202 mph, and will also be equipped with Honeywell Anthem avionics.

Honeywell’s new system uses certain technologies and capabilities (such as synthetic vision) developed for the company’s previous cockpits used in business jets and turbo-props, although the hardware and software architecture is very different. . Rack-mounted instruments and control modules designed to handle specific functions independently are being replaced by networked systems that run on much lighter components; the traditional flight management system and control display unit, along with all other cockpit instruments, have been replaced by touch screens with gesture control. Voice commands and a smartphone-like user interface will make the experience more intuitive for pilots, who can customize the screen layout to their preferences, whether on the plane or at the hotel to prepare for the next flight in their flight. always- on plane.

This cloud-connected approach to aircraft operations enables pilots, maintenance personnel, dispatchers and anyone else involved in flight operations to access a wealth of relevant data in real time through a two-way connection with every Anthem-equipped aircraft in their fleet from virtually anywhere. .

“Honeywell isn’t just launching a new cockpit today, we’re changing the way pilots operate airplanes and creating a more intuitive experience than ever before,” said Mike Madsen, CEO of Honeywell Aerospace, in the announcement. “Much like we have moved from flip phones to smartphones, Honeywell Anthem will transform the pilot experience with customizable controls operated quickly and easily with a few swipes of a finger.”

Honeywell Aerospace is based on an operating system designed for a wide range of industrial applications, Honeywell Forge. Company spokesperson Adam Kress, in an email exchange responding to cybersecurity questions that arise with the unprecedented step of connecting onboard control systems to the internet, wrote that Forge is designed with built-in security layers, both onboard and outboard:

“All ancillary requests will be served from [the] Forge a network to make sure the app, data, and sender are all known and secure before you get on the plane, ”Kress wrote. “It is common practice in the IOT to secure applications, sender and data before it is transmitted to the device to ensure integrity and security. (“IOT” refers to the “Internet of Things”, a concept in which all kinds of devices, from refrigerators and home heating systems to vehicles, phones and a host of other devices, are connected to a network worldwide.)

Kress wrote that Anthem and Forge are designed to facilitate remote aircraft access without compromising aircraft safety:

“Segregation and separation are essential for security. The Honeywell Forge cloud has multiple layers of protection off the aircraft to ensure origin, data, application, and purpose are all secure before use on the aircraft. Then, the Anthem platform, via the [Integrated Network Server Unit] Hardware, ensures segregation and separation on the aircraft. This means that only traffic trusted by the network that has the appropriate certificates is passed to avionics and critical systems are never physically or wirelessly connected in a way that compromises safety or security.

The benefits of cloud-connected avionics will enable powerful new features and efficiencies that will reduce pilot workload as well as the cost of operating aircraft. Honeywell expects Anthem to cut pre-flight preparation time for pilots to 45 minutes per flight.

“Honeywell Anthem seamlessly integrates with popular electronic flight bag planning applications to allow pilots to create, store and retrieve flight plans from anywhere. Once the pilots have loaded the flight plan remotely, it will be ready and waiting when it arrives at the aircraft, ”the press release said. “This remote flight plan upload is an industry first, made possible by the connectivity built into Honeywell Anthem.”

Beyond the flight deck, dispatchers, maintenance personnel and others supporting fleets of various sizes, from individual aircraft to airline scale, will have access to on-board systems whenever the aircraft will be able to connect to the Internet, by any means whatsoever. Honeywell expects operators to achieve a 10-15% reduction in labor costs associated with fleet management.

“Anyone who touches a flight can get information that is important to them when they need it,” said Vipul Gupta, vice president and general manager of avionics at Honeywell Aerospace, in the press release. “The aircraft becomes accessible via the cloud computing infrastructure, and elements such as maintenance data, flight plans and the general condition of the aircraft are stored automatically by the avionics or via ground applications. used by support staff. This means that the data can be accessed by any authorized user from anywhere.

In return for these powerful incentives, there is a growing awareness of vulnerabilities and examples of secure networks turning out to be vulnerable, sometimes due to programming, sometimes due to operator error. Bloomberg reported in June that the Colonial Pipeline Co. hack that shut down the nation’s largest pipeline and disrupted that supply chain was the result of a single compromised password. In September, Apple identified and fixed a IOS vulnerability that allowed unauthorized access to iPhones through the iMessage app, without any user intervention (such as clicking a link to malware) required.

Cyber ​​security has long been on the radar of the airline industry, a “top priority” for aviation, including an airline industry that “is an attractive target for cyber threat actors with a multitude of motivations, ranging from theft of data or money value to causing disruption. and damage, ”the International Air Transport Association noted in its February online post on aviation cybersecurity. advice for organizations and aircraft operators.

While Honeywell designed Anthem to carefully control access, it opens the door for third-party application developers that can provide additional benefits to users, such as live weather camera feeds from the destination airport or local weather radar data. Pilots will be able to customize their displays to include this information, and Honeywell has created a video to illustrate this and other benefits of cloud-connected aircraft. Videos and additional descriptions put online with the October 5 reveal, provide more details on the user interface, customization options and a “Landing Assist” feature that provides guidance to an airport “before proceeding to pilot control at 200 feet away. the middle line “.

Unveiled just before the National Business Aviation Association Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Las Vegas, Honeywell was planning demonstrations of Anthem in a conference room at the Las Vegas Convention Center.


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