Honeywell has introduced a new aircraft cockpit system, built with an always on, cloud connected experience. The Anthem flight deck offers high levels of connectivity, an interface modelled after everyday smart devices and a scalable and customisable design. It is powered by a software platform that can be customised for most aircraft and advanced air mobility vehicles.
“Honeywell is not just launching a new flight deck today; we are changing the way pilots operate aircraft and creating a more intuitive experience than ever,” says Mike Madsen, president and CEO, Honeywell Aerospace. “In the same way we moved from flip phones to smartphones, Honeywell Anthem will transform the pilot experience with customisable controls operated quickly and easily with a few swipes of the finger.”
It supports growing levels of aircraft autonomy, leading to complete autonomous capabilities in the future as regulations allow. Enabling increasing levels of autonomy, whether it's automating manual tasks for single pilot operation or more complex processes to reduce workload for pilots, maintainers and other service providers, depends on improving connectivity across aircraft systems.
Historically, mechanics and pilots had to be onboard aircraft with wired connections to transfer data such as maintenance status and flight plans. Anthem will allow for the data to be transferred without needing to be physically near the aircraft.
It will generate and transfer data from ground based servers so those involved in a flight's operation have the information they need. Honeywell says an aircraft doesn't even need to be powered on for pilots and maintainers to see the information they might need prior to launching a flight.
“Everyone who touches a flight is able to get information that matters to them when they need it,” says Vipul Gupta, vice president and general manager, avionics, Honeywell Aerospace. “The aircraft becomes accessible via the cloud computing infrastructure, and things like maintenance data, flight plans and overall aircraft status are stored automatically by the avionics or via ground based applications used by support personnel.”
Anthem's connectivity capabilities aim to reduce pilots' preflight preparation time by up to 45 minutes per flight. It integrates with electronic flight bag planning applications to let pilots create, store and retrieve flight plans from anywhere. After pilots load the flight plan remotely, it will be ready and waiting when they arrive at the aircraft.
It could aid service providers from maintenance personnel to caterers, as they will have a higher level of visibility into real time flight details than before. For example, prior to traveling to the airport, pilots can set up automatic notifications managed via the new Mission Manager function so that fuelling teams, ground transportation and caterers are aware of the mission plan.
Anthem's smartphone like interface provides pilots and operations personnel with several capabilities that improve access to data, improving operational efficiency and safety. With a few finger swipes, pilots can reconfigure a screen or cluster of information just like they would on their personal smart device. Unlike traditional interfaces based on text entry or basic graphical menus, it uses visualisation and modern graphical and gesture based methods.
Honeywell says it can reduce the potential for ground collisions, runway incursions and runway excursions by 50% with several new features that provide pilots with unprecedented situational awareness. The features include the 3D runway overrun alerting and awareness system and 3D airport moving maps. Anthem also provides a track based synthetic vision system, plus an integrated navigation map and vertical situation display. It is designed to fit a wide variety of aircraft both now and in the future, making advanced features that traditionally require a large amount of computing power accessible to smaller business and general aviation aircraft for the first time.
Another feature is a web browser that allows third party applications and websites to run in the cockpit. For example via a third party app pilots can display live weather cameras from the airport they are currently travelling to and next to that they could display live radar imagery above the airport.
It also integrates with Honeywell Forge, a software platform that includes in air and on ground solutions for flight operations, flight efficiency and connected maintenance in a single user interface. This integration enables operators to make proactive decisions about in flight routing that saves fuel and help avoid flight interruptions because of maintenance.
In addition to use on general aviation aircraft, rotorcraft and business jets, Anthem will be available to future aircraft platforms in the emerging AAM market segment. It has already been selected by Vertical Aerospace and Lilium for their vertical takeoff and landing, all electric aircraft, the VA-X4 and seven seater Lilium Jet, respectively.