The ability for passengers and flight crew to connect to the internet and remain in contact with colleagues and family is just as critical in the Asia-Pacific region as elsewhere. At ABACE, Honeywell is highlighting its growing capability for serving these needs with its high-speed JetWave satellite communication system. Honeywell calls its efforts Connected Aircraft, and there is more to it than just the satellite communications element.
For airborne connectivity (Wi-Fi) in large-cabin business jets, JetWave is a popular option as the large antenna needs a relatively large airplane for proper mounting. JetWave runs on Inmarsat’s new high-speed Global Xpress Ka-band satellite network, which provides coverage worldwide (except for some areas over the North and South Poles). Honeywell’s Jet Connex provides the satcom service. For business jets, network speeds of up to 15 Mbps are available, allowing multiple users to stream video, email with attachments, make voice calls, and surf the internet.
Honeywell’s GoDirect Services have grown to cover the entire aircraft, from monitoring and managing airframe components, systems, and engines to apps designed for pilots and technicians. Two apps for pilots are Flight Bag Pro, a full-featured electronic flight bag app, and Flight Preview, which allows users to preview flying an instrument approach on their tablets to gain familiarity before flying the actual approach.
Flight Bag Pro is a worldwide flight planning system with weather information and route forecasting. Cruise optimization, fuel burn/time calculations, and weight-and-balance data are from Honeywell’s GoDirect Flight Engine and based on aircraft manufacturer flight manual information and aircraft-specific weights. Pilots can download trip kits and use Jeppesen maps and charts. Trip support is available from Honeywell flight data specialists and dispatchers.
GoDirect Cabin provides access to tools that help customers manage their airborne connectivity services, including GoDirect Network, GoDirect Toolkit, and GoDirect Voice. The Network and Toolkit apps help maintenance technicians troubleshoot any problems with the satcom system and configure the system for proper operation. The Voice app is for passengers who want to make secure voice calls and send secure text messages while in flight.
Helicopter operators can also take advantage of satcom over land and sea with Honeywell’s Aspire 200 system. According to Honeywell, “Aspire 200 is the first satellite connectivity product that provides reliable and consistent Wi-Fi through rotor wash, giving operators access to voice and data connectivity in a cost-effective and lightweight package.”
Aspire 200 runs on Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband network. Current approvals include the Leonardo AW139, Airbus Helicopters AS350, Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk, and Bell 429. Honeywell is working on approvals for additional helicopter models.