Airbus has inked a contract with Honeywell to upgrade the wingtip navigation lights on the A320 family with light-emitting diode (LED) technology. Intended to last 40 times longer than standard halogen lighting, the LEDs will be added to the production line starting next March. Honeywell’s LED wingtip bulbs last about 20,000 hours each, compared with 500 hours for a halogen bulb. The $80 million deal covers approximately 5,000 aircraft in the A320 family including the A318, A319, A320 and A321.
Airbus has also added Honeywell’s runway awareness and warning system (RAAS) to its e-catalog. Now available across the Airbus product line, RAAS is an upgrade to the enhanced ground proximity warning system that warns pilots of potential dangers on the ground, such as when they try to take off or land on a runway that is too short or inadvertently start their takeoff roll while on a taxiway.
In other news from Honeywell, the company announced agreement with Thales to develop a micro air vehicle that measures 13 inches in diameter and weighs 16 pounds. Under development for France, Germany and the UK, the aircraft is intended for use by soldiers operating in urban environments. The craft will be small enough to carry in a backpack and will carry a video camera that can relay images back to soldiers.
Boeing, meanwhile, tapped Honeywell to supply catalytic ozone converters for the 737, 767 and 747 in a program running from 2009 through 2012. The converter reduces cabin ozone levels, which can cause passenger discomfort. The units will be optional in the 737, 747 and 767 and standard in the 747-8, Honeywell said.