Honeywell is at Heli-Expo (Booth No. 1310) debuting its latest iteration of Zing for civil helicopters, an on-condition maintenance diagnostic system. A military version of Zing has been keeping U.S. Army Apache attack helicopters flying in some of the world’s worst conditions. The Boeing AH-64D was the first application of a Zing suite of systems, leveraging commercial of-the-shelf (COTS) technology to avoid traditional military avionics procurement expenses. The first civil Zing on-condition maintenance suite has been applied to the Bell 412, with more than 100 installations to date.
Mike Cuff, Honeywell v-p of helicopter and surface systems, said, “Honeywell is introducing our next generation of condition-based maintenance products. It will allow operators to monitor and identify more key critical points and components.
Zing does data mining for trend identification and directs mitigation before a condition becomes an AOG problem.” Zing HUMS obtains real-time component status and builds a database for predictive and diagnostic analysis. It allows an individual operator to access the collective database of a given helicopter model across a manufacturer’s entire fleet to become aware of trends and potential problems common to the type. The latest Zing offering features a broader suite of technology enabled in part by recent Honeywell acquisitions.
The Zing system’s four components in an end-to-end solution are: Zing HUMS (the on-aircraft data collection hardware), Zing Test, Zing Ware (operating software) and Zing Service (services contract). Data download can be done through a USB connector, via a wireless link or cable from the aircraft. Bill Lawler, director of sales for Condition-Based Maintenance Systems, noted that Zing for helicopters is more complicated and comprehensive than current systems on business jets. “The difference for helos is that we’re collecting a whole host of data from every system and component, giving the operator actionable information, then answering for him, ‘How do I use it? How do I fix that problem?’”
The Honeywell Zing HUMS line is available now, to be followed by a new Zing test unit in less than six months. Lawler said system prices vary according to which of many available configurations an operator desires, but he added that Zing systems are “very, very cost competitive.”