NBAA Convention News

Honeywell has a full plate of projects

 - September 21, 2007, 6:17 AM

Honeywell has launched a review of its customer service activities in an effort aimed at streamlining the number of ways customers can reach product support phone lines.

Before the overhaul, Honeywell had no fewer than 270 different ways for customers to call for help including hot lines and toll-free numbers. Those have been consolidated into one line that uses a system known as intelligent call routing, the company said.

“It gives our customer-service representatives around the world the ability–based on the telephone number that is being called from–to identify the caller and then on their screen comes up who they [the customer] are, the type of fleet they have, the amount of Honeywell equipment they have, and other pertinent information,” Rob Wilson, Honeywell president of business and regional aircraft, told NBAA Convention News. “We’ve actually had customers during this initial representation of this new service  say ‘give me the number’ and they call it and are quite amazed that the person picks up and knows who it is.”

Wilson said Honeywell is making progress on other fronts as well. A year after the announcement of its launch at last year’s NBAA Convention, the company’s entry into the 10,000-pound-thrust engine sweepstakes is progressing. Using architecture from its HTF7000 line, augmented with new technologies, Wilson said key components are performing well in tests.
Honeywell suffered a disappointment earlier this year, when rival engine maker Rolls-Royce was selected in the long-awaited decision to provide the powerplant for Dassault’s new super-midsize design. “Certainly Dassault has been a long-time customer of ours so we are never happy to see that business go somewhere else,” said Wilson. “However, when you look at the way we are designing that engine, it’s focused on the growth in the large-cabin airplanes. So what we saw was a unique situation with that particular airplane from Dassault. It was not exactly in the class where we’re seeing this large expansion.”
With the certification of its TFE731-50 last year, and with the recent certification of the Hawker 900XP, Honeywell expects the upgrade of its popular TFE731 line to enter widespread service soon. “We’ve been really pleased with the market’s interest in that engine,” Wilson said. “It increases the hot-and-high takeoff capability and improves the fuel consumption of that aircraft. It’s certainly been a part of that aircraft’s success in the marketplace.”
Honeywell is also close to receiving certification on its integrated primary flight display (IPFD) synthetic-vision system, in its first application on the Gulfstream G550. “We’ve completed more than 800 hours of flight simulator testing and 450 hours of flight testing on the system. Combine that with our 800 million hours of flight validation on our terrain database and we feel that the resolution coming out of the display gives the pilot the ability to make situational awareness decisions based on that information,” he said. Following its certification, Honeywell expects make more announcements of IPFD availability for other flight decks.

Honeywell is also seeking ways to allow its customers to make the most of their time in the air through the recent certification of the HD710 satcom system, which Wilson describes as another enhancement toward Immarsat SwiftBroadband connectivity. “We’ve had over 100 aircraft installations, which show us that the demand for broadband access will be very high,” he said.

The company is also pursuing required navigation performance/ special aircraft and aircrew authorization required (RNP/SAAAR) approach capabilities for business aircraft, a process which would allow aircraft to fly precision routes in congested airspace or to terrain-impacted airports. “We see the RNP process as being a key productivity enhancement for business aviation operators,” Wilson said. Currently there are no RNP/SAAAR approvals for business operators, but Honeywell is lobbying to become designated a SAAAR consultant to help operators gain approvals.

In addition to preparing FMS software updates and equipment modifications that could allow operators to be qualified for RNP/ SAAAR, Honeywell has started performing data validation flights using its own flight department airplanes based at Morristown Municipal Airport in New Jersey.