FLIGHTDECK TECHNOLOGY

Honeywell’s latest SVS/FMS philosophy

Matching systems and software with NextGen needs.


Honeywell’s SV-PFD 2.0 lets the pilot see an area of terrain and determine if it is a threat or in the route of flight, in effect removing it as a factor.

In the EASy system architecture flown by Falcon owners, the FMS has been without a CDU, crews have the option of graphical flight planning or standard FMS entry. Aircraft with Primus Apex also have no CDUs and also use graphical planning.

At the same time, the FMS world is being pushed to support more complex functions such as trajectory-based operations, datalink for time based (4D) navigation, and a growing range of arrivals, departures and approaches that require a lot of head-down time for the crew.

So navigation source inputs such as WAAS, datalink integration and new user concepts such as graphical flight planning also had to be factored in within the growth of Honeywell’s products. The big picture for FMS capability—it must support RNP and RNP SAAAR navigation, SBAS GPS (eg, WAAS-LPV or EGNOS) approach capability and be FANS compatible for those who leave the continent.

FMS component

Honeywell’s update to the Primus Epic FMS software, V 7.1, included new features that allow you to conduct RNP approaches, SBAS ap­proaches (including WAAS-LPV), automatic previews, transition from long-range to short-range navigation and back.

In the FMS area, upgrades for most are sometimes mysterious. Honeywell’s approach, however, is a focus on applications and performance. So the new Honeywell up­dates are “software only” up­grades to Primus Epic/Primus Apex.

By the way, the core FMS software is also common between Primus Epic and Primus Apex. But the real element of necessity for bizav buyers is that the Honeywell FMS is able to provide the FANS 1/A capability needed for ADS-C, controller–pilot data­link communications (CPDLC) to achieve preferred routing.

The FANS 1/A upgrade has been developed by Honeywell to support oceanic and remote flight operations. FANS 1/A provides air traffic notification via CPDLC through the FMS. CPDLC enables direct datalink communications between the pilot and ATC in text messaging form.

Cundiff explains SV-PFD 2.0. SmartView common elements include details such as runway numbers, runway surface texture, and range rings overlaying the terrain for better situation awareness.

For the Cert Foxtrot for Gulfstream aircraft, FANS 1/A also enables automatic dependent surveillance–contract (ADS-C), or passing critical flight data between aircraft and the air traffic facility.

This feature allows an air traffic controller to get automated reporting from the aircraft’s systems such as position and altitude, and even weather data. SmartView core Honeywell has developed a core set of features for its entire SVS customer base that replicates the cues pilots get in visual flight during instrument flight.

Not just a pretty picture, SVS in SmartView is the picture that we have been waiting for in a modern flightdeck. The progression of flight instruments has now come from raw data, then the flight director and now a complete always-there picture of your flight over terrain and obstacles.

It is easier to assimilate information, always for better energy management and better flightpath management. In fact, SVS reduces flight technical error, increases precision of flight and removes doubt.

SmartView features include runway detailing—things like runway numbers and centerline markings—and things like conformal range rings overlaying the perspective terrain. Another novel development by Honeywell is the view frustum line which provides a marked left and right viewing angle on the terrain view of the EGPWS that matches the SVS field of view.

As you approach mountainous terrain, for example, you will see from a god’s eye view what will be in the field of view on the SVS PFD. A threatening area of terrain may not be in view on the SVS PFD because it is outside the 30° field of view of your route of flight—so it is no factor.

The detail runway perspective now available on the SV-PFD 2.0 with runway numbers also plays into the SmartRunway product. Smart­Runway provides verbal an­noun­cements about if you are on the correct runway, and SV-PFD 2.0 highlights the selected runway for landing.

The energy management cues that a pilot finds, runway depiction, flightpath marker and energy cue integrate with the Smart­Landing product that alerts a pilot if they are too high or too low, too fast or too slow.

These features integrated with SmartView are tremendous tools. What it means for the bizjet customer is a growth of new capabilities and a more rapid cycle of op­tions for its customers. What this means to the buyer is a shorter cycle for getting the latest navigation, display and FMS capability without requiring the aircraft to be down for significant modifications and rewiring. This is important to stay current with the new airspace.

As an example, in both PlaneView and EASy, synthetic vision upgrades included mainly software and database improvements. The effect of the company’s mainly software upgrade for Gulfstream aircraft was SV-PFD 2.0 and an enhanced nav package that includes WAAS-LPV, FANS 1/A, RNP 0.1, FMS v7.1, XM Graphical Weather and paperless charts.

Honeywell Pilot Ron Weight (L) and Gulfstream Pilot Ron Newton demonstrate Honeywell upgrades for PlaneView on a G450. Improved SVS display has WAAS–LPV.

All without yanking displays and controls. For Dassault and the EASy II package, again the upgrades for SVS, FMS and ADS-B out are a streamline addition, not major surgery or down time.

What’s coming for the future Honeywell is pursuing a future plan for customers that focuses on adding more value for bizav at a quicker pace. Dreaming about what those new products could be is a full-time job for Cundiff and the Honeywell engineers.

Current research includes topics like augmented cognition—sensing for you with the sensors in your airplane when you are busy or not focused. With this capability the aircraft could help reduce the information provided to the pilot to simplified displays that allow the pilot to focus on emergency or unusual situations, adding information as he/she successfully handles an emergency or event.

Maps that declutter similar to the way HUDs function are another focus. The value of this new businesses model by Honeywell is really great for the buyer and owner of a modern jet. The owners of the first G550 PlaneView and Dassault EASy aircraft delivered are able to upgrade to the same avionics capability of a new G550 or Falcon through software and a few cards.

The aircraft no longer become outdated as newer model aircraft with new features appear. The NextGen promise versus reality and timing for outlays is another quandary. However, the Honeywell business approach to software upgrades and tweaking of the hardware means lower costs and staying modern.

Honeywell’s bold new market slogan, “Why wait?” is a telling part of the company’s new direction in bizjet products, and a transition of the company from basic instrument maker to full aircraft systems, advanced software and services.

Glenn Connor is the president of Discover Technology Intl and is a researcher and pilot specializing in the development of enhanced vision systems and advanced avionics.

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