Saturday, April 13, 2024
Hometech edgeMeet the ‘intelligent aircraft’—You may fly it one day

Meet the ‘intelligent aircraft’—You may fly it one day

The aircraft of tomorrow won't just take you from London to New York and Tokyo; it should allow you to stay connected all the way.

That's not just passengers, but the pilots and ground staff too – a development that's likely to transform air travel, says Honeywell, a technology and manufacturing firm that develops a variety of systems and services for aircraft.

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"From a passenger perspective, it means you won't see much difference in service from when you walk into an airport on your iPhone at high speed and you walk onto a plane," Jack Jacobs, the vice president for safety and information management at Honeywell Aerospace told CNBC. "That's not the way it is today."

He added: "From a pilot and crew perspective, they will be able to rely on much more information on the plane that wasn't there before that allows them to fly safely, avoid bad weather, turbulence – well in advance of what they can do today."

Just how connected an aircraft is to air traffic control has been in the spotlight in recent weeks following the disappearance of Flight MH370 to Beijing in China from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia on March 8.

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More connections, please: A survey conducted by Honeywell in 2013.

Jacobs said that while there is some degree of connectivity on aircraft today, the last piece of the puzzle is providing a high speed link at a lower cost.

Honeywell says it is the leader when it comes to making equipment for in-flight Wi-Fi services. In February, the U.S. firm and Air China signed an agreement to test a new high-bandwidth system in 2015 and it is in discussions with other airlines about introducing the new systems.

It says that the new technology to enhance connectivity can be included in upgrades to existing aircraft as well as new planes.

Get connected

Being hooked up to the internet or mobile phone network appears to have become a pressing need for many airplane passengers.

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