Living in the greater Seattle area has its advantages. Being able to go pretty much any time and drive around Paine Field Airport (KPAE) is for sure one of them. Plus, if you book yourself a night at the Hilton Garden Inn, you are very likely to get a room that looks over the airport. Heck, you can even spot from your room and/or car and have yourself a bit of an AvGeek hootenanny. I recently did just that and my pal Jeremy joined me. Although this story might mostly be photos, I am likely to add a snarky comment here or there.
I decided to do a little blast from the past and use my “real” DSLR camera instead of my iPhone. It is amazing for the close-ups, but I think I might need a refresher course. Jeremy ended up taking a few of the photos, but I was too lazy to label them properly. Just assume if one looks like someone with talent took the picture, it was him. Here we go…
Honeywell has a large presence in Phoenix, specifically at Deer Valley Airport. At one point this was the legacy of Sperry Electronics, which got its start making gyroscopes for Curtiss biplanes. They even had a rudimentary autopilot demonstration in June, 1914.
So, what does this have to do with Honeywell? Well, prior to their purchase by Honeywell Aerospace, Sperry developed the first Flight Management Computers (FMC). The best way to describe an FMC is that it’s a layer above the autopilot and allows for a degree of pre-planning and programming for the aircraft’s mission. Flight Management Computers have evolved to a level most of the old Sperry guard could never have imagined, though the form factor has remained relatively the same.
Honeywell Aerospace is not known for sitting still. Much of their avionics technology hangs out on the bleeding edge. The thing is, airlines and their associated airframers tend to demand low cost AND reliability. Flight deck and avionics design usually evolves within corporate aviation. It is no wonder, then, that Honeywell and Gulfstream work so closely to develop an integrated flight deck and avionics suite. The internal name of the Honeywell avionics and flight management package is Primus Epic.
While it is also at home on a Falcon 7X, Dassault puts their own special finishing touches on it so that it better matches their ecosystem. We’re not talking about Dassault today- we’re discussing Gulfstream- so the Honeywell system is marketed as PlaneView.
How does one get a good understanding of the practical elements of PlaneView/Primus Epic you ask?
The best way. By seeing it in person by flying on a Gulfstream G650 and who am I to say no?