Browsing Tag: Pilot

Honeywell Aerospace has a beautiful property. Photo -  Bernie Leighton |

Honeywell Aerospace has a beautiful property – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

After experiencing what it was like to fly on the Gulfstream G650, it was time to explore the engineering advancements Honeywell was developing at their Deer Valley lab.

What I was shown would put aviators that finished their careers even fifteen years ago in absolute awe.

Honeywell has a four-step approach to designing cockpit avionics:

  • Give the pilot what they need
  • Give the pilot only what they need
  • Give the pilot the information only when they need it
  • Give them the information in a way that is intuitive, unambiguous, and easy to understand
Primus Epic, called PlaneView on Gulfstreams is the current state of the art flight deck. Photo - Bernie Leighton |

Primus Epic, called PlaneView on Gulfstreams is the current state-of-the-art-flight-deck – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

The Primus Epic system on the G650 was designed with those four principles in mind. The positive response from flight crews has been overwhelming. Clearly the real-world use is matching up with the testing. This positive response has allowed Honeywell to go even further in their exploration of pilot-aircraft interface.

Cockpit of an Airbus A320

Cockpit of an Airbus A320

What does the cockpit of the future look like? New technology? Fewer pilots? Maybe no pilots? I don’t know if people will ever be ready for no human to have some sort of control over their airplane, but maybe they will be ok letting computers take over a bit more.

Recently, Airbus has taken another step towards airplane automation. Now, when two airplanes get too close, the Traffic alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) will sound an alarm, the pilot will check out the situation and make needed adjustments. Many times, the system can provide false alarms or pilots can over-react to the alarm. Aibus’ new system will automatically adjust a plane’s altitude to avoid a collision. This will reduce false alarms and increase safety. For those that feel pilots should have more control — no worries. They are able to shut off the automated system and fly manually if they need to.

To see some quotes from Airbus and see what Boeing thinks, check out my story on AOL Travel News.