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Now the cloud is in the plane

That might be an understatement when it comes to Honeywell’s sixth-generation flight deck; which could well be the biggest leap forward in flight instrumentation since the advent of the glass cockpit. For starters, Honeywell Anthem features the world’s first always-on, cloud-connected avionics. Vipul Gupta, Honeywell Aerospace’s Vice President and General Manager of Avionics Business, says this always-on internet connectivity means that flight plans can be uploaded to the aircraft from any popular EFB app “whenever, where ever,” and when the pilot arrives at the aircraft and powers up the flight deck, the flight plan will be ready and waiting. He estimates that this feature alone will save pilots a full 45 minutes per flight.

Once in flight, pilots will benefit from secure internet, right on the panel with their flight instruments. Imagine pulling up the live weather cameras at the airport as you brief your approach. This connectivity is two-way, with the outside world communicating with the aircraft and the aircraft communicating with the outside world, allowing for improved fleet management and maintenance.

Honeywell Anthem uses touch as its primary interface, complete with all of the gestures around touch that we know from our mobile devices, like pinching and zooming. But Honeywell didn’t stop there. They also designed the menu structure to be equally consumeresque. This, says Honeywell test pilot Edward Manning, dramatically slashes training time, “Somebody can just sit down in the flight deck and they just go and intuitively touch a button and quickly move through their tasks without an afterthought.” Manning says the system includes smart prompting, suggesting the right things at the right time, and is “interrupt-friendly,” with reduced steps required to complete an operation when a pilot is interrupted mid-task.

Summarizing all these features, Manning calls Honeywell Anthem a “good co-pilot” that helps him relax in flight.

Honeywell Anthem is scalable for all types of aircraft from GA to choppers; biz jets, to regionals, to big iron; and even the new crop of urban mobility vehicles. Depending on the size of the aircraft, Honeywell Anthem features two, three, or four displays which range in size from 13-inches to 17-inches. But, regardless of the aircraft it goes in, Honeywell Anthem features a quantum leap in weight savings. It’s 50% lighter than its predecessor.

Honeywell Anthem also allows for more flexibility in installation. The black boxes that drive the system are small–about the size of a paperback–draw very little power, don’t require cooling fans, and can be installed anywhere in the aircraft, eliminating the need for avionics cabinets. Another selling point for aircraft manufacturers is behind the glass, Honeywell Anthem is fully customizable and can run aircraft systems as well. Says Gupta, “It’s not a cookie-cutter cockpit where everyone gets the same thing.”

Gupta, a pilot himself, says his favorite thing among the host of new features is the “major enhancement” of Honeywell Anthem’s synthetic vision, which features 3-D airport moving maps, 3-D waypoints, and 3-D traffic, all of which he says creates a “compelling situational awareness tool for the pilot.”

The dictionary defines Honeywell Anthem as a “rousing or uplifting song.” Given all its innovative new features, it won’t be long before pilots everywhere are singing the praises of Honeywell’s new Honeywell Anthem flight deck.

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