Every (boy) child dreams of becoming a pilot at some point in his life. About having the ability to control winged metal beasts that move, through the air, faster than a small brain even considers possible, the ability to perform aerial acrobatics and the daring to shoot down enemies.
Then said child grows up and finds that for some reason he cannot be a pilot, or becomes one and realizes that being a pilot is a much more complicated and less romantic job than one would have imagined.
If you go looking on specialized websites for pilot jobs, you will find under the responsibilities a very long list of things to do, apart from flying. Pilots must create a flight plan, ascertain fuel levels, perform pre-flight checks, and even “Ensure that noise regulations are observed during take-off and landing”, as indicated in a message. At the end of each flight, the aircraft logbook must be completed, and a report filed. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
All of this, and more, must be done from inside or near the aircraft. So if for passengers a two hour flight is a two hour flight, for a pilot it is much longer, and not as relaxing.
Much of this reality is the result of available technology which, although very advanced at the moment, still requires a practical approach. Fortunately, the progress made in recent years, especially in terms of connectivity, could change management forever.
Enter the cockpit of Honeywell Anthem, a technology described as the âThe aviation industry’s first cloud-connected cockpit system. “ The focus, of course, on connecting to the cloud, because that’s where the magic happens.
Anthem is a permanent system that includes specialized software and hardware in the form of 2K resolution screens. Honeywell designed it to be scalable and suitable for a variety of aircraft types. Software and hardware can be customized to fit everything from cargo planes to all those new urban air mobility gadgets we hear about, including autonomous devices.
The main purpose of the system is to eliminate the need for the physical presence of pilots and even mechanics when performing certain activities that can be performed remotely, such as the transfer of data on maintenance status and flight plans. .
What’s more important is that the plane doesn’t even need to be turned on for pilots to remotely access the information they need before a flight. From a distance, they can even load the flight plan, or install the cockpit.
Another feature of the thing is that it brings all the individual assistance systems, like fuel, maintenance or catering together in one place, eliminating the need for multiple third-party apps or websites. The pilot can now simply notify all parties involved in a timely manner (and, you guessed it, remotely) of the flight plan, including real-time changes caused by unforeseen events.
Inside the cockpit, Anthem presents itself as a “Easy-to-use smartphone-like interface”, whose layout can be personalized and even reconfigured to display all the information or measurements the pilot deems necessary. It also uses what Honeywell calls the “The cleanest and most functional symbology available today”.
Separately, Anthem’s built-in web browser allows pilots to view live airport weather camera images or live radar images inside the cockpit. A few hours before landing, it can send data to maintenance teams on any malfunctions, so that people on the ground are prepared with the necessary parts and tools as soon as the aircraft arrives.
The anthem was just detailed by Honeywell earlier this year, after being presented at the NBAA Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in October, so it’s not really widespread for the moment. The first companies to use it are Vertical Aerospace and Lilium, for their VA-X4 and Lilium Jet, respectively.