In Paris Air Show, this week Honeywell (NASDAQ: HON) is highlighting a range of technological initiatives the company is pioneering to help build a more sustainable aviation sector.
Honeywell is developing a range of technologies, spanning virtually every stage of an air traveler’s journey, that contributes to the collective efforts of the aerospace sector in Europe and beyond in achieving its long-term sustainability goals.
“There is no single silver bullet to enable the aviation sector to realize its sustainability objectives. But to reach those objectives, we need new technology at almost every stage of a passenger’s journey — from the time they leave their home until they pick up their bags after their return flight,” said Mike Madsen, President and CEO, Honeywell Aerospace. “Honeywell has ready-now technologies that help achieve sustainability goals, and we’re developing more. Supported by a regulatory environment that can help drive adoption of these solutions, the global aviation sector is on the right path to a more sustainable future.”
Honeywell’s technologies help create a more sustainable future for aviation:
- Facilitating the use of alternative fuels. Honeywell has been an early pioneer of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) processing technology leveraging multiple noncompeting feedstocks. Rising interest for SAF solutions, driven by a combination of regional mandates and customers’ sustainability commitments, has driven a rapid increase in demand for Honeywell’s Ecofining™ technology — one of four routes to SAF production that Honeywell offers customers today. As of June 2023, the company has issued 36 Ecofining™ licenses covering approximately 420 KBPD of capacity in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Australia and South America.
Although sustainable aviation fuel represents a near-term solution to carbon reduction for the sector, there is growing excitement at the potential for hydrogen propulsion too. Honeywell is accelerating a path to the production and use of green hydrogen across multiple sectors. Honeywell Aerospace is leading a series of research programs on future propulsion technology, including project NEWBORN, a European Clean Aviation consortium of 18 partners from 10 European countries that is developing an aerospace-qualified megawatt-class fuel cell propulsion system powered by hydrogen. Similarly, the Clean Aviation project TheMa4HERA, also led by Honeywell, will address the whole thermal management challenge around using those new power sources in electric and hybrid electric regional aircraft.
- Addressing operational efficiencies of next-generation aircraft. As the aviation industry evolves, future aircraft will also require smaller, lighter and more energy efficient avionics. That ranges from cockpit systems, like the Honeywell Anthem, over the onboard communication, navigation and surveillance systems, to less-bleed and bleedless environmental control systems and even more efficient auxiliary power units.
Honeywell’s work in Advanced Air Mobility builds on its more than 100-year legacy in bringing aviation innovation to mainstream applications. This includes small satellite communications systems, enhanced thermal management technologies, and autonomy systems that open the door for a new category of lighter, faster more efficient air mobility platforms. On the development of electric motors for propulsion, we have partnered with DENSO, whose legacy in the automotive market makes it a great fit for the scale, cost and reliability this business demands.
- Optimizing flight paths. Next-generation avionics such as the new connected Honeywell Anthem integrated flight deck and advanced weather radar systems are making it easier to optimally adjust flight plans in real time and save on fuel. Fuel savings can be achieved by flying more direct routes, and optimizing the climb and descent path for maximum use of the available kinetic energy. Honeywell’s work in the European SESAR projects are all geared up to this goal, along with innovations in the field of automation and autonomy that will help achieve even higher goals in the overall exercise of operational flight efficiency.
- Turning data into insight. Honeywell turns the vast amounts of operational data produced by a typical modern-day flight into business intelligence that can help flight operations better manage their fuel consumption, track and report their emissions, and improve operational efficiency and fleet availability. The data sets also allow for more optimized maintenance actions, keeping up the aircraft systems performance, while reducing the number of ferry flights and thus their resulting environmental footprint.
Honeywell Forge’s cloud-based software analytics can collect data from hundreds of diverse sources to provide actionable insight areas across flight performance, including single engine taxi performance, climb and descent rates, fuel loading, airspeed monitoring, and regulatory compliance.
- Driving forward private and public collaboration. Honeywell leads many research and development activities from its Brno facility in the Czech Republic and a number of partner sites across Europe to prove the viability of advanced technologies designed to support the sector’s sustainability goals. This includes research into hybrid electric aircraft and advanced automation of aircraft under the European Union’s public and private partnership programs, like Clean Aviation, SESAR3, Clean Hydrogen and Key Digital Technologies. Also on a national level, Honeywell engages and leads collaborative research projects in the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom (ATI) and Germany (LuFo).
Honeywell is also leveraging existing relationships with OEMs, lawmakers, regulatory bodies and system suppliers to help drive forward a regulatory landscape that can enable sustainability-related aerospace innovation to flourish in regions around the world, including Europe and the United States.