12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
Technology provider Honeywell is self-admittedly best known for its central heating systems but anyone with an ounce of aviation knowledge will know the brand for its links with inflight apparatus.
Honeywell invited ABTN to the Marriot Hotel in Langley to experience its latest aviation, security and automotive technology, ranging from devices benefiting pilots, hoteliers and those who like driving fast cars. Audience participation was a must and Honeywell set out to get everyone involved.
The day became increasingly interactive with Honeywell”s latest aviation gadget demonstration, over the skies of London, on a Cessna Citation V. The company has developed a new Integrated Primary Flight Display (IPFD), pictured below, which will enable pilots to see their surroundings in poor or even zero visibility. The Synthetic Vision System is designed to reduce pilot confusion, both on the ground and in the air, by displaying the terrain in 3D format similar to a computer game.
Based on GPS technology and the information collected during 500m hours of flying time with its Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System, the new programme highlights upcoming obstacles within a 40-mile radius and the aircraft”s orientation to the ground.
The co-pilot of the flight demonstration, Jary Engels, explains the difference the new technology makes: ”pilots are used to having to picture the information on their screens when they can”t see out of the plane, a bit like someone explaining something to you with your eyes closed. But with this new system you don”t have to picture it”it”s right there in front of you.”
Unfortunately for Honeywell (but great in terms of the view) the weather conditions were excellent. With blue skies and visibility for miles around, it was harder to imagine the importance of the new system, although to compare the older screen with the modern version (the pilot could switch back and forth between the two) the difference was remarkable. It felt as though a novice with no flying experience whatsoever could at least fly the aircraft once up in the air. The picture below highlights the difference, as on the far right is the screen pilots are used to seeing, on the far left is the new Honeywell technology.
Once back from the flight it was on to another interactive demonstration, featuring the new evacuation technology called ExitPoint. Using directional sound, the device is designed to help people evacuate a building, ship, or aircraft, by producing a broadband frequency sound that enables the human ear to pinpoint its source and locate the nearest exit. It”s especially handy when users aren”t able to see anything, as I discovered.
To convey the effectiveness of the product, visitors were led one-by-one into a synthetic-smoke filled room and told to feel their way to the exit. Having emerged 90 seconds later, a little flustered and disorientated, I was asked to repeat the exercise, only this time the ExitPoint alarm would be switched on. It took a mere 10 seconds to find the right door, even though the exit was not in the same place as before.
The demonstration highlighted the flaws in current alarm systems when visibility is poor. Unless you”ve had the misfortune to experience such an environment you would never have given it a thought. Without the ExitPoint I was relying entirely on sight alone to find the door, and bearing in mind I couldn”t see my hand in front of my face, fire exit signs were not much help.
”Once a fire alarm has alerted you to exit the building it ceases to provide a function,” explained Professor at Leeds University, Deborah Withington. ”This system enables you to find the nearest exit by following a sound which the human ear can naturally pinpoint when visibility is poor and you are disorientated.” When asked about the benefits of the system for the hard of hearing, Professor Withington explained that the frequency of the noise is such that unless you are completely deaf, you have a high chance of pinpointing the sound.
Also on display, and that I was more than happy to test-drive, were various cars with turbo technology developed by Honeywell. From a 1.4l Toyota Yaris, to a 2.7l Jaguar XJ, the cars demonstrated the improved energy efficiency of a turbocharged engine, which in turn means lower emissions. The highlight of the display was the new Peugeot 407 with its parallel (rather than serial) sequential dual-stage turbo technology (pictured above). This means that two smaller sized turbos are used simultaneously at high rpm, but only one is used at lower power, enabling greater torque.
Honeywell made a great success of the day by allowing their visitors to experience their technology in action. Needless to say, hearing an explanation of the mechanics behind turbo-fuelled engines is far more interesting when followed by driving a Jaguar XJ down the M4.
Thumbnail and opening image: Honeywell corporate communications India director Meena Vaidyanathan, media relations director Bill Reavis, Sergio Cecutta, and crew interface products vice president Chad Cundiff
By Gina Cherry