Posted on: 29 April 2015 by Ross McSweeny
Southwest Airlines has selected Honeywell Aerospace's full suite of cockpit technologies to provide its future fleet of Boeing 737 MAX and existing 737NG with enhanced navigation capabilities and prepare the carrier to meet future government-mandated flight safety regulations.
Southwest will be one of the first adopters of Honeywell’s Integrated Multi-Mode Receiver (IMMR), an all-digital navigation receiver that integrates multiple regulatory requirements into a single receiver. Honeywell says it reduces size and weight by up to 50% compared with current solutions.
The carrier will also implement Honeywell’s IntuVue RDR-4000 3-D Weather Radar, which the company says is the first and only automatic, commercial radar to accurately depict weather in the flight path of an aircraft; provide turbulence detection up to 60 nautical miles ahead; introduce predictive hail and lightning capability; and differentiate and display both on-path and off-path weather.
Other cockpit technologies to be integrated on Southwest aircraft include the Aspire satellite communications system, which has been designed to potentially replace high frequency radio communications in the future; Quantum Line Communication and Navigation Sensors, a range of communication and navigation radios including an upgraded radio altimeter featuring new digital processing technology and a new VHF data radio; and SmartTraffic, a traffic collision avoidance system which provides long-range surveillance capability, plus automatic dependent surveillance via ADS-B In functionality.
The use of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) provides an accurate and more complete assessment of an airplane's location to air traffic control and other airplanes, enhancing pilots' situational awareness, and will be included in upcoming NextGen regulations mandated by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
“As we add more international destinations to our flight schedule, our fleet will take to the skies with the most advanced communication, navigation, weather and cockpit technologies available,” remarked Craig Drew, VP flight operations, Southwest Airlines. “Our relationship with Honeywell confirms our commitment to the performance, productivity and reliability for which Southwest is known.”