In a busy week for aircraft data developments, Honeywell has revealed that its latest analytics platform: Honeywell Forge for Airlines.
The OEM, whose commercial aerospace activities focus on avionics and APUs, already offered its GoDirect data products for maintenance and flight planning, but Forge will incorporate those functions as well as adding new ones.
"Many airlines attempt to analyze disparate data sources to try to create value, but what we aim to do is to put the right data in front of decision-makers so that the savings present themselves clearly. Airlines don't have to go hunting for efficiencies," said Ben Driggs, president, Honeywell Connected Enterprise, aerospace.
The timing of the Honeywell’s announcement is apt – coming days after United Technologies announced a merger with Raytheon, one of the benefits of which is expected to be improved data analytics capabilities on similar fronts that Honeywell is pursuing.
In their merger statement, the two companies made little mention of how the deal would affect UTC’s extensive aftermarket activities, but did identify several areas of “joint advancement” in the commercial sphere. These included analytics and artificial intelligence and connected aerospace both areas where Honeywell is active.
Part of a family of analytics products developed for Honeywell’s other business lines, Honeywell Forge for Airlines draws data from aircraft, airport, government and Honeywell sources.
Its functions include predictive maintenance; flight planning based on a variety of real-time conditions; and flight efficiency solutions.
Still unclear, though, is what happens at the overlap between Honeywell and other OEM analytics. This week Airbus announced United as a major new customer for its Skywise product, but will United and other airlines want the predictive maintenance functions of Forge if they have Skywise (or other OEM products) already, or will they sign up to multiple platforms for the relative strengths of each?
"Airlines want an easy solution to analyze and manage their costs in one place, and Honeywell is providing it through unlocking their data to create what is essentially their own profit calculator," said John Peterson, vice-president and general manager, software and services at Honeywell.