Press Release

Honeywell's Synthetic Vision System Demonstrates Outstanding Performance on Black Hawk Helicopter

Synthetic Vision System Enhances Crew Situational Awareness And Reduces Pilot Workload to Help Avoid Helicopter Accidents

PHOENIX, March 11, 2009 – Honeywell (NYSE: HON) today announced successful flight demonstrations of its enhanced synthetic vision system and sensor fusion capabilities on the Black Hawk helicopter at the U.S. Army Aeroflightdynamics Directorate (AFDD), AMRDEC at Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.

“Taking-off and landing in desert terrain during brownout, when outside conditions and obstacles are completely obscured, can lead to accidents,” said Mike Cuff, Vice President, Honeywell Helicopter and Surface Systems. “Honeywell’s synthetic vision system enhances situational awareness and reduces the workload for pilots operating aircraft in degraded visual environments. The system is designed help ensure safer missions and mission success.”

The flight tests were conducted last month. Three flights were conducted with three different test pilots, and each flight accumulated nearly two hours of flight time. The tests included five approaches to three different landing zones, in a variety of terrain and obstacles. During each approach, the test pilot used the heads-down feature of the synthetic vision system to pick a safe landing point before moving to the next approach. Actual landings were not performed due to airfield and aircraft restrictions.

The installed equipment sustained no failures during the flight tests and earlier, during the 32 hour flight demonstration program.

Honeywell’s synthetic vision system and sensor fusion technology was selected by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. in 2007 to improve helicopter landings in brownout conditions, as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Sandblaster program. Under the terms of the $6.9 million, 18-month contract, Honeywell is designing, integrating, and demonstrating the avionics processor that hosts the synthetic vision and sensor fusion capabilities for the Black Hawk cockpit system.

The Honeywell system integrates radar-based sensor information with terrain and obstacle data. When combined with the synthetic vision, it provides a highly detailed three-dimensional graphic view of the landing environment on a primary flight display, regardless of outside conditions.

“The synthetic terrain display, overlaid with fused radar data and advanced symbology indicating current and predicted flight conditions, will help pilots land the aircraft without using outside visual reference points,” Cuff said. “Honeywell has been a leader for 50 years in developing advanced cockpit systems for helicopters and we continue to develop technologies that will make flying safer.”

This is accomplished with Honeywell’s industry-leading sensor fusion technology, which uses a radar sensor’s return to determine whether an area is occupied or not. The system also determines if the slope across the landing zone is within aircraft limits. This is combined with the virtual 3D model terrain and obstacle database and the aircraft position to ensure correct alignment to an exact point on the earth to create a real-time situational awareness while accurately guiding pilots to a point on earth.

Honeywell also produces the Integrated Primary Flight Display synthetic vision system that currently is on multiple business and corporate aircraft platforms.

Honeywell International is a $37 billion diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; automotive products; turbochargers; and specialty materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell’s shares are traded on the New York, London and Chicago Stock Exchanges. For additional information, please visit

Based in Phoenix, Honeywell’s $12 billion aerospace business is a leading global provider of integrated avionics, engines, systems and service solutions for aircraft manufacturers, airlines, business and general aviation, military, space and airport operations.

This release contains forward-looking statements as defined in Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including statements about future business operations, financial performance and market conditions. Such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties inherent in business forecasts as further described in our filings under the Securities Exchange Act.

Media Contact:
Bill Reavis


Media Relations Contact

Bill Reavis