|Virgin Atlantic A330 aircraft. Photo: Virgin Atlantic
[Avionics Today 06-15-2015] Virgin Atlantic Airways will be the first airline to install Honeywell Aerospace’s new flight management service aimed to help airlines increase efficiency and improve fuel conservation. The new Honeywell Flight Management System (FMS) datalink service will provide pilots with access to updated and customized wind and temperature information to better optimize the vertical profile of a flight and improve fuel predictions. Virgin Atlantic will implement the system on its long-haul Airbus A330 and A340 fleet.
The new service provides continuously updated wind and temperature data directly to the aircraft in-flight from Honeywell's Global Data Center (GDC) flight support service. Access to the latest forecast data for wind and temperature is especially effective on long flights where small changes in the forecasted wind or temperature can have a major impact on the optimization of altitude selection, top-of-descent point calculation and speed management, according to the company.
"The cost of fuel is one of the largest operating costs for our customers," said John Bolton, president of air transport and regional at Honeywell Aerospace. "Now we're evolving our flight management systems by offering a new service that will enable them to provide optimized flight-level recommendations to flight crews, which will give Virgin Atlantic pilots the tools they need to make in-flight decisions that will save time and greatly lower fuel consumption — two things that directly impact their bottom line."