Flight planning assistance is one feature of Honeywell’s avionics platform
I’m not one to go weak in the knees when I see a pretty airplane or a cool paint job, but I may have to make an exception for the new Honeywell Anthem avionics platform. It is most definitely drool-worthy. It is loaded with flight planning and flight flying functionality and fancy tech like 2D and 3D taxi assist and aviation weather apps, but you must see the flight deck; it’s gorgeous, clean, and uncomplicated. Gone are the days of the airplanes with a tangled mess of dials, switches, gauges, buttons, lights, and levers (I’m looking at you, DC-9 and 727 and BAC-111). The Honeywell Anthem takes about a nanosecond to make you forget about all that old stuff and appreciate its futuristic simplicity!
The Anthem is Honeywell’s answer to the Garmin avionics platforms. The thought process is to create a universal avionics system to introduce to student pilots at the beginning of their flight training. Then as the pilot gains more experience, they will continue to see the Anthem as they graduate to larger and more complex aircraft. Honeywell has nothing like that currently exists, although Garmin has accomplished this with its G1000, 2000, and 3000 line.
I wonder if new student pilots know how lucky they are when they start their training in modern aircraft with advanced avionics right from the start. They’ll never know the pain of VORs, NDBs, dead reckoning, and archaic navigation. Instead, their entire pilot career will be the magenta line and the “Direct To” button on their fancy panels. Good for them and good for the safety of aviation.
Situational awareness and flight planning shouldn’t be an issue anymore, both in the air and on the ground. The Anthem offers complete taxi guidance, displaying the entire taxi route on the synthetic vision system. Crossing runways are clearly shown with a virtual symbol that looks like a 3D gate, preventing you from entering the active runway. The display also shows where the aircraft should stop given the current conditions during a rejected takeoff, even if the stopping point is off the end of the runway.
Anthem even allows for connectivity during flight. Pilots can share data via the internet and run a secure cockpit browser to access some of their favorite software apps while in the air and connected to the internet. Instead of creating apps, Honeywell allows popular apps to be used within the Anthem platform; pilots can continue to use the apps they are already using and are comfortable with. For example, if you are looking for the latest aviation weather, you can run Foreflight, Windy, Universal weather, NOAA weather, or even the FAA weather camera feeds.
It’s incredible to think of the technological changes that have occurred since I first began my flying career, and I’m curious to see what we’re going to be flying in the years ahead. But, most of all, I hope I get to fly an airplane equipped with the Honeywell Anthem before I retire – that thing is sweet!