Commercial

Honeywell to Supply Avionics on Pipistrel VTOL

By Woodrow Bellamy III | January 25, 2019
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Pipistrel eVTOL Concept

Under a new memorandum of understanding, Honeywell Aerospace will supply flight control systems and connectivity for a future Pipistrel vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft.

Pipistrel is one of Uber’s air taxi vehicle development partners and wants to lean on Honeywell’s experience supplying avionics systems for commercial and military platforms for the cockpit of its future VTOL aircraft. The Slovenian light aircraft manufacturer has design, production and maintenance organization approval from EASA, giving it the ability to bring new aircraft designs from idea to a certified design.

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“This is the beginning of a long-term relationship to collectively pursue the future of urban air mobility,” Ivo Boscarol, founder and president of Pipistrel, said.

Honeywell is the latest avionics manufacturer selected by an airframe manufacturer such as Pipistrel to supply urban air mobility avionics. Bell, which unveiled its Nexus air taxi at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, is using flight control computers, actuation systems and vehicle management computer technology from Garmin, Moog and Thales.

Pipistrel eVTOL Concept

Carl Esposito, president of electronic solutions for Honeywell, wants to help Pipistrel navigate the path to certification facing future VTOL air taxi designs. One focus for Honeywell as its transitions into supplying avionics for air taxis is to incorporate detect-and-avoid technology to enable autonomous urban air mobility operations.

“Companies looking to make breakthroughs in urban air mobility face a wide range of technical, safety, certification and business challenges that come with developing a new mode of travel in an already very dense air traffic environment. An understanding of the aerospace complexities and legacy of innovative technologies can make all the difference in addressing this emerging market,” he said.

Both companies expect to start using Honeywell flight controls and avionics systems to support initial phases of a demonstration program in early 2019. Pipistrel also plans to announce flight demonstrations for its air taxi prototype in early 2019.

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