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Honeywell launches new urban air mobility business unit

Honeywell has reaffirmed its commitment to the urban air mobility (UAM) market by launching a new business unit dedicated specifically to UAM and unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

Honeywell UAM concept
In addition to its focus on technology development, Honeywell’s new UAM/UAS business unit will serve as a single point of contact for innovative aircraft designers seeking to do business with the company. Honeywell Image

Honeywell has been actively targeting the eVTOL and UAM space for over a year, pitching a range of solutions that include compact flight control computers, lightweight radar systems, and electromechanical actuators optimized specifically for eVTOL applications. The company has announced collaborations with eVTOL developers including Pipistrel, Vertical Aerospace, Volocopter, and Jaunt Air Mobility. It has also teamed up with the Swiss artificial intelligence startup Daedalean to develop vision-based flight control solutions for eVTOL aircraft.

Honeywell said its new business unit will continue its “momentum and leadership in these emerging markets.” Equipped with its own engineering and sales resources, the business unit will develop new products and services tailored to UAM and UAS operations. It will also act as a systems integrator for other applicable Honeywell products and services, including avionics, electric and hybrid-electric propulsion systems, flight services such as unmanned air traffic management, and predictive aircraft maintenance analytics.

“Urban air mobility and unmanned aerial systems will play an increasing role in the future of aerospace, with potential applications in all-electric urban air taxi vehicles, hybrid-electric unmanned cargo drones, optionally piloted airplanes, delivery drones, and everything in between,” stated Mike Madsen, president and CEO of Honeywell Aerospace, in a press release. “Honeywell has already contributed many technological advancements to these markets, and is well positioned to continue growing our portfolio to meet customer needs and help shape the future of autonomous aviation and urban transport.”

The vice president and general manager of the new business unit is Stéphane Fymat, who added: “By forming this new organization, we will be able to harness the power of our engineering resources and know-how to transform urban air taxis, drone delivery of parcels, and all forms of autonomous flight from a future vision into an everyday reality.”

Honeywell also announced a new satellite communications system designed for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and powered by Inmarsat’s global satellite communications network. At just one kilogram (2.2 pounds), it is 90 percent lighter than Honeywell’s next smallest connectivity system and provides UAVs with global connectivity and real-time video streaming, the company said.

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