G500
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Honeywell Developing A Ground Autopilot System

Tue Jul 24, 2012 12:53 am

According to the WSJ, Honeywell is engeenering an autopilot system that would guide the aircraft on the tarmac-taxiways as well as flight. The system is long ways off but Honeywell sounds very optimstic about it.

The article on the wsj.com
 
Tangowhisky
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RE: Honeywell Developing A Ground Autopilot System

Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:26 am

This could be very useful during poor weather landings and ramp operations in such conditions. I am sure they will find a way allowing safe negotiations between aircraft.
Only the paranoid survive
 
strfyr51
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RE: Honeywell Developing A Ground Autopilot System

Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:37 am

That's always been a part of the autoland system architecture .
Were there an electronic path with ground sensors to follow, a CAT3 Airplane would take itself to it's gate and park,
But the ground equipment investment to do that with a Ground Traffic control system built in to activate the brakes and throttle up to get the airplane moving again after it stops??
I doubt will EVER see the light of day. EVER!!
Couldn't you see an airplane taking instructions from ground control? United 123 take Charlie to Yankee, hold short of the outer to let company pass then take the outer to 19R and hold short as youre third in line behind Southwest and American.
It could happen, I doubt it though because of the complexity of the tasks.. It's good thought I admit.
 
G500
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RE: Honeywell Developing A Ground Autopilot System

Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:15 am

I still don't know how to feel about it. i think there is such a thing as too much automation.

If you have to rely on the autopilot for taxi due to poor visibility, should you be flying?

on the other hand, this could decrease runway incursions during fair weather
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Honeywell Developing A Ground Autopilot System

Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:51 pm

Quoting g500 (Reply 3):
If you have to rely on the autopilot for taxi due to poor visibility, should you be flying?

Today you're allowed to fly in zero/zero weather...(on autopilot or not). Why should it be *more* restrictive to operate on the ground? The worst thing that can happen on the ground is you stop where you are and sort out what's going on.

Tom.
 
goboeing
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RE: Honeywell Developing A Ground Autopilot System

Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:19 pm

Ha!

The latest software update to the Honeywell FMS in my plane is filled with bugs and errors.

Good luck to them!

Seriously, this stuff is very far away.

In the last 40 years, we're still cruising around at M.80 and at the same altitudes. More efficient engines and wings yield more range along with bigger gas tanks but other than consolidating the flight engineer into the captain and first officer, very little progress appears to have been made.

Lots and lots of improvements but very little real innovation, the way I see it.
 
strfyr51
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RE: Honeywell Developing A Ground Autopilot System

Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:19 pm

Many Airports have ground mapping radar, How hard is it to targer flights when you already KNOW the transponder code??
Obscured weatehr on the ground is only a problem for airplanes like the 747 where the capt' Can't see the ground in front of him.
But that could be settled with ground radar for taxi spacing as long as ALL the airlines adopt a STRICT taxi speed for ground operations.
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Honeywell Developing A Ground Autopilot System

Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:58 pm

Quoting GoBoeing (Reply 5):
In the last 40 years, we're still cruising around at M.80 and at the same altitudes.

Translation: the laws of physics haven't changed in the last 40 years.

Quoting GoBoeing (Reply 5):
More efficient engines and wings yield more range along with bigger gas tanks but other than consolidating the flight engineer into the captain and first officer, very little progress appears to have been made.

*Huge* material advances (powder metallurgy, single-crystal, plastic composites). *Huge* safety advances (TCAS, EGPWS, envelope protection, FBW, ETOPS). *Huge* avionics advances (AFDX, integrated avionics, software fixes for physical problems). Doubly huge safety improvement (order of magnitude reduction in accidents despite order of magnitude increase in flights).

Quoting GoBoeing (Reply 5):
Lots and lots of improvements but very little real innovation, the way I see it.

Tons of innovation; it's just not in configuration so it's not immediately visible to passengers.

Tom.
 
PPVRA
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RE: Honeywell Developing A Ground Autopilot System

Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:05 pm

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 2):

I don't know about retroffiting, but it's not like there aren't ground vehicles out there that are entirely autonomous. . .
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Honeywell Developing A Ground Autopilot System

Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:29 am

Depends on how the selection control will shift......Who has the master switch in this case.If The ground station can overide,it can be a safety hazard if misused or taken over.If the Aircraft needs to hand over control to ground then someone should be able to do so in the Aircraft.
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
redflyer
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RE: Honeywell Developing A Ground Autopilot System

Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:21 pm

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 2):
I doubt will EVER see the light of day. EVER!!

I imagine the engineer on a steam locomotive back in the turn of the last century would have spoken those very words if told that one day there might be engineer-less trains moving people around.

I'm just sayin'...

 
My other home is in the sky inside my Piper Cherokee 180.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Honeywell Developing A Ground Autopilot System

Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:42 am

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 4):
Quoting g500 (Reply 3):
If you have to rely on the autopilot for taxi due to poor visibility, should you be flying?

Today you're allowed to fly in zero/zero weather...(on autopilot or not). Why should it be *more* restrictive to operate on the ground? The worst thing that can happen on the ground is you stop where you are and sort out what's going on.

Tom.

Then they´ll have to put a similar system into each and every vehicle moving on an airport. On some airports you can even move by bicycle (HHN comes to mind, where OPS regularly use bikes to go to the planes). Ok, normally aircraft (selfpowered or being towed) have right of way, the next in priority would be emergency vehicles on call, followed by everybody else. But just imagine the chaos. I´ve seen aircraft being forced to a full sop by a dozy van driver.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
flipdewaf
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RE: Honeywell Developing A Ground Autopilot System

Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:07 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qz4NcTnQedo

EEEEEEAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fred
Image
 
bond007
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RE: Honeywell Developing A Ground Autopilot System

Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:34 pm

Quoting redflyer (Reply 10):
I imagine the engineer on a steam locomotive back in the turn of the last century would have spoken those very words if told that one day there might be engineer-less trains moving people around.

... and even driver-less trains!

Quoting g500 (Reply 3):
I still don't know how to feel about it. i think there is such a thing as too much automation.

Interesting that folks think this is more scary than FBW, autopilots, and a CATIII autoland!

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 2):
Couldn't you see an airplane taking instructions from ground control? United 123 take Charlie to Yankee, hold short of the outer to let company pass then take the outer to 19R and hold short as youre third in line behind Southwest and American.

No, I couldn't, because that's what they say to human pilots not computer systems. A simple data-link would work quite nicely.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 2):
It could happen, I doubt it though because of the complexity of the tasks

Just the things computers like and are very good at doing. If Google can make autonomous cars ....

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 2):
But the ground equipment investment to do that with a Ground Traffic control system built in to activate the brakes and throttle up to get the airplane moving again after it stops??

We're not talking pilotless aircraft ... not in this thread anyway!

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
buckfifty
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RE: Honeywell Developing A Ground Autopilot System

Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:50 am

I think EFB with a moving airport map display will be a simpler and less complex solution than what all this entails. Most pilots get into trouble in low vis situations not because they don't know how to taxi, but because they don't know where they are. Having EFB's on every aircraft will reduce the stress in LVO ops, and perhaps prevent a few readback mistakes too.
 
tdscanuck
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RE: Honeywell Developing A Ground Autopilot System

Sat Jul 28, 2012 3:16 am

Quoting buckfifty (Reply 14):

I think EFB with a moving airport map display will be a simpler and less complex solution than what all this entails.

You don't even need an EFB...Boeing has (and I think Airbus has) integrated airport moving map with own-ship position display into the ND.

Tom.
 
buckfifty
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RE: Honeywell Developing A Ground Autopilot System

Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:47 am

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 15):

You don't even need an EFB...Boeing has (and I think Airbus has) integrated airport moving map with own-ship position display into the ND.

That is nice to know, I have heard of the A350's coming with such a system as standard. But I am not sure about the cost or even the engineering required to retrofit such a system back into older frames (Airbus and their optional extras), but I do know that certain EFB systems can be implemented into any aircraft without much hassle. Well, I am no engineer, I imagine the term 'hassle' to be quite relative.
 
bueb0g
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RE: Honeywell Developing A Ground Autopilot System

Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:25 am

Quoting redflyer (Reply 10):
I imagine the engineer on a steam locomotive back in the turn of the last century would have spoken those very words if told that one day there might be engineer-less trains moving people around.

I'm just sayin'...
Quoting bond007 (Reply 13):
... and even driver-less trains!

That's what he meant.

Quoting bond007 (Reply 13):
Interesting that folks think this is more scary than FBW, autopilots, and a CATIII autoland!


Well FBW is just replacing mechanical control inputs with electronic ones, and a CATIII autoland makes sense because once a plane's in the air, it has to be able to land. Although it's nice to be able to taxi, it doesn't have to. That's a major reason we haven't seen auto-takeoff on commercial airliners; if the weather is bad enough for that, you don't go - you never *have* to take off.

Quoting bond007 (Reply 13):
No, I couldn't, because that's what they say to human pilots not computer systems. A simple data-link would work quite nicely.

The input would still be going through the pilots.

But still, I'm not sure about the economics on this. How often does a plane land in CATIII conditions and is then grounded because it's unable to taxi? How much money is lost by this? Probably very little. The cost of development and implementation of this technology probably outweighs any savings it makes, and with the incursion alert systems that are currently being deployed, the safety benefit is negligible too.

Never say never, but it does seem a shaky case.
Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
 
sweair
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RE: Honeywell Developing A Ground Autopilot System

Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:54 am

Would a EM launcher work for airliners, like the new catapults being developed for carriers, say you could have 50% of the energy needed at takeoff from a sort of catapult device in the ground. Also could you have these EM tugs pulling airframes to and from the gate out to the runway?
 
bond007
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RE: Honeywell Developing A Ground Autopilot System

Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:19 pm

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 17):
Well FBW is just replacing mechanical control inputs with electronic ones

Yes, and I should have said "and associated systems". My point was the technology required for automatic taxiing is far less complex than that already implemented in other aircraft/aviation systems.

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 17):
and a CATIII autoland makes sense

Again, I wasn't arguing the usefulness, rather the technology... and ILS technology is many decades old.

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 17):
if the weather is bad enough for that, you don't go

As already mentioned, takeoff is not the real issue, it's the taxiing.

Actually, this system is as much for use in good visibility as bad. One of the reasons for implementing such a system is to direct aircraft to the correct runway via the correct route, and reduce the number of runway incursions.

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 17):
The input would still be going through the pilots.

Not sure what you mean by that. It would be via a datalink directly from ATC to the aircraft (similar to PDC). Sure, the pilots would obviously see the information, but they wouldn't be inputting the taxi instructions manually. In fact the D-TAXI message service is already defined AFAIK.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 2):
But the ground equipment investment to do that with a Ground Traffic control system built in to activate the brakes and throttle up to get the airplane moving again after it stops??

The idea of this system is that it will also used with electric drives on the landing gear.

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
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Faro
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RE: Honeywell Developing A Ground Autopilot System

Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:59 pm

FWIW, got a grand total of 0 posts on this thread, lol:

Fully Automated Taxiing (by faro Feb 28 2010 in Tech Ops)


Faro
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