Honeywell Aerospace Celebrates 100 Years of Aviation Innovation

Honeywell Aerospace Celebrates 100 Years of Aviation Innovation

18-Jun-2014 Source: Honeywell

Honeywell (NYSE: HON) marked 100 years of innovation and leadership in the aerospace and oil and gas industries as Honeywell Chairman and CEO Dave Cote led other company executives in ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. The bell ringing recognized the centennials of Honeywell Aerospace, a pioneer in aviation, and Honeywell’s UOP, which created the basis for the modern refining industry.

Honeywell Aerospace traces its legacy of innovation to June 18, 1914, when Lawrence Sperry did a “wing walk” with no one at the controls of his airplane to demonstrate the first aircraft stabilizer, which became known as the autopilot. Today, Honeywell has one of the largest aerospace products and services portfolios in the industry, having invented hundreds of technologies that have led to safer skies, space exploration and stronger military offerings. Honeywell offers thousands of products and services that can be found on virtually every commercial, defense and space aircraft worldwide.

UOP was founded in Chicago on June 17, 1914, to commercialize the first conversion technology for upgrading crude oil, resulting in a fourfold increase in the amount of gasoline that could be derived from crude oil. Now part of Honeywell’s Performance Materials and Technologies (PMT) business, UOP remains the recognized leader for providing process technology, catalysts, adsorbents, equipment and consulting services to the petroleum refining, petrochemical and gas processing industries.

Continuous Advancements in Oil and Gas Technology
UOP became a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell in 2005. Since then, UOP’s revenue has more than doubled as Honeywell has invested in its growth.
“UOP has been and continues to be a driving force of innovation for the global petroleum and natural gas industries,” said Rajeev Gautam, president and CEO of UOP. “Our partnership with the world’s oil and gas companies has led to the development and commercialization of the technologies that have enabled our modern way of living.”

During the past 100 years, UOP breakthroughs include technologies to more efficiently produce gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel, and to manufacture the chemical compounds that helped launch the modern petrochemicals industry, introducing the world to products made from plastic resins and films and synthetic fibers. UOP commercialized technologies to produce the first large-scale biodegradable detergents, produce lead-free gasoline and make possible the automobile catalytic converter. The world’s leading developer of technologies for the oil and gas industry, UOP has earned more than 12,000 patents.
UOP’s innovations continue today with process technologies to get more valuable products from every barrel of oil, to convert coal and natural gas into plastics, and to convert biofeedstocks such as algae into renewable fuels. The company also develops technologies to grow the availability of natural gas and treat it so it can be shipped around the world.

In 2003, UOP was recognized by President George W. Bush with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation for “sustained technical leadership and innovation for the petroleum refining and petrochemical industries; and for the invention and commercialization of adsorbents, catalysts, process plants, and process technology.”
Honeywell Aerospace Firsts

For more than a century, Honeywell Aerospace has helped write aviation history, with a major focus on flight safety. “I’m proud to be part of a company that has accomplished so much, including the invention of the autopilot 100 years ago. We are just getting started, and we will continue to provide innovative aviation solutions that make the possibilities of flight even safer, more efficient, more comfortable, more productive and higher performing,” said Tim Mahoney, president and CEO, Honeywell Aerospace. “With the rapid pace of technology evolution, such as our work on wireless connectivity, Honeywell will be at the forefront of incredible aviation innovation in the coming decades that outshines the amazing things we’ve done this past century.”

Together with its legacy companies and in addition to the first autopilot, other Honeywell Aerospace inventions include:
•    The first gyro horizon and directional gyro, invented in the 1920s, proved the practicality of instrument-only flight with advanced navigation.
•    In the 1940s, technology inventions led to the advent of cabin pressurization, which enabled higher-flying aircraft and space exploration.
•    The first gas turbine Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), invented in 1948, revolutionized commercial air travel to remote regions when it was first installed on the Boeing 727 in the 1960s, providing independent startup and backup power. The APU played a critical role in the emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in New York’s Hudson River, ensuring the safety of 155 passengers onboard.
•    The first Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) was invented in the 1970s and the Enhanced GPWS (EGPWS) in the 1990s have helped pilots avoid flying into unseen mountains and other terrain. The technologies have been credited with saving thousands of lives.
•    The first complete 3-D picture of airborne weather conditions, Honeywell’s IntuVue weather radar, was developed in 2008. The technology helps increase in-flight pilot awareness and safety, while enhancing passenger comfort, by avoiding poor weather conditions and turbulence.
Honeywell Aerospace continues to invest in research and technology and is committed to bringing to the industry the latest solutions in safety, connectivity, energy efficiency, air traffic management and more.

Honeywell ( is a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; turbochargers; and performance materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell’s shares are traded on the New York, London, and Chicago Stock Exchanges. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit
Honeywell and the Honeywell logo are the exclusive properties of Honeywell, are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and may be registered or pending registration in other countries. All other Honeywell product names, technology names, trademarks, service marks, and logos may be registered or pending registration in the U.S. or in other countries. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Copyright 2014 Honeywell.

Honeywell Aerospace: Celebrating 100 Years in Aviation Innovation

With the first ever Auto Pilot demonstration by Lawrence Sperry in June 2014, , Honeywell Aerospace and its legacy companies, including Sperry, Bendix, Garrett AiResearch, Pioneer, Lycoming, Grimes, King, AlliedSignal, and EMS Technologies, have been at the forefront of both military and civilian aviation advancement for 100 years. We are proud to share a lineage with many of the greatest names in aviation history.


Honeywell legacy company Sperry developed the first “airplane stabilizer,” changing flying forever and giving birth to the science of controlled flight. Developed by inventive genius Elmer Sperry, the device was first demonstrated by Sperry’s son Lawrence during France’s Airplane Safety Contest in June 1914.
Simple by today’s standards, the gyroscopic airplane stabilizer foreshadowed hundreds of Honeywell innovations that have contributed to the mission-effectiveness of military aircraft and spacecraft, and made flying in a commercial airplane the safest, most efficient form of transportation the world has ever known.


The Roaring 20s were a glamorous age for aviation and Honeywell legacy companies played critical roles in two of the biggest achievements of the decade: Charles Lindbergh’s historic solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927 and Jimmy Doolittle’s first instruments only “blind flight” in 1929.
Jimmy Doolittle flew the first successful all-blind flight from takeoff to landing using the Sperry Gyro Horizon and Sperry Directional Gyro. Doolittle took off in a dense fog under a hooded cockpit, with an unhooded safety pilot alongside him, in a Consolidated NY-2 biplane from Mitchell Field, Long Island, circled the field and landed without once seeing outside the airplane, proving the practicality of instruments-only flight.


The 1930s were a busy time for Honeywell legacy companies. Bendix started the Bendix Air Transcontinental Air Race in 1931; Sperry introduced the first aircraft artificial horizon; and AiResearch developed the first all-aluminum aircraft intercooler.
Developed by Sperry, an artificial horizon informs the pilot of the orientation of the aircraft relative to Earth’s horizon ─ a highly useful function in cloudy weather or at night. Instruments performing this same function are still installed in all aircraft, small and large, and have evolved to our modern electronic versions.


World War II was a catalyst for unprecedented advancements in the aviation industry. Honeywell Aerospace and its legacy companies played a pivotal role in advancements that improved the performance of military aircraft during the war and helped to set the stage for the boom in civil aviation that would follow.
Sperry tested the first automatic pilot and bombsite that became the standard for U.S. aircraft during World War II. Garrett AiResearch developed innovations that led to the advent of cabin pressurization, which enabled aircraft to fly at higher altitudes. And Honeywell developed the first electric fuel gauge, which improved accuracy and measured fuel in weight rather than volume.


In the decade following World War II, Honeywell Aerospace and its legacy companies were hitting on all cylinders with major technology and business achievements in commercial and military aviation. The companies were starting to develop technologies that would aid in the exploration and use of the final frontier: space.
The X-15, a rocket-powered aircraft operated by the Air Force and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was developed in the 1950s. Equipped with a Honeywell autopilot and other systems, the X-15 set speed and altitude records, reaching the edge of outer space and returning with valuable data used in aircraft and spacecraft design.


The 1960s rocketed Honeywell Aerospace and its legacy companies into the space race, and a wide range of technologies were developed to make human space flight possible. Honeywell teamed up with NASA and prime space contractors on the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs, including the mission that landed men on the moon by the end of the decade.
Of course, the 1960s also brought significant achievements in commercial air travel. Among them, the first gas turbine Auxiliary Power Unit for a commercial aircraft – the Series 85 – was invented and first installed in the Boeing 727; the first solid-state transceiver for two-way voice communications was introduced by King Radio; and digital avionics for commercial airliners came to market.


Garrett AiResearch entered the propulsion engine business with a flourish in the 1970s by introducing the landmark TFE731 – the first successful turbofan engine for business jets. The engine was first to give business jets transcontinental range, the first to use a geared turbofan engine and the first successful production propulsion engine of any size to rely on a full-authority analog electronic fuel control.
Don Bateman led a team of Garrett AiResearch engineers that developed the first Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) in the 1970s and the Enhanced GPWS (EGPWS) in the 1990s. For his efforts, Bateman was chosen for the National Inventors Hall of Fame in February 2005, joining an exclusive club that numbers fewer than 250 of history’s most prominent inventors, including aviation pioneer Elmer Sperry. The team’s innovations help prevent controlled flight into terrain and have been credited with saving thousands of lives.


Mergers were the order of the day in the 1980s as the essential elements of today’s Honeywell began to come together. Garrett AiResearch merged with Signal Oil & Gas to form Signal Companies, which later merged with Allied to become AlliedSignal in 1985. Meanwhile, Honeywell acquired Sperry Aerospace in 1986, becoming a world leader in airborne electronic systems overnight.
Honeywell Aerospace continued to contribute to the U.S. space program with several systems providing guidance, control and communications for the new Space Transportation System, better known as the Space Shuttle, which flew for the first time in 1981. Among other contributions, Honeywell developed the multiplexer-demultiplexer and dozens of components that were used to guide and control the engines, aero surfaces and steering mechanisms on the shuttle.


Flight safety advanced in the 1990s with the development of the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPS), a significant step forward from the original GPWS developed in the 1970s. The system was combined with a worldwide digital terrain database and relies on Global Positioning System (GPS) technology.
Global Positioning System (GPS) technology came into its own in the mid-1990s with the introduction by Honeywell of the first hybrid Global Positioning System/Inertial Reference System (GPS/IRS), which was designed to take advantage of the long-term stability of GPS and the short-term stability of the IRS. Honeywell also pioneered the use of Differential GPS as a landing aid, becoming the first company to certify a Satellite Landing System.


A new Honeywell Aerospace entered the new millennium with one of the aerospace industry’s broadest and strongest portfolios of technologies, systems, products and services and a reputation for developing innovative solutions that meet its customers’ needs.
Honeywell’s IntuVue, the first complete 3-D picture of airborne weather conditions, was developed in 2008. IntuVue introduced volumetric scanning techniques to search the sky from the ground to 60,000 feet, enter that information into a database and then provide a three-dimensional glimpse of the weather.

Connectivity became a Honeywell watchword in the 2000s as aircraft operators, flight crews and passengers demanded seamless, high-speed inflight communications. Honeywell Aerospace answered the call by acquiring EMS Technologies in 2011 and forming an agreement with Inmarsat in 2012 that made the company a leading force in the evolution toward the fully connected aircraft.

Now and the Future

Some of the most innovative and productive companies that the aerospace industry has ever produced have come together during the last century to form today’s Honeywell. Almost everything has changed since Lawrence Sperry’s historic 1914 flight, but one thing hasn’t: Honeywell Aerospace’s commitment to apply industry-leading technology to create solutions for our customers and make the world a better, safer, more productive, more efficient and more comfortable place.

, , ,

Copyright © 2024 HeliHub

Website by Design Inc

Helihub logo