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16 July 2008


Honeywell providing LEDs for Airbus wingtip navigation lighting

At this week’s Farnborough International Airshow in the UK, Honeywell International Inc of Morristown, NJ, USA announced that it has signed a contract with European firm Airbus worth more than $80m relating to the A320 family of aircraft to upgrade to LED technology the wingtip forward navigation lights (which provide recognition lighting in the air and situational awareness lighting on the ground).

The upgrade will be incorporated into the Airbus production line in March 2009 for all forward-fit A320 aircraft. Honeywell’s upgraded lighting technology will be available for retrofit for existing airline operators on A320 aircraft from April 2009. The drop-in replacement does not require any aircraft modification. The 30-year contract covers about 5000 forward-fit production and fielded aircraft in the A320 family, including the A318, A319, A320 and A321.

Honeywell says that its solid-state lighting has a lifetime more than 40 times longer than existing halogen technology - up to 20,000 hours before replacement compared to about 500 hours. This improved reliability can yield substantial savings in maintenance costs for airline operators (through fewer lamp changes, lower spares inventory and lower labor costs).

The wingtip lighting upgrade offers cost savings of up to $30,000 per year per aircraft, reckons Jeff Johnston, Honeywell’s VP of Platform Components. “The longer life of the LED, plus the ease of installation, keeps the aircraft out of the maintenance shop and in the air.”

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