Honeywell has released a high-efficiency mode upgrade for its 131-9A auxiliary power unit for single-aisle Airbus aircraft.
This high-efficiency mode, which is enabled by a software encryption key, is expected to increase the average time-on-wing by 1,200 flight hours and reduce fuel burn by 2 per cent.
An auxiliary power unit (APU) is a piece of aircraft equipment that provides electrical power and air conditioning while the plane is on the ground to ensure increased passenger comfort, and supplies the air source when a pilot is ready to start the main engines.
The company says that the 131-9A is known for its reliability and lower maintenance costs over the course of its entire life cycle, resulting in significant fuel savings each year.
Honeywell Aerospace’s vice-president of engines and power systems, David Shilliday, said: “Now, more than ever, our airline customers are concerned with cost savings and operational efficiency. This upgrade is an easy, one-time modification enabled with software and will be available first for our Maintenance Service Plan customers, and later for all operators of 131-9A units.”
“This new upgrade enables extended usage and better efficiency for our customers’ 131-9A auxiliary power units to help control costs now and in the future.”
The upgrade is intended for any aircraft operating a 131-9A APU, including Airbus A319, A320 and A321 models.
Customers enrolled in Honeywell’s Maintenance Service Plan will have access to the upgrade for no additional cost beginning in late October 2020. It will be available to other operators with 131-9A APUs beginning in January 2021. For all aircraft, this upgrade can be installed during any regularly scheduled maintenance event and does not require additional downtime to implement.