26 October 2020, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
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%.
An auxiliary power unit (APU) is a critical 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 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.
“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,” said David Shilliday, vice president, Engines & Power Systems, Honeywell Aerospace. “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.
Honeywell’s first APU took to the skies in 1950, and the company has built more than 100,000 since then. More than 36,000 APUs, including both fixed wing and rotary wing, are in service today across more than 150 regional, executive, commercial and military applications.
In 2009, the Honeywell 131-9A APU on an Airbus A320 played a critical role in the emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in New York’s Hudson River, in which all 155 passengers and crew survived. Honeywell has shipped more than 15,000 131-9A APUs since introducing this model in 1995.
Source and photo: Honeywell