Honeywell Aerospace has opened a system integration laboratory in Mexicali, Mexico to develop technologies for future commercial and business aircraft, including the next-generation narrowbodies that will replace the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737.

The $35 million facility is the first of its kind, says Bob Turner, vice-president advanced technology, and will focus initially on integrating auxiliary power unit, environmental control system and electrical power technologies for more-electric aircraft.

"We have to learn how to better integrate across systems. We need greater physical integration and we also need to work more tightly as a company as the OEMs outsource larger work packages," he says, adding that Mexicali "triangulates well" with Honeywell facilities developing the systems.

The Mexicali Research & Technology Center, employing more than 200 local engineers and technicians, will begin tests in December, initially of component technologies, but building to full "black-to-black" - start-up to shut-down - operations of fully integrated aircraft systems.

Source: Flight International