“If there’s a theme to our presence at this year’s show, it is to display the merger of consumer technology with the flight deck, cabin and flight operations that our customers expect. We’re delivering on that expectation,” said Collin Mahoney, vice president of sales and marketing for commercial systems at Rockwell Collins.
Here at the convention Rockwell Collins unveiled its Skybox system, which wirelessly delivers Hollywood-protected content to personal Apple devices in the cabin, taking full advantage of onboard Apple iTunes libraries to share movies, TV shows and music. Dassault Falcon will be the first manufacturer to offer Skybox on Falcons equipped with FalconCabin HD+, which currently include the Falcon 7X, Falcon 900LX and Falcon 2000LX.
Although head-up guidance (HGS) capability has been around for nearly two decades, many pilots have never seen the Rockwell Collins head-up display (HUD) system up close, much less flown with it. In keeping with Rockwell Collins’s desire to make NBAA’12 an Apple-based experience, it released the HGS Flight iPad app to familiarize pilots with HUD flying. The application–available at no cost from the iTunes Store–offers pilots of all experience levels a chance to experience flying with HGS and contains a number of tutorials on terms and symbology and how HGS operates.
The HGS Flight app is diabolically addictive and helps wanna-be HUD pilots learn HUD symbology and also about Rockwell Collins HGS products. Experienced HUD pilots might find it challenging, too. The app starts beginners with a simple flight path marker and guidance cue (put the cue “donut” in the flight path marker “hole”) and progresses by adding more HUD symbology, plus a throttle control. Users can progress to new levels of difficulty by successfully landing the iPad airplane, and also choose varying weather and wind levels and day or night.
Point and View
With a simple Rockwell Collins system upgrade, Airshow 4000 customers will now be able to use a new iPad app that offers passengers a panoramic view of the outside world from any direction the iPad is held, as if the aircraft were transparent. Point the iPad down during the day and what is passing beneath the aircraft appears as if the floor were made of glass. Hold it up at night and the iPad will display the stars as they appear outside the cabin. The controls for the Rockwell Collins version of Airshow are, of course, all touchscreen. Ascend, the Rockwell Collins integration of its flight planning and scheduling software, as well as wireless streaming of content updates to an aircraft information manager, is also now available in an iPad version.
The non-iPad-centric news here is the award of FAA certification for Rockwell Collins’s head-up guidance with enhanced flight vision system (EFVS) on the Bombardier Challenger 605, an add-on that allows the suitably qualified crew of the aircraft to continue an approach to landing with minimums as low as 100 feet.