Cessna selects Collins HGS for Columbus

 - June 2, 2008, 9:44 AM

Rockwell Collins announced that Cessna has selected its HGS-6000 head-up guidance system for the Citation Columbus, set to debut as the Wichita manufacturer’s first-ever HUD-equipped airplane when it enters service in 2014.

Part of the Columbus’s Pro Line Fusion flight deck, the LCD-based HUD eventually will integrate enhanced- and synthetic-vision views, giving pilots an unprecedented view of the world ahead of the airplane, even when flying in clouds or at night, according to Rockwell Collins. There was no word on when the technologies would make their debut in the Columbus, however. No business jet has yet been certified with SVS visuals displayed on the HUD.

HUD-based EVS has gained approval for use in a number of models. Part of the allure is an operational credit it offers of 100 extra feet of descent on a precision instrument approach. Pilots flying with EVS on the HUD in the U.S. are permitted to continue a straight-in approach below the published decision height as long as they can see the airport environment through the enhanced infrared view. They must be able to see the runway unaided at a height of 100 feet before touching down.

Cessna also announced an expanded entertainment offering for the Citation CJ4 with the addition of Rockwell Collins’s iPod docking station integrated in its Venue cabin-management system. Venue is Collins’s next generation, high-definition cabin-management system, set for installation on the first CJ4s when deliveries of the jet begin in 2010. “Cessna’s decision to add the iPod docking solution as an option to the Venue cabin system opens up a whole new world of entertainment options for CJ4 passengers,” said Mike Tiffany, director of business jet product lines for Rockwell Collins.

The Venue system’s programmable switch panels let passengers access and control their iPods from their seats. The iPod’s library of music, podcasts and video content can be accessed and controlled using the switch panel, with media playback information shown on an OLED screen. Venue is part of Apple’s “Made for iPod” program, allowing the system to be called an “authorized” accessory.