BAE Systems intros Q-HUD for light jets

 - October 31, 2008, 6:48 AM

BAE Systems is aiming a new compact and lightweight head-up display, called Q-HUD, at a wide market that includes light and midsize business jets. BAE claims that the new HUD, introduced at last month’s NBAA Convention, will be 50 percent lighter, significantly less costly and more reliable than conventional HUDs, while also generating less heat and providing pilots with more headroom.

BAE is hoping to have the new system certified by 2010 and is currently soliciting a launch customer.

Q-HUD uses holographic wave guide technology that injects the light image into the display glass, eliminating the need for a projection-lens configuration. It also makes use of optics pioneered on the company’s helmet-mounted Q-Sight displays developed for the military.

The design of the Q-HUD’s optics allows for a significantly larger field of pilot head movement while viewing the HUD, BAE Systems says. The system will also display synthetic-vision imagery and terrain data. BAE said Q-HUD will be more reliable than traditional systems, with a mean time between failure rate of 20,000 hours.

“What we have with Q-HUD is the ability to access those smaller business and regional jets,” said Paul Childs, BAE Systems business development manager for electronics, intelligence and support. “Traditional HUD units are quite deep. This unit has a much smaller profile.”

BAE says the Q-HUD display of navigation and flight symbology will enable takeoffs at 300-foot runway visual range. The system provides approach guidance and deceleration cues for added safety at non-ILS runways, making overrun landings less likely. It is designed to accept enhanced- or synthetic-vision interfaces.

Childs said he thinks the market for Q-HUD is new aircraft priced at $5 million and up. “That is a good figure to use,” he said. “From an envelope and a price perspective, that is a number we want to do. A lot of it is just sitting with the OEM, getting their Catia data and showing them how we can repackage Q-HUD in a smaller package. Bombardier, Dassault and Embraer already have it [HUD] on their midsize and above aircraft. They’d love to get it on their smaller jets as well.”