NBAA Convention News

First phase of Cockpit 1 unveiled

 - June 11, 2008, 6:22 AM

Universal Avionics has unveiled the first phase of its new synthetic-vision cockpit avionics suite, Cockpit 1, which features large flat-panel integrated displays (FPIDs), Super FMS flight management systems, TAWS, Vision 1 systems, UniLink, color LCD radio control units and an integrated electronic chart/checklist system.

Cockpit 1 components are designed for retrofit installations with direct interface to an existing autopilot and controller. They will also interface with existing weather radars, TCAS and other systems.

The FPIDs accept direct inputs from a variety of analog and digital sources without external symbol generators or complex switching arrays. They also support VGA video for the display of Universal Avionics TAWS and Vision 1 systems. The 8.9-in. diagonal image 890R model can be installed in two- through six-display configurations. Smaller displays (6.4-, 6.- and 5.5-in.) are also available for specific aircraft and cockpit panel EADI/EHSI requirements.

A Universal spokesman said the glareshield control unit (GCU) represents the industry’s first entry into tactical, head-up FMS operations and, in the future, will become the control/display interface for controller-pilot datalink communications (CPDLC).

Universal said its new radio control unit presents all VHF radio and transponder frequencies and codes on the top-level page. A Super FMS interface will supply “suggested” frequencies based on aircraft position and flight plan status. A single keystroke activates both the emergency frequency (121.5 MHz) and the emergency transponder code. A new data transfer unit uses an Ethernet communication port for loading the navigation database currently supplied on a single zip disk.

The Vision 1 synthetic-vision system integrates a dynamic 3-D terrain image with the pilot’s primary flight instruments. It replaces the blue/brown ball and the black background with a computer-generated terrain view in the direction of the aircraft heading. The pilot-selectable image automatically reverts to the standard EADI background if discrepancy between the terrain image and the common aircraft state data is detected. Vision 1 sends a full screen “exocentric” situational-awareness-enhancing image to the MFD from the perspective of a camera behind, above and to the right of the aircraft.

Universal’s TAWS (terrain awareness and warning system) has enhanced situational awareness by adding very-high-resolution predictive profiles and 3-D perspectives to the common map views of surrounding terrain. With flight plan and flight path intent information from the FMS, the pilot gains “look ahead” capabilities to further reduce CFIT potential.

The UniLink communications management unit provides an air-to-ground, two-way datalink via VHF radio, satcom or digital telephone.

The company’s enhanced universal cockpit display (UCD) is available with a new, smaller terminal with an 8.4-in. color touch-screen display for pilot access to aeronautical charts, checklists and video displays. One standard and two user-definable zoom levels are provided. Interfaced with Universal’s FMS, the UCD synchronizes chart access with the flight plan and displays current position on approach and airport charts.