Rockwell Collins v-p of sales and marketing for commercial systems Colin Mahoney took the floor yesterday during a media conference at NBAA 2011 in Las Vegas to emphasize “exponential growth in electronics technology” and Rockwell’s most recent steps to stay ahead of the power curve.
Among those steps is one aimed at bringing the capabilities of Pro Line Fusion avionics to turboprops and light jets. “Previously, advanced functionality such as synthetic vision on head-up displays and automated weather radar were available only for larger aircraft,” said Greg Irmen, v-p and general manage of business and regional systems. “Pro Line Fusion now brings these capabilities and more to the entire range of business aircraft–from turboprops to intercontinental business jets.”
Rockwell Collins also announced that its Pro Line Fusion integrated avionics displays are now available as a retrofit display option from Hawker Beechcraft’s Global Customer Support for Pro Line 21-equipped King Airs.
The Pro Line Fusion retrofit for the King Air features what Rockwell Collins claims is the industry’s first touchscreen flight displays, allowing gesture-based flight management to keep the pilot’s head up and eyes forward for greater situational awareness and enhanced safety throughout the flight.
Another new feature is “autonomous backup with one-touch emergency control.” According to Mahoney, it is the first-ever, one-touch emergency mode for business aircraft, affording disoriented pilots extra time to recover by putting the aircraft into a safe-altitude holding pattern with the push of a single button. It also provides guidance cues to the nearest airport during an engine-loss event.
The first application of Pro Line Fusion in the light business aircraft market should be certified by the end of 2013, and this system will be available for new aircraft and for retrofit in Part 23 jets and turboprops. Rockwell Collins will also offer its new lightweight HGS-3500 head-up guidance system for the light jet and turboprops market, once it is certified in 2014 or 15.
For its Venue cabin management system, Rockwell Collins announced a series of innovative features, including a family of intuitive, touchscreen, high-definition monitors and cabin controls, a touch-enabled version of its Airshow moving map and simultaneous audio/video on demand (AVOD).
Finally, Rockwell Collins’s new Ascend aircraft information manager (AIM) has now been certified. AIM gives operators of aircraft equipped with Pro Line 4 or Pro Line 21 avionics the ability to securely, automatically and wirelessly transfer data–including database updates and maintenance information–to and from the aircraft. The first installation was done by StandardAero and certified on a Falcon 50EX.
The hardware installation included the Rockwell Collins IMS-3500 information management server and DBU-5010E database unit. Through the Ascend service, these systems create a wireless link between the aircraft and ground stations around the world to automatically transfer information to and from the Ascend Data Center.
Taking it a bit further, Rockwell Collins has also unveiled a new mobile app and flight operations dashboard for Ascend. It allows operators global access to “the only complete, fully integrated information management solutions that seamlessly streamlines all aspects of flight operations, from preflight scheduling to flight planning to closeouts,” according to the company.
Rockwell Collins has examples of its latest technology here at NBAA, said Mahoney, and visitors are invited to “come and play” at the exhibit (Booth No. C9812).