Rockwell Collins (Stand 436) has completed flight trials and is “on course” to receive operational credit approval for synthetic vision on a head-up display (HUD) next year, according to Greg Irmen, vice president and general manager business aviation for the U.S. avionics manufacturer. “We are moving very fast in working with industry partners [aircraft manufacturers] to get operational credit,” he said.
The expectation is that initial approval will be for any runway equipped with an ILS, with credit allowing pilots to fly the approach down to lower minimums using synthetic vision on the HUD without visual references. “I think we’ll have this in service by next year,” said Irmen.
The first applications of the Pro Line Fusion flight deck are in service on the Bombardier Global 5000 and 6000 long-range jets, and adding synthetic vision will be a significant step forward. Pro Line Fusion is the first certified application of synthetic vision on a head-up display, and will be incorporated into Rockwell Collins’s head-up guidance system.
Pro Line Fusion has also been selected for other business aircraft types, including the Bombardier’s Learjet 85, Global 7000/8000; Embraer’s Legacy 450/500; and Gulfstream’s new G280 (branded as PlaneView avionics). The G280 is scheduled for full certification this year, following provisional certification last year.
Next, Rockwell Collins plans to obtain a supplemental type certificate (STC) to retrofit Fusion to the Hawker Beechcraft King Air 250. This version of Fusion will feature the new touchscreen system, which is targeting turboprops and light jets where the pilot sits closer to the instrument panel than in a larger jet.
“The King Air will have our STC at the end of 2013,” said Irmen, “and will enter service in 2014.” Flight testing of the King Air Fusion system begins in the fourth quarter this year. Rockwell Collins has signed up an aircraft manufacturer for the touchscreen version of Pro Line Fusion, but isn’t yet at liberty to name the customer.
TCAS and FANS
For the European market, Rockwell Collins now has STCs from the European Aviation Safety Agency for transponders that meet the TCAS II Change 7.1 software upgrade. The TTR-4000 and TTR-921 transponders are fitted to about 50 aircraft types. Rockwell Collins also is ready to meet the LINK 2000+ data link mandate in Europe. “We want to make sure that our European customers are aware and have products to meet the mandates over the next couple of years,” Irmen said. “There’s plenty of time for customers to get upgraded.”
For the FANS/CPDLC mandate, coming soon over some North Atlantic tracks and then even more North Atlantic airspace, Rockwell Collins is offering a communications management unit (CMU) and radio interface unit for Pro Line 21 operators. EASA certification is on track for multiple aircraft platforms, according to Rockwell Collins. Pro Line Fusion already is FANS/CPDLC-capable (and thus automatically meets the LINK 2000+ mandate). The Pro Line 21 CMU will be available for new aircraft and retrofit installation.