Under a long-term partnership agreement, StandardAero will work with Thales to certify installations of the French avionics manufacturer’s TopMax wearable head-up display (HUD) in business aircraft.
The agreement calls for StandardAero to use its organization designation authorization (ODA) capabilities to obtain supplemental type certificates (STCs) to install TopMax in business aircraft. Several STCs are underway, according to StandardAero, and installation downtime is minimal because the hardware is primarily worn by the pilot.
The TopMax HUD determines its location and where the pilot is looking by sensing the location of small reflective stickers mounted above the pilot. TopMax is equipped with an infrared sensor that can spot the location of the stickers and hence the precise orientation of the HUD.
The benefits of wearable HUDs are lower cost, shorter installation time, reduced weight, and nearly unlimited field-of-view because the pilot isn’t forced to look straight ahead through a fixed combiner glass. The TopMax’s combiner is worn by the pilot, who can look in any direction and virtually “see” symbology wherever he or she is looking. Wearable HUDs can be installed in many more aircraft types, including those that are too small for a traditional HUD.
TopMax also offers full-color symbology and can display off-axis symbology such as crosswind, synthetic runway, extended navigational centerline, 3D traffic, 3D waypoints and trajectory, flight path director, and combined vision system, where enhanced and synthetic vision imagery is overlaid.
For aircraft operators, TopMax will enable manual eyes-out CAT II landing, ILS special authorization CAT I, low visibility for takeoff, and enhanced flight vision system capabilities, according to Thales. “The system will offer identical operational benefits for both takeoff and landing as current head-up displays, along with numerous other operational capabilities,” said Michel Grenier, Thales head of avionics in North America.
Once the STCs are approved, StandardAero will offer TopMax installations at its facilities.