UK-based Hill Helicopters this week unveiled the “Hill Digital Cockpit” (HDC) that monitors its HX50 turbine single. HDC provides the pilot with information as it is needed, including smart annunciations that suggest appropriate actions, and thus allows the primary flight information display to remain uncluttered.
Key features include a central location to attach an iPad for additional navigation; call card pop-ups to assist with radio calls; synthetic vision; traffic alerting; integrated forward-, rearward-, and downward-facing cameras; cloud-based flight data and video recording; and connectivity to cellular phones and music and content streaming devices. HDC was designed in collaboration with Rightware and implemented with Kanzi software, a graphics technology used in the automotive industry for advanced visualization.
The digital flight deck connects with the Hill Cloud and Hill app services to actively manage the aircraft, maintenance, flight ops, licensing, ongoing training, and currency. It is integrated with Hill’s haptic control system that provides shaped force feedback through the flight controls, which provides envelope protection for vortex ring, Vne, and rotor speed limits through the cyclic control.
“We designed HX50 to simplify flight and give aspiring pilots the confidence they can fly,” said Hill Helicopters president and CEO Jason Hill. He added that HDC “boosts safety by intelligently managing the information flow, which minimizes pilot workload and cognitive demand in all phases of flight.”