AgustaWestland signed agreements at the Farnborough airshow with three key suppliers–Pratt & Whitney Canada, Rockwell Collins and BAE Systems–for its AW609 civil tiltrotor program. These major agreements follow a trail of contracts signed with AW609 component suppliers since AgustaWestland acquired the tiltrotor program last November. The OEM expects to obtain FAA and EASA certification of the AW609 in the first half of 2016.
Synthetic vision system
Rockwell Collins (Hall 4 F9) continues to gain share in the air transport market, with a number of new regional jets featuring the company’s avionics, and Boeing’s 787 and the upcoming Airbus A350XWB also incorporating significant amounts of the company’s products.
The last Bombardier Global Express XRS was delivered in the first quarter, and so was the first of the Canadian manufacturer’s latest-generation long-range large-cabin jets, the Global 6000. The 6000 replaces the XRS, and the 5000 is a shorter version of the original Global Express with many improvements that were also incorporated on the Global 6000.
The new Cessna Citation Longitude and Learjet 70/75 will feature Garmin G5000-based flight decks. In the case of the Learjet 70/75, Bombardier has opted to adopt the Vision brand name for its flight deck (as it does with the avionics suites in the Global series, which feature Rockwell Collins Fusion-based cockpits).
Universal Avionics has begun deliveries of its UniLink UL-800/UL-801 communications management unit, which provides airborne datalink capability that meets upcoming mandates in European and North Atlantic airspace. The UL800/801 received FAA TSO approval in April, and Universal’s Tucson, Ariz., manufacturing facility is already producing the units to meet market demand.
Among avionics manufacturers, there are two philosophies at work, the so-called “head-up, head-down” debate. This has devolved into cockpits equipped with head-up displays (HUD) and those with traditional head-down displays (flat-panel LCD pilot flight and multifunction displays) and no HUD. Head-up means the pilot can continue looking out the windshield while viewing flight guidance information on the HUD, through touchdown. Head-down means viewing information on the instrument panel, then looking through the windshield during touchdown.
Saab Electronic Defense Systems is introducing Rigs, a lightweight, compact product for business aircraft and helicopters that can display navigation, attitude, flight, reticle and video information to the crew in a head-up display (HUD) presentation. Rigs conforms to European TSO requirements applicable to HUDs for transport aircraft, as well as night-vision-goggle requirements. It can be used simultaneously with NVG and the information can be presented in either red or green, depending on the flight application.
The benefits of synthetic vision are available for operators of the Pilatus PC-12 NG. The Honeywell Primus Apex flight deck in the PC-12 NG is designed for single-engine turboprops through light jets, and now with SmartView synthetic vision added, Apex offers the sophistication and utility of Honeywell’s Primus Epic avionics found in much larger aircraft such as the Gulfstream G650 and Dassault Falcon 900EX EASy II.
Rockwell Collins has completed flight trials and is “on course” to receive operational credit approval for synthetic vision on a head-up display (HUD) next year, company vice president and general manager for business aviation Greg Irmen said at EBACE. 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.
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.