While all avionics makers will be busy incorporating next-generation communications, navigation and surveillance features into their integrated flight decks through 2012, few if any will face the operational tempo of Rockwell Collins as its Pro Line Fusion package goes live.
The Fusion avionics suite, which includes 15in displays, head-up and head-down synthetic vision, graphical flight planning and the industry's first touch-screen displays on some models, will make its first in-service appearance in Bombardier's Global Vision flight decks on the Global 5000 and Global 6000 starting this month, says John Peterson, director of marketing for avionics, electromechanical systems and flight controls at Rockwell Collins.
The Globals are the first in a long line of near-term Fusion wins to get started or go live. In May, Gulfstream expects its new G280 business jet to go into service, before first flight of the Learjet 85 in the third quarter, followed later in the year by first flight of Embraer's Legacy 500, the Mitsubishi Regional Jet and a Hawker Beechcraft King Air 200 with touch-screen Fusion. Projects beyond 2012 include first flight of the Embraer Legacy 450 with Fusion flight deck.
Fusion packages already in the field by mid-2012 will also have made available an upgrade package that will feature a surface management system (SMS) coupled to the flight management system. SMS will display own-ship position during taxi and includes aural and visual advisories during taxi, take-off, final approach, landing and roll-out. The upgrade will also include a vertical situation display, which gives a side view of the vertical profile in the flight plan or aircraft track.
While the tempo will be intense in 2012, Peterson says Rockwell Collins is equipped to set a pace and hit milestones along the way, making the crush of work achievable. "We're like the runners at the front of the pack," he says. "They have a pace and don't look like they're working that hard."