Rockwell Collins previewing Fusion features with regulators

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Rockwell Collins continues to familiarise US, European and Canadian aviation authorities with the synthetic vision capabilities of its new Pro Line Fusion integrated avionics system in advance of certification trials of the new Global Vision flightdeck for Bombardier's ultra-long-range business jets. Global Vision launch customer London Air Services will install the system in a new Global Express XRS set for delivery in 2011.

Without established design standards for synthetic vision systems (a task now being tackled), Bombardier will be required to prove to an international team of regulators that the system works as specified. To jump-start the process, Rockwell Collins has installed an early version of Fusion in a Bombardier-owned Challenger 300 using a slim 15in (380mm) LCD screen that overlays existing screens. Powering the system is a portable electronics rack that ties into certain aircraft systems to acquire data.

Bombardier pilots and Rockwell Collins engineers on 29 May and 30 May flew US Federal Aviation Administration and Transport Canada certification officials from Wichita on 5h flights to Rifle, Colorado for hands-on demonstrations of the synthetic vision system in a mountainous environment and on approaches to the 5,280ft (1,600m)-high Garfield County airport.

In January, the team flew officials from the FAA, Canada and the European Aviation Safety Agency on three days of sorties from the Salt Lake City area to take advantage of evaluating the synthetic vision system in the vicinity of a variety of terrain, hydrology and obstacle features. Rockwell Collins is developing an internal terrain database for the project and will acquire obstacle and airport data from outside sources.

The team plans to install the synthetic vision system in a Global 5000 this fall for another round of regulator demonstrations.