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Safety and Operational Improvements Using Head-Up Displays in Small Aircraft and Helicopters

Small aircraft and helicopters have an increasing need for heads out presentations, which means a projected presentation of symbols and images, primarily infrared, on an optical combiner in the pilots field of view. The information presented will appear at an infinite distance i.e. the focal point is far away enabling the pilot to see the symbology superimposed on and correlated to the outside world. The driving factors for a heads out presentations are increased safety through improved situation awareness in almost all weather conditions as well as operational improvements due to reduced landing minimal prerequisites in adverse weather conditions. Also safety during taxiing and landing are improved through early detection of eventual other aircraft and objects. The landing aid is important for small aircraft like business jets that often fly into unequipped airfields. The overall benefits are reduction in number of incidents/accidents, cost savings and reduced number of diversions. For helicopters performing special transport missions, for example transporting people and gods to off-shore oil platforms, a system featuring heads out symbology and infrared imagery would mean a great safety improvement during adverse weather. The presented information shows the pilot what he needs for flight and navigation, gives guidance to assist his maneuvering of the aircraft and enhances his vision through use of special imaging sensors. The heads-out solution is configured into a sub-system in different ways. The Head-Up Display (HUD) cold be sold as a stand-alone equipment integrated into the avionics data buses or as one part of the total cockpit display system or as an Enhanced Flight Vision System (with the display itself and an infrared camera). New types of head-up displays are no longer designed as two units, an over-head projector and a combiner, but built into one single unit using new optical solutions. In combination with a reduced equipment and integration cost. This will open up the introduction into smaller aircraft and helicopters. One trend breaking solution is the newly developed Saab Head-Up Display (HUD) named RIGS.

Hans Brandtberg, Saab AB, Avionics Division

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