PAST & PRESENT
Rockwell Collins celebrates 80 years in the aircraft electronics business
Arthur Collins developed combined instruments, flight directors and a host of panel innovations that improved safety for pilots and pax.
Technology for today and tomorrow
A "common cockpit" configuration was introduced on the Boeing 757/767, featuring the Rockwell Collins electronic flight instrument system (EFIS).
Pro Line Fusion, unveiled in Nov 2007, features a user-friendly interface, 15-in LCD displays, graphical flight planning and head-up guidance along with MultiScan hazard detection capabilities.
Fusion offers fully integrated flightdecks with enhanced man/machine capabilities to help pilots manage, monitor and master flight automation technology while making flying safer and more enjoyable.
Recent Rockwell Collins innovations include the industry's first head-up synthetic vision system (SVS) and MultiScan weather threat detection systems—with weather detection and analysis to 320 nm out. Another innovation in the works is the industry's first 1-touch emergency control to put business aircraft into a safe holding pattern until the pilot disengages the system.
Fusion's open system architecture offers advantages of scalability and efficiency, with applications ranging from turboprops to intercontinental bizjets, air transport and military aircraft.
Rockwell Collins Pres & CEO Clay Jones.
Fusion makes it easier for pilots to transition into new aircraft types and synchronizes with Rockwell Collins Ascend flight information solutions to allow flight departments to manage aircraft more smoothly and effectively.
Ascend provides a suite of services and online tools—from flight planning, trip quotes and international trip support to datalinks and a fuel stop analyzer—to personalize flight support.
The future will present opportunities and challenges for improving flight operations, efficiency and safety through developments in integrated avionics electronic solutions. Rockwell Collins currently makes over 1/3 of its sales outside the US and is working to tap more deeply into offshore market opportunities.
New on the horizon, for Fusion-equipped aircraft, will be surface management systems, predictive windshear detection and NextGen airspace advances. Other technological innovations range from continued improvements in LED backlit flightdeck displays to advanced avionics capabilities for new generations of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs).
The dreams and ambitions that Arthur Collins had 80 years ago—to create capable, reliable and user-friendly radio and electronic solutions—helped set us on a path that promises to become even more exciting in future.
Editor-at-Large Grant McLaren has written for Pro Pilot for over 20 years and specializes in corporate flight department coverage.