Rockwell Collins HGS Approved For CAT I Landings
December 15, 2009 - Rockwell Collins Head-Up Display (HUD) featuring advanced technology that uses an innovative optical system to present flight information to the pilot that overlays the real world as the pilot looks through the windshield has been approved through its Head-Up Guidance System (HGS) for CAT I landings.
The CAT I minima reduction enables operators that are already certified for CAT II operations using Rockwell Collins HGS to now complete CAT I Instrument Landing System (ILS) approaches to Runway Visual Range (RVR) of 1400 feet and decision height (DH) of 150 feet at authorized Category I ILS facilities.
Compared with a previous RVR of 1800 feet and a DH of 200 feet. All CAT
II/III equipped aircraft with Rockwell Collins HGS are eligible for
The Head-Up Guidance System (HGS) technology is capable of conducting reduced Category I (CAT I) landing minima as authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Flight Technology and Procedures Division.
"Achieving this reduction in landing minima allows operators using
Rockwell Collins HGS to provide more dependable service during low
visibility weather conditions with increased safety," said Dave Austin,
senior director for Head-up Guidance Systems at Rockwell Collins. "Our
unique HGS symbology and proven ability to increase pilot situational
awareness played a key role in obtaining the new CAT I landing
Features of Rockwell Collins HGS include the use of distinctive flight path vector, inertia caret, guidance cue, and the glideslope reference line to provide expanded awareness and capability allowing the pilot to conduct these approaches. In addition to reducing CAT I landing minima, the FAA has established CAT II RVR of 1000 feet and DH of 100 feet on a full Category II ILS facility as the new standard minima for aircraft equipped with Rockwell Collins HGS.
The Head-up Guidance System (HGS®) is an electronic and optical system
that displays flight information in the pilot's forward field-of-view.
The flight data is actually "projected" over the landscape in-view
through the windshield, eliminating the need for the pilot to repeatedly
transition between the head-down instruments and the forward view
through the windshield.
The symbology featured on the Head-Up Display (HUD) is similar to the
Primary Flight Display on the head-down instrument panel. Certified for
use in all phases of flight, the HGS optimizes symbology for full-flight
regime use - and includes the application of inertial flight path and
flight path acceleration information. The HGS system's integration and
unique symbology allow for extremely precise aircraft control, while
enhancing situational awareness and energy management.
* During an approach, the HGS helps the pilot stabilize the aircraft. It provides guidance in clear weather, category I, II and, on some aircraft, category III conditions, down to a 50-foot decision height.
* After touchdown and during the roll out, the HGS helps the pilot stay on centerline and monitors the aircraft speed.
* For takeoff - when the pilot's eyes need to be on the runway ahead -
the HGS provides valuable guidance and status information.
If the aircraft is equipped with manual Cat III guidance provided by the
HGS, the internal control laws will us the ILS deviations and radar
altimeter inputs to calculate the path - and provide guidance for a
hand-flown Cat III approach. The HGS will also provide the pilot with
easy-to-follow flare and throttle-cut cueing (not available on all
aircraft). If the aircraft is equipped with an autoland system, the
pilot can utilize the HGS to monitor the autoland and remain in the loop
in the most critical phases of flight. Furthermore, the HGS eases the
"eyes-out" transition at decision height.
During Category I and II approaches, the HGS displays the aircraft's
flight director guidance cue. Raw data localizer and glide slope
information are displayed in an attempt to help the pilot quickly
monitor deviations and make corrections. At the minimum descent
altitude, the pilot is already looking ahead of the aircraft and does
not have to refocus to confirm the runway environment is in sight.
The flight path symbol will be overlaid on the touchdown zone confirming
that the aircraft has the correct track - even in heavy crosswinds.
During the critical final approach phase, the pilot can continue to
monitor flight path and speed using the HGS without looking down to
The conformal flight path displayed on the HGS is particularly useful
during different landing scenarios. A great example is during a Visual
Flight Rules (VFR) approach to a runway not served by an ILS or approach
path lighting. In this case, the pilot can align the conformal approach
angle line with the touchdown zone to maintain the correct approach path
throughout the approach, resulting in a stabilized approach and landing
in the touchdown zone.
After touchdown in low visibility conditions, the pilot must ensure the
aircraft remains as close as possible to the runway centerline - and
that the aircraft slows before reaching the end of the runway.
In certain aircraft, a scale is added next to the deceleration caret
that shows the expected value for different autobrake settings. This
allows the pilot to monitor the autobrakes, or manually apply the brakes
with the same force as a preferred autobrake level. Because the
deceleration information is provided by the IRS, the deceleration
indexing provides an independent source of braking information so the
pilot can accurately monitor the performance of the auto brake system.
When taking off in clear conditions, the HUD helps the pilot by
providing speed and acceleration awareness without the need to look down
at the head-down displays. In addition, the conformal flight path symbol
can be used to ensure that the aircraft remains on centerline. As the
weather deteriorates, these cues become more important. If an ILS is
available, the localizer beam can be used to provide raw data deviation
information from centerline. If the low visibility takeoff mode is
activated, the HGS can provide active guidance to the centerline - which
is expecially important if there is an engine failure during takeoff
(not available on all aircraft).
The HGS is engineered to be compliant with FAA AC 120.28D and provides low visibility takeoff capability. At airfields with an appropriate Surface Movement Guidance System (SMGS), HGS operators are authorized for takeoff with only 300 RVR. This allows critical early morning flights, often impacted by fog, to start the day on schedule and remain on schedule.
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