July 28, 2011
By Thomas A. Horne
Avionics manufacturer Rockwell Collins revealed its latest technology for what will be a retrofit avionics suite for turboprops and light- to mid-sized jets. Future Pro Line Fusion cockpits will come with touch-screen interactivity, the company said. The motivating idea is to keep pilots more heads-up in the cockpit.
By touching various fields on the primary or multifunction displays pilots can call up display configuration menus, create flight plans, make weight and balance calculations, enter V-speeds, manipulate terrain, and call up or enter many other variables displays. By touching and rotating a circular overlay on a map display, pilots can zoom in and out on a specific area, and by dragging the map it can be slewed in any direction. These touch-screen functions can be used by themselves or in conjunction with, for example, standard console-mounted keypads or glareshield-mounted flight guidance controls.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
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