Airbus recently announced that the A318 and the A318 Elite fitted with Pratt & Whitney PW6000 engines were approved for the new Digital Head Up Display (HUD) System by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). This approval will be extended to the other members of the A320 Family as well. Certification activities are on-going for the A330/A340 and A380 Families.
The Head Up Display System, originally used in jet fighters only, presents flight information and guidance on a glass plate that is mounted behind the windshield in the pilotâ€™s forward field of view and that can be easily stowed away. The HUD contributes significantly to increasing pilot situational awareness, particularly during the approach and landing phases by showing trajectory related symbols superimposed on the pilot’s actual external view. The HUD System also brings operational benefits such as allowing take-off visibility minima to be lowered from 125 to 75 meters and offering eligibility for reducing approach minima on suitably equipped runways.
This fully digital HUD System, approved first on Airbus’ single aisle family, uses light weight Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) technology that offers a large field of view and video capability. HUD is also designed to be ready for future technologies such as Enhanced Vision Systems (EVS), Synthetic Vision Systems (SVS) and Surface Guidance Systems (SGS). The HUD equipment is the same across all Airbus aircraft, with the same part numbers, offering the benefits of Airbus’ cockpit commonality and bringing cost savings to operators in terms of maintenance and spares.
The installation consists of the HUD projector, a combiner that can be stowed – which is the glass plate mounted in front of the pilot’s head, the system controls and the HUD computer which is situated in the avionics bay. For Airbus A320 and A330/A340 Families, the HUD is offered in a single installation and for Airbus A380, it can be offered in either a single or a dual installation.