Topic Author
Posts: 122
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 11:53 pm


Tue May 09, 2000 5:27 pm

Hi, I saw a photo of a HUD in a civil plane:

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Caz Caswell

I remember a photo of a HUD in an Air Inter airbus, some years ago, and I would like to know why this system is not more used (compared with military aircraft):
1/ it's too expensive
2/ It's not really usefull for civil flights.

Are military cargo fitted with HUD, or is the HUD reserved for fighters?
Posts: 598
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 1999 4:26 am


Tue May 09, 2000 6:32 pm

Little by little more airlines are evaluating or installing HUDs. Southwest has them in all of their 737-700s and gradually retrofitting the rest of the fleet. They are expensive, but they are extremely useful in low visibility situations.

Two military transports that I know of with HUDs are the C-17 and recent production C-130s.
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am


Tue May 09, 2000 11:30 pm

Like any new technology, costs come down as time goes by. We've seen it with pocket calculators, PCs, cellfones, you name it. HUDs are still costly, but IMHO, still well worth the investment.

All of SWA's -300, -500, and -700 fleet are equipped (almost 300 aircraft) and the only ones that are not are the 30 or so -200s which are in the twilight of their life here.

Nice thing about HUD (or HGS, the Flight Dynamics version) is that you don't just see benefits as far as CAT II/CAT III approaches are concerned. Not every airport has a CAT II/III approach, but a carrier can usually get reduced CAT I minimums if a HUD is used. At some places, that 2400 RVR gets lowered to 1800 or 1600, which is often enough to make the difference between getting in and diverting.

What I'm waiting for is the cost of APALs to come down (essentially, cruise missile navigation and mapping meets IR imagary, with results projected onto the HUD). That'll supposedly provide CAT III minima to any runway end irrespective of ground equipment installed.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.


Wed May 10, 2000 12:39 pm

HUD on commercial aircraft is not really needed, IMHO. It's a nice to have thing and in some cases, it may be of some additional advantages but it's still a nice to have thing. Not really needed.

Southwest has it on their newer 737. American Airlines also is installing HUD on their 737-800. There are two manufacturers, Flight Dynamics and GEC Marconi (now British Aerospace or something like that). The Honeywell HUDs on the Gulfstreams are nothing but the GEC Marconi in disguise.

The companies are in the process of using synthetic vision like Forward Looking infrared (FLIR) to paint images on the HUD and that should be exciting and more useful (beyond the CatIIIa capability the HUD is getting now).
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Joined: Mon Jul 05, 1999 8:40 pm


Fri May 12, 2000 6:17 pm

Not really needed?? Tell that to Sky West when Horizon planes are still flying around the Pacific Northwest!
Posts: 2276
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 1999 1:42 pm

UPS Has Them

Sat May 13, 2000 2:27 am

I believe that UPS installed them on their 727s that they use for charter operations. I know because I took one to Nassau, last year. When I visited the cockpit, the First Officer was quick to point out the new 'toy,' the HUD.

I don't know if they did it fleetwide.

- Neil Harrison

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