Heads Up Displays in aircraft like the Boeing 787 Dreamliner continue to improve with the development of standardized HUD symbols being created by a French test pilot in the 1960s. This made transitioning between different aircraft with HUD systems easier, and those symbols are used today. The goal of a HUD system in aircraft is to centralize critical flight data within a pilot's field of vision, and the heads up display technology finally found its way into commercial aircraft cockpits in the Embraer 190 and Boeing 737-600,-700, -800 and -900 series aircraft. Today the technology is becoming more common and is found in aircraft like the Canadair RJ, Airbus A318 and is standard equipment on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. HUD devices come in 2 versions, a fixed HUD which requires the user to look through a display element attached to the airframe or vehicle chassis, or a helmet mounted display which is attached to a helmet worn by the pilot or driver. Yes, that is correct - fixed HUD displays are attached either to the airframe of the vehicles chassis. Today, many automobiles are fitted with HUDs as well, and they are becoming more common with each new model introduction. The first HUD display in a car was the 1988 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, and they are now found on cars like the BMW series 5 and 6 cars, Cadillac STS, Corvettes, Buick Lacrosse and the GMC Arcadia model cars. In aircraft a typical HUD display will include such things as airspeed, altitude, aircraft attitude, heading, turn and bank, horizon line and slip/skid indication. These are the minimum requirements for 14 CFR Part 91 rules. For automobiles a HUD display will provide speed readout, tachometer readout and navigation system information. On certain vehicles night vision information is also displayed via a heads up display. Which brings up an interesting issue. Pilots have long known that non-polarized sunglasses were important for detecting other aircraft and properly viewing liquid crystal displays; the are also necessary for drivers to be able to properly see and utilize HUD information in cars. So, good quality non-polarized aviator sunglasses are the only choice for pilots and drivers of cars with HUDs installed in order to be able to see and interpret HUD information correctly. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 Man's flight through life is sustained by the power of his knowledge. — Austin 'Dusty' Miller, the quote on the Eagle & Fledgling statue at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Donated by personnel from Air Training Command in 1952 ps: Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter "All Things Aviation" here!
by John M. White •