The April issue of Air Beat magazine contains a feature article on our rugged cockpit displays.
By Michael Fernandez
You’ve heard all the advertising buzzwords/cliches before. Fast. Reliable. Rugged. Easy-to-use. But if you’re in the military or law enforcement, here’s what you know about those words: Actions speak louder than cliches. The systems and displays in your aircraft have to work. They have to work exceptionally well. And they have to work now. There’s no time for, “Now which button do I push?” or “I’ll need to adjust this a couple of times to get it in the right spot” when lives are on the line.
That’s the thing about Flight Display Systems. The company gets it.
The journey to this day began over a decade ago with one small step for the traveler, but one giant leap for the aviation industry. The company saw a need and created the Flight Display Moving Map to fill it. The moving map provided passengers with a live map of their flight, plus pertinent flight data such as altitude, speed and distance-to-destination. Compared to previous products, the Flight Display Moving Map was less expensive, faster and easier to install. The device proved to be so popular, it propelled the production of products that would set the standard in cabin management systems.
For the Flight Display Systems crew, the logical next step was displays. The customers were begging for it, and the main beneficiaries of the company’s new rugged aviation displays were military and law enforcement.
They were trying to use civilian vehicles for specific missions. The civilian vehicle was not set up for an infrared camera or hailer or microwave antennae or all the different things they’ve added to those aircraft. So we’ve been able to make modifications to make them usable in those vehicles. Today, everything needs to be faster, smaller, lighter, high-definition.
That, in a nutshell, is what Flight Display Systems does for the military and law enforcement. Over the years, the company has developed a full line of rugged displays that are lab and field tested.
The Flipper is a 5-, 7- or 10-inch monitor designed and configured to display in the most open of spaces or in the tightest of quarters. The thin LCDs flip into position when needed and are stowed when not in use. The 7- and 10-inch Flippers are widescreen format for more viewing area. Flippers are available with NVG and highbright capabilities.
In addition to the smaller Flippers, Flight Display Systems has developed a full line of high-definition displays from 7 to 21.5 inches. These widescreen monitors allow for more content to be displayed in a smaller space. Replacing outdated CRT displays and tiny LCD monitors offers a tactical advantage when making critical decisions.
To simplify planning and installation, Flight Display Systems has created Fly HD, an end-to-end system comprised of source equipment, backbone architecture and displays optimized for high-definition. With minimal lead time, the engineers at Flight Display Systems can design and manufacture custom hardware to perform in extreme conditions. Products are environmental, EFI, EMI, RFT, shock, vibration and magnetic anomaly tested to DO-160 standards.
Mission-ready features include night vision compliance with front-mounted switches that toggle to display low intensity mode for compatibility with night vision equipment. High-bright mode allows operation in ambient light conditions. Larger displays offer quad split screen, which can display four video inputs simultaneously. Certain displays can be equipped with resistive or capacitive touchscreens.
Video input options include HD-SDI, DVI, HDMI, component, VGA, S-Video and composite. The most exciting is HD-SDI, or high-definition serial digital interface. This standard, used in broadcast television, delivers 1.5 Gbps of uncompressed video through RG-179 coax cables. Using this standard eliminates many of the converters required to connect switches to monitors, and fewer converters means lighter weight and lower project costs.
Flight Display Systems products are indeed mission-ready. Many of the display solutions offer USB ports that allow access to system computers. Mounting solutions include rugged articulating arms, rack mounts, hinge mounts and slide mounts. Heated glass can be added to account for low temperature situations.
Also at the ready are Flight Display Systems representatives, your connection to performance excellence. It’s all a reflection of the company’s devotion to aviation.
What we do is accessories, so as an airplane is introduced, there is always some functionality that wasn’t thought of at the inception of the airplane, the cockpit or the certification of the airplane. We provide a window that introduces those devices into the airplane and make it user friendly for the crew and passengers. We enjoy the challenges of making custom applications for people so that they get the most out of what they want.