Avionics News November 2015 - 19
Everything you'll find in a new King Air's flight deck
t's a safe bet the reason no other airframe company has inwith a software-based architecture, which is the basis of the Pro
troduced a competitor to the venerable King Air is because
Line Fusion we see today.
it already does everything about as well as it can be done.
"When you do a retrofit upgrade to an aircraft like the King
Think about it. From the personal-sized 90- up through the
Air, we felt it made more sense to have a lot of the functionality
mini-airliner-sized 350, what can't King Airs do?
capabilities and options achieved though software keys rather
It's no wonder why so many avionics manufacturers have
than having to change out boxes and panels," he said. "It's the
introduced upgrade packages that breathe new life into legacy
ideal solution for this category of aircraft."
King Air cockpits. The latest to join the fray is Rockwell Collins
Obviously, the Rockwell Collins team was spot on in the
with its Pro Line Fusion integrated avionics upgrade package.
thought process. A while back, Beechcraft announced the FuYou might ask yourself, do I truly
sion flight deck was selected to be its
need another King Air avionics upgrade?
avionics retrofit solution for legacy 90
Well, although my personal experience
through 350 series King Airs. Then,
DESIGN IS A FUNNY
with the system in Rockwell Collins'
earlier this year, it also selected Pro Line
King Air 250 can be measured in minFusion as the standard avionics suite
utes, I'd say yes, it's that good.
aboard all new King Airs going forward.
The obvious differentiator is the
HOW IT LOOKS. BUT
Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion
OF COURSE, IF YOU
upgrade is the first to introduce true
Putting the fun back in flying
touchscreen capabilities to the King Air
Bernstein said the main reason RockIT'S REALLY HOW
family. Not to put too fine a point on it,
well Collins wanted to introduce Fusion
but that capability alone is a huge differtouchscreen in the King Air was because
entiator in this category of aircraft.
it felt the technology is the perfect
STEVE JOBS, co-founder of Apple Inc.
Before we get too far down this road,
complement to the way the typical King
let's step back and learn a bit about
Air pilot uses the airplane.
Rockwell Collins' history with touch"When you look at the explosive
proliferation of touchscreens in con"When we started the process, the goal was to make this (Fusumer products - smartphones, iPads, tablets, car electronics
sion) a truly scalable architecture," explained Mitch Bernstein,
and the like - why should your airplane be relegated to buttons,
principle marketing manager, aftermarket programs for Rockswitches and knobs?" he asked. "Touchscreen displays are an
well Collins. "We wanted to be able to expand it if needed into
airline category aircraft or easily bring it down in size to aircraft
"We do a lot with human factors for pilots. We take in a lot
like the King Air family."
Continued on following page
According to Bernstein, to meet the company's goal, it went