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Sun, Aug 02, 2009

VirtualHUD Shoots Laser Beams At Propellers

New Heads Up Display Projects On The Back Of A Prop

By: Chris Batcheller

Do you remember your first flight instructor telling you to 'keep your head out of the cockpit'? VirtualHUD has developed a new product that will help make that possible. Using a laser beam, it projects an image on the back of a propeller.  It's designed to increase the pilot’s situational awareness, and can even be integrated with Forward Visions Infrared Camera. 

The system is a prodigy of the NASA SATS Technology Program. The goal was to design a heads up display for General Aviation.  He was tinkering with traditional glass displays when one day it hit him. “He was at his father’s house playing with a laser pointer.  Then he pointed it at the fan and had an Ah Ha moment” said Amy Christian, President of VirtualHUD. 

The system works by projecting an image onto the back of the spinning propeller.   The system interfaces with a handheld or panel mount GPS via RS-232 Data to display heading, speed and altitude.   The system can also be interfaced with a Forward Vision Infrared Camera for a $700 upgrade. 

To date the company has been flying the system for 9 months and 25 hours. The company plans to put 100 hours on the system in the coming months. The company also plans on putting the system in a LoPresti Fury flown by Corkey Fornof. Corky’s routine will be programmed into the computer and Corky will fly his routine using HITS or “Highway In The Sky”.

With a starting price of $3295, the company is currently taking orders at the show with a projected delivery time at about 6 weeks.



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