Research, development, test, and evaluation of flight deck interface technologies is being conducted by NASA to proactively identify, develop, and mature tools, methods, and technologies for improving overall aircraft safety of new and legacy vehicles operating in Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). Under the Vehicle Systems Safety Technologies (VSST) project in the Aviation Safety Program, one specific area of research is the use of small Head-Worn Displays (HWDs) as an equivalent display to a Head-Up Display (HUD). Title
14 of the US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 91.175 describes a possible operational credit which can be
obtained with airplane equipage of a HUD or an "equivalent" display combined with Enhanced Vision (EV). If successful, a HWD may provide the same safety and operational benefits as current BUD-equipped aircraft but for significantly more aircraft in which HUD installation is neither practical nor possible. A simulation experiment was conducted to evaluate if the HWD, coupled with a head-tracker, can provide an equivalent display to a HUD. Comparative testing was performed in the Research Flight Deck (RFD) Cockpit Motion Facility (CMF) full mission, motion-based simulator at NASA Langley. Twelve airline crews conducted approach and landing, taxi, and departure operations during low visibility operations (1000' Runway Visual Range (RVR), 300' RVR) at Memphis International Airport (Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) identifier: KMEM). The results showed that there were no statistical differences in the crews performance in terms of touchdown and takeoff. Further, there were no statistical differences between the HUD and HWD in pilots' responses to questionnaires.