Max-Viz arrived at Heli-Expo’08 with two new infrared sensing enhanced-vision system (EVS) products developed with helicopter operators in mind.
In response to user input, Max-Viz has introduced an EVS product featuring dual field-of-view capability. In addition to the standard 53-degree-wide optics available with its current EVS-1000 product, the new EVS-1500 system provides an operator-selectable magnified 30-degree field of view. The “long lens” image provides better depth perception during landing, and zone verification at longer distances, Max-Viz said.
The EVS-1500 is form and fit interchangeable with the EVS-1000 infrared system. It has been certified to full rotary-wing DO-160E environmental standards.
Max-Viz noted that while the EVS-1500 is ideal for turbine helicopter operations, many operators of general aviation fixed-wing aircraft and piston helicopters have expressed interest in a lower cost EVS option in line with their performance and price targets. The Portland, Ore.-area company has responded with the $15,000 EVS-100, which it said will be available in this year’s second quarter. Like the EVS-1000/1500, this system uses an uncooled 320- by 240-pixel focal plane array sensor to generate a long-wave infrared image. Unlike the larger system, the EVS-100 uses a single field of view with a 40-degree (lateral) optic. The company is demonstrating both systems at its booth (No. 3133).
Max-Viz is supplying 41 systems for Bell 206s to Air Evac EMS of West Plains, Mo. The Air Evac package is designed to integrate EVS and NVG use, which–as an active participant in industry safety committees–Max-Viz has long advocated. In conjunction with the Air Evac EMS program, Max-Viz has developed a new “green screen” version of its 6.4-inch LCD. It has a gray screen display in high-ambient light conditions, with push-button switching to a darkened green screen for optimized EVS imagery at night and with night-vision goggles.
In the near term, Max-Viz said, its customers will begin a transition to integrated EVS display on large EFIS and multifunction screens. These will include the Honeywell Primus Epic suite and a line of 6-, 8- and 11-inch-diagonal multifunction displays (MFD) from Sagem. Imagery from the Max-Viz EVS-1500 displayed on MFDs can be seen this week at Sagem’s booth (No. 413). For the Eurocopter EC 135, Garmin is working on interfacing the EVS from Max-Viz to the GMX-1000 and GMX-200 displays and Honeywell has an interface for its KMD-850 MFD.
Another display option attracting rotary-wing operator interest is replacement of the dedicated Max-Viz EVS display screen with the electronic flight bag (EFB) portable computer from Universal Avionics, now in use by a number of Sikorsky S-76 operators. Other EFB options are currently being evaluated.