The first several Global Express XRS ultra-long-range business jets fitted with the Bombardier enhanced-vision system (EVS) are now operating to far-flung destinations around the world, and early word on the devices has been positive. The system, using a CMC Electronics infrared sensor mated to a Thales head-up display, is standard on the Global Express XRS, now in full-rate production.
The EVS for the Global models received initial certification at the end of March last year, but Transport Canada ruled that the electromagnetic interference (EMI) testing Bombardier conducted was invalid because the test airplane was not fitted with an interior. As a result, Bombardier engineers had to scramble to find an airplane with a production interior to complete the EMI tests. By last November the test items were satisfied and the system had gained full U.S., Canadian and European certification. It entered service less than a month later on the first Global Express XRS to roll out of the Global completion center in Montreal.
Mounted atop the nose, the CMC Electronics sensor system reproduces an image of the world ahead of the airplane on the HUD as well as on a cockpit multifunction display. The EVS allows for descent below published straight-in landing minimums to 100 feet above touchdown. In addition to being a standard feature of Bombardier’s top-line business jet, the package can also be ordered as an option in the Global 5000 or retrofitted in previous-generation Global Express models. Price for the Thales HUD and CMC sensor combination is roughly $1 million.
So far, operators flying with the system by and large have praised its capabilities, according to the program partners. With certification of the enhanced-vision sensor for Bombardier now successfully behind it, sensor maker CMC Electronics has turned its attention to testing of a similar system for Dassault’s Falcon line. Certification testing in the Falcon 2000EX and 900EX is currently under way, with certification expected later this year.