Dassault flight tests EVS on 2000EX

 - October 5, 2006, 6:00 AM

Late last month Dassault flew a Falcon 2000EX EASy with an enhanced flight vision system (EFVS) for the first time. The event marked the beginning of a series of flight tests expected to yield European certification by the middle of next year.

Dassault is targeting Category II performance, including a 100-foot decision height, on Category I-equipped airports. Will reduced minimums require specific pilot training? “We do not have an answer from the authorities yet, but even mandatory training would be very light,” Frédéric Petit, EFVS program manager, told AIN.

On Category II and III airports the system would improve situational awareness but not change the minimums.

The EFVS image will be displayed on the left-seat pilot’s head-up-display (HUD) and superimposed on the existing HUD symbology. The copilot will be able to monitor the infrared image on a head-down display, the lower main display unit (MDU) in EASy’s “T” configuration. This could evolve, however, during the development phase.

A CMC infrared sensor, the CMA 2600, was integrated into an existing Flight Dynamics head-up guidance system. Flight Dynamics retrofitted a computer, a combiner and an overhead unit that it tested in a ground-based testbed in Dassault’s Istres flight-test center before the first flight.

According to Petit, the additional weight for the sensor and associated wiring and electronics hardware is less than 44 pounds, not counting the weight of the head-up guidance system.

EFVS for Other Falcon Models

The first couple of flights will allow basic testing of the EFVS with the step two version of the EASy flight deck. In short, it will enable the sensor to talk to the head-up display. When the step three development version is available late this month, the real development of the EFVS will begin.

During the development phase, the pilots will conduct flights in a variety of poor weather conditions. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will certify the EFVS first, with U.S. certification expected to follow shortly.

Dassault expects the EFVS certification on the 2000EX will convert easily into one for the 900EX.

Then Petit’s team will start working on an EFVS for the Falcon 7X. Later, Dassault may develop a retrofit version for non-EASy-equipped widebody Falcons.

Dassault expects the first customer delivery of an EFVS-equipped Falcon will be a 900EX to a U.S. owner who has signed a commitment. No price for the EFVS option is available yet. Dassault officials also declined to comment on the cost of development.