Bombardier has received FAA, Transport Canada and European certification for the enhanced-vision system (EVS) developed for its Global line of business jets, making the Canadian company the second business jet builder to have gained such approval after Gulfstream did it in 2001.
Bombardier’s EVS is a standard feature of the Global XRS, due for entry into service early next year. The system consists of a Thales HUD and CMC Electronics infrared camera system mounted in the nose. For crews who have received training to fly with the system, EVS imagery can be superimposed on the HUD, allowing the pilot in the left seat to see a live picture of the airport or terrain even in fog or at night. The copilot can also view the infrared picture on a cockpit multifunction display in the center of the instrument panel.
Besides being included as standard equipment aboard Bombardier’s biggest Global jet, the system is also being offered as an option to Global 5000 buyers and can be retrofitted to airplanes across the Global line, the company said. Like pilots flying with the Kollsman-developed EVS in Gulfstream’s large-cabin airplanes, pilots flying with the Bombardier system will be able to take advantage of FAA rules that allow descent below published precision approach minimums.
According to the FAR covering EVS use, properly trained pilots flying with the equipment can fly straight-in approaches down to a decision height of 100 feet height above threshold using the EVS, at which point the pilot must be able to see the runway or runway lights unaided to be legal to land.
According to Bombardier, operators of Canadian-registered aircraft can apply for an exemption from current Transport Canada rules, effectively granting them the same level of operational benefits at Canadian airports that are available in the U.S. Until Europe introduces regulations of its own covering enhanced-vision operations, pilots of EVS-equipped aircraft will be allowed to use the system only for situational awareness when operating in JAA countries.
During its development program, the Bombardier system was evaluated in all phases of operation, including taxi, takeoff and approach and landing, as well as over a wide range of terrain, at night, and in snow, rain and fog, for a total of more than 175 flight test hours, Bombardier said.
The Thales HUD has a field of view of 40 degrees by 26 degrees, and is claimed to be the largest available in a business jet. Bombardier said the large field of view coupled with a sensor that is mounted on the top of the nose pointing forward (as opposed to the lower side of the nose, as is the case on Gulfstream airplanes) provides a superior image that is closely aligned with what the pilot in the left seat would actually see on an unlimited-visibility day.