Universal’s Vision 1 SVS certified in King Air 350

 - October 30, 2006, 11:10 AM

After years of development, Universal Avionics of Tucson, Ariz., has gained its first STC and TSO for its full Vision 1 synthetic-vision system (SVS), clearing the technology for operation aboard the Beech King Air 350 following a November 8 certification flight.

Vision 1 is a feature available with Universal’s EFI-890R and MFD-640 flat-panel display suites. After its recent approval in the King Air, the system awaits final certification flights for additional STCs in five business aircraft (four of them jets) that have received Universal’s EFI-890R retrofit cockpit. These are the Dassault Falcon 10 and Cessna Citation 650, installed by Elliott Aviation of Moline, Ill.; a Falcon 20 done by Premier Air Center of East Alton, Ill.; a King Air 300 at Stevens Aviation of Nashville, Tenn.; and a Bombardier Challenger 600 at Duncan Aviation’s Lincoln, Neb., installation center.

Another Vision 1 STC is said to be nearing completion in Universal’s own Challenger 601-3A, covering the pilot-selectable egocentric (view from the cockpit) and exocentric (outside cockpit bird’s-eye view) formats.

These are the first STC and TSO approvals for a PFD-based SVS developed specifically for business aircraft. Chelton’s FlightLogic SVS has STCs covering a wide variety of airplanes, including King Airs, some Citations and other business aircraft, but that system was originally developed for the homebuilder market.

The Vision 1 database that drives Universal’s SVS display creates detailed scenes of terrain beneath and ahead of the aircraft by combining data from Jeppesen and space shuttle topography imagery. The information in the Vision 1 processor is identical to that used by Universal’s terrain awareness and warning system.

An entire EFI-890R installation, including Vision 1, carries a price of approximately $500,000, of which about $110,000 is accounted for by two 8.9-inch-diagonal Vision 1-enabled display units.