FedEx to equip its fleet with Kollsman EVS units

 - March 19, 2008, 6:09 AM

Kollsman, the company that invented the first sensitive barometric altimeter in 1928 and the first enhanced vision system (EVS) on the Gulfstream V in 2001, received a big gift on its 75th birthday. The company announced last month that it received an order from FedEx for its all-weather window EVS. The order represents the first EVS destined for the commercial air transport market.

FedEx said it will install the Kollsman EVS in approximately 200 MD-10s, MD-11s, Airbus A300s and A310s operated by the air package company. The EVS for FedEx is scheduled to be certified by the end of 2006 with installations beginning in 2007 in conjunction with Honeywell head-up displays.

“EVS will improve schedule reliability by reducing weather-related delays, improve takeoff and landing minimums and serve as a taxi aid in reducing the risk of runway incursions,” said FedEx senior v-p of air operations Don Barber, adding, “Our flight crews will have increased situational awareness and improved safety in reduced visibility conditions.”

To date, Kollsman said it has orders for more than 200 EVS units from Gulfstream for installation as optional equipment on several models of the large business jet.

Kollsman is developing the “un-cooled” infrared technology-based EVS called Night Window, planned for introduction next year. This system is intended to provide enhanced vision for night VMC approaches. It will offer a smaller camera and be less expensive than the full-up cooled IR All Weather Window EVS. The company is also studying EVS applications for smaller aircraft, such as the FedEx feeder airplanes.

In the near future, Kollsman might introduce Music–for your aircraft, not for your ears. Music stands for multi-spectral infrared countermeasure, a system that first detects a missile, then tracks it and finally fires a laser beam to deflect it from the aircraft. Music is being developed by Kollsman in collaboration with Elop Electro-Optic Industries.

Kollsman said that Music is in the “initial stages” of development and no timetable is projected. About cost, the company would only say it “expects to be competitive.”