L-3’s Iris EVS approved in King Air series

 - May 2, 2008, 5:20 AM

L-3 Avionics Systems last month announced receipt of an approved model list (AML) STC and parts manufacturing approval that covers installation of the Iris infrared imaging system in many King Air 90/200/300-series turboprops.

This latest certification included a Bendix/King KMD-850 multifunction display to display the IR camera’s enhanced-vision video in the cockpit. The FAA approval for the camera system in the King Air series allows for display of the Iris images on any display that includes an RS-170 (standard black-and-white video) input, according to L-3.

The King Air C90 was the first application for the Iris camera as part of an installation approved last summer. Developed as a low-cost alternative to cryogenically cooled EVS products, Iris displays a real-time gray-scale image of the runway environment day or night, including other aircraft, people, animals and obstacles. The barium strontium titanate detector provides 320- by 240-pixel clarity. L-3 claims it is immune to solar radiation and displays an uninterrupted, continuously calibrated image even during rapid maneuvers in the air or on the ground. List price for the system is $15,000.

The King Air AML STC opens an important market for the fledgling Iris EVS product, according to Larry Riddle, L-3 Avionics Systems vice president of business development. He said STCs for more airframes will follow soon. In the King Air series the camera is installed in an existing fiberglass fairing originally approved on the C90, Riddle added, saying the design is intended to keep installation costs low. Total price for the system, including the display and installation, is expected to be about $25,000 to $30,000.