Eight (new technologies) in one (737-900)

 - May 19, 2008, 6:22 AM

Boeing has installed the following eight new technologies in its 737-900 Technology Demonstrator:

Synthetic vision system (SVS)–Synthetic vision enhances safety in low-visibility conditions by giving pilots a realistic depiction of the world ahead of the airplane during flight. SVS uses a highly accurate terrain and navigation database to generate an artificial view of hills, mountains, obstacles and airports on a flight display.

Enhanced vision system (EVS)–Enhanced vision uses infrared or other sensors to provide pilots with real-time images of terrain, runways, taxiways, other aircraft and vehicles that otherwise could not be seen during low-visibility conditions or at night. EVS overlays its conformal infrared video image onto a HUD or flight display. Currently the only non-military EVS certified for commercial use is the Kollsman IR system in the Gulfstream V.

Surface guidance system (SGS)–An extension of the HUD, surface guidance systems are intended to provide greater situational awareness to pilots during operations on the airport. Easy-to-follow guidance on pre-defined taxi routes is presented on the HUD. The system is designed to reduce the risk of runway and taxiway incidents during low-visibility conditions.

GPS landing system (GLS)–GLS is intended eventually to replace Cat IIIb ILS and VOR for precision and nonprecision approach guidance. The system receives GPS signals that have been augmented by LAAS and WAAS. Significant increases in accuracy and integrity allow for curved and segmented GLS approach paths.

Vertical situation display (VSD)–The VSD is software code that uses an airplane’s EGPWS terrain database to provide pilots with a sideways profile view of the airplane’s position and projected flight path. VSD shows terrain, waypoints and glideslope on a flight display. Its flight-path vector allows pilots easily to determine if corrective action is necessary to avoid terrain.

Integrated approach navigation–Integrated approach navigation is a software enhancement to the flight management computer that turns an FMS approach into an ILS-like procedure. The upgrade provides pilots with the same lateral and vertical deviation guidance they would see for an ILS approach, and also eliminates FMS approach stepped descents.

Navigation performance scales–The scales, presented on a cockpit display, are based on the familiar concepts of runway centerline indication, scale limits and deviation pointer, but they incorporate additional symbology. The display enhances the pilot’s ability to monitor the dynamic relationship among actual navigation performance (ANP), required navigation performance (RNP) and flight-path deviations. Using the scales, available deviation allowance can better be compared with the airplane’s current position.

Quiet climb system (QCS)–An advanced FMS feature, QCS automatically reduces engine thrust to maintain a safe climb angle and airspeed, eliminating the need for the pilot manually to reduce power multiple times to reach the proper thrust setting and climb angle. QCS commands the autothrottle to reduce thrust to provide a shallow climb gradient of 1.2 percent on climbout, significantly reducing noise over populated areas.