EASy Phase II upgrade adds SVS to Falcon line

 - October 31, 2008, 6:46 AM

Dassault Falcon last month announced the long-anticipated upgrade to the Honeywell Primus Epic-based EASy (Enhanced Avionics System) flight deck: the EASy Phase II system with synthetic-vision system (SVS) technology.

Incorporating hardware and software upgrades, EASy Phase II is expected to be available by the end of next year for the Falcon 900 series and by mid-2010 for the Falcon 2000 and 7X. The SVS will be an option for new Falcons and available as a retrofit on all EASy-equipped jets now in service. Dassault Falcon said it will release pricing information for the Phase II modification closer to certification. More than 225 EASy-equipped aircraft flying today are eligible for the SVS and other Phase II upgrades.

For pilots, EASy Phase II offers a number of improvements. The SVS will display a three-dimensional synthesized representation of the outside view on both pilots’ primary flight displays, with terrain and obstacle data provided by Honeywell’s EGPWS. EASy Phase II also supports RNP SAAAR (required navigation performance-special aircraft and aircrew authorization required) 0.1 and offers ADS-B out capability.

Honeywell’s Runway Awareness and Advisory System will also be included, and other options bring the latest avionics capabilities to the EASy flight deck. These include XM graphical weather, paperless charts, the ability to fly WAAS LPV approaches, future air navigation system (FANS) 1A capability using CPDLC for pilot-controller communication via datalink, VHF datalink mode-2 and takeoff/go-around improvements. The FANS 1A capability will be available for the Falcon 900 in 2010.

The EASy synthetic-vision system displays a high-resolution three-dimensional digital image on both pilots’ primary display units (PDU) during all phases of flight. What the pilot sees through the windshield on a clear day will be displayed on the PDU in a synthesized picture in all flying conditions, including terrain data and man-made obstacles.

Honeywell engineers are using rapid prototyping tools to develop for Dassault the synthetic-vision system that provides 3-D hills, mountains, obstacles and water displayed in sectional-chart-like colors using six-arc-second terrain data. The visual scene for the entire planet is recreated in 600- by 600-foot boxes, with graphics-processing techniques used to smooth terrain contours for a natural-looking presentation. Beyond 12 nm the scene is presented using 12-arc-second squares (1,200 by 1,200 feet) and the graphics computer seamlessly merges the boundary between the two areas.

The Dassault SVS will include additional features such as a flight-path marker normally used in HUDs, patented range rings (allowing the pilot to gauge distance from obstacles and terrain) and high-resolution runway data.

Gulfstream received FAA certification for a similar software and hardware modification to its Primus Epic-based PlaneView cockpit, making it the first OEM to gain such approval in a Part 25 production airplane. The award also included Gulfstream’s second-generation infrared enhanced-vision system, which is known as EVS II.

Gulfstream has integrated both technologies into the production line of its top models. The optional Gulfstream SV-PFD (synthetic vision-primary flight display) upgrade is priced at about $300,000 in new airplanes rolling out of its Savannah, Ga. factory and offered for a similar price to operators of in-service models flying with the PlaneView avionics.

Rockwell Collins is busy developing synthetic-vision technology for its Pro Line Fusion cockpit, planned to enter service in the Bombardier Global Express XRS, Cessna Citation Columbus, Gulfstream G250 and Embraer Legacy 450 and 500 all within the next few years.

Garmin recently certified synthetic vision as part of its G1000 cockpit for Part 23 airplanes, and L-3 Avionics Systems and Avidyne have announced competing Part 23 offerings. Universal Avionics offers the Vision 1 SVS for the Part 23 and 25 retrofit market. Chelton Flight Systems was the first avionics manufacturer to certify SVS, as part of the company’s FlightLogic EFIS.