Honeywell has started flight testing a technology that merges the view of an infrared enhanced-vision system (EVS) with that of a synthetic-vision system (SVS) to give pilots a new way of seeing the world at night or in poor visibility.
The company said it has completed about 25 hours of evaluations in a Cessna Citation V and a Sovereign fitted with forward-looking IR sensors and its SmartView SVS. Developers hope the combination of SVS and EVS will be good enough to convince the FAA to permit lower approach minimums in the form of landing “credits.”
Current rules let EVS/HUD-equipped airplanes descend to 100 feet on straight-in precision instrument approaches if the pilot can see the runway environment with the EVS. The new technology, due to hit the market in the 2012 to 2013 time frame, wouldn’t require use of a head-up display. Rockwell Collins is studying a similar technology for its developmental Pro Line Fusion cockpit, testing of which has started in a Bombardier Global Express.