EBACE Convention News

EASy II brings synthetic vision, sat-based approaches to Falcons

 - May 16, 2011, 10:20 PM

Honeywell’s EASy II is a major upgrade from Dassault Falcon’s original EASy cockpit configuration based on Honeywell Primus Epic avionics. New functionality for EASy II adds features that business jet pilots have been longing for (and many that have long been available in the Part 23 world). These include SmartView synthetic-vision system (SVS), satellite-based augmentation system approaches including RNP approach capability, ADS-B OUT, auto descent mode, Honeywell SmartRunway, XM WX graphical weather, electronic charts, FMS upgrades and autothrottle takeoff and go-around improvements.

The big change for EASy II is the way SVS is portrayed on the PFDs. Honeywell EASy has a traditional ADI on top, HSI on bottom view, with the horizon line stretching only to the edges near the airspeed and altitude tapes. SmartView SVS takes advantage of the big DU1310 screens to show the 3-D view of the outside world across the entire width of the display, behind transparent airspeed and altitude symbology.

Instead of the gee-whiz highway-in-the-sky boxes surrounding the route or approach path, Honeywell elected to avoid clutter and went with energy cues that help the pilot fly a precise path while retaining the big-picture view of the outside world.

A conformal flight path marker (FPM) symbol tells the pilot where the airplane is going and is useful during approach and landing–just put the FPM on the touchdown point. And an acceleration chevron next to the FPM instantly feeds back to the pilot whether the energy state is spot on, high or low. For example, too much energy, but FPM in the right spot? Reduce power. What this does is help the pilot arrive at the decision altitude on speed and with the correct flight path. According to Honeywell, the FPM and acceleration chevron are key elements in how it plans to obtain credit for lower approach minimums using SVS.

EGPWS Paints 3-D View

SmartView SVS uses Honeywell’s EGPWS terrain database to paint the 3-D outside view, with terrain color-shaded to indicate elevation, and overlaid with conformal head-up display symbology. The result is a much cleaner-looking PFD compared to the original version of EASy.

SmartView also shows the FMS-selected destination runway highlighted in cyan, and an extended lead-in runway centerline marks runway alignment. As the aircraft gets closer to the runway, detailed runway symbology (including distance-remaining numbers) becomes clear, just as it would when viewing the actual runway out the windshield.

The runway detailing is subject to conditions that include position within one mile of the runway, altitude within 500 feet of runway field elevation and difference between runway and aircraft bearing 30 degrees or less. Conformal range rings on the terrain display help with judging distance to various features and are set at three-, five-, 10-, 20- and 30-nm distances. And to make sure the real horizon is clearly visible, a zero-pitch reference line extends across the display.

Honeywell designers took extra care when showing the SVS view flying over water. In the distant SVS view, the textured water doesn’t end abruptly as it meets the sky. Rather, the water gradually blends into unfocused blueness, similar to the real-life view, but the water is much darker than the sky so it’s easy to tell the contrast between sky and water. The attention to detail continues in the view used during an unusual attitude, with terrain detail decluttered and replaced by brown to ensure a clear difference between the sky and ground to help the pilot tell which way is up.

New Approach Capabilities

While SVS is a useful and compelling addition to EASy II, pilots will likely enjoy the additional utility from EASy II’s new approach capabilities. This includes not only Waas LPV and European Egnos approaches (and in the future the same capability for other countries’ satellite-based approaches) but also RNP AR (authorization required) approaches. RNP AR approaches aren’t in the EASy II database, but will be added after validation of the selected approaches by Honeywell. Pilots must also be trained and the flight department or operator must receive operational approval for RNP AR approaches.

Honeywell offers the operational approval services to help operators obtain the operational specifications for these approaches, which allow descent to lower minimums at airports where obstacles prevent installation of traditional ILS. RNP AR approaches also can be designed with curved flight paths that avoid terrain or help keep traffic at nearby airports apart.

EASy II has many new features that make it a great leap forward from the original EASy cockpit. Amending flight plans is much simpler, for example. Objects on the MFD have an action menu that pops up when the cursor is placed on the object. “The beauty of the [graphical user interface],” said Honeywell test pilot Sandy Wyatt, “is you don’t have to remember everything.”

To set a crossing altitude at a point, say, 20 nm ahead of a waypoint, instead of having to recall arcane FMS steps, it’s a simple matter of opening the cross dialogue for that waypoint on the MFD, then inserting the information. When displaying graphical XM WX, the CCD can easily be used to move waypoints to route a flight path around storms. XM WX works only in the U.S. and provides quick access to Nexrad weather radar, satellite imagery, winds aloft, storm and echo tops, lightning, clear air turbulence, TFRs, airmets and sigmets.

The basic EASy II package includes an upgrade to a faster Pentium M microprocessor, FMS 7.1 enhancements, Honeywell’s SmartRunway upgrade (formerly Raas), second electronic checklist and Waas GPS. Optional features include SmartView SVS, Waas LPV/RNP AR, electronic charts, auto descent mode, XM WX, ADS-B OUT and FANS 1/A-compliant controller pilot datalink communications. Auto descent mode for the autopilot automatically flies the airplane at maximum velocity (10 knots less than Vmo/Mmo) to a safe altitude (15,000 feet) in the event of a cabin depressurization at high altitude.

EASy II is due for certification in the Falcon 900 in mid-year. According to Honeywell (Stand 7044), certification programs for the Falcon 2000 and 7X will follow.