The new EASy II flight deck is in full view here at the EBACE show in the cockpit of a Dassault Falcon 900EX. Honeywell, manufacturer of the Primus Epic avionics suite on which the EASy suite is based, has brought the aircraft to Geneva and is offering customer demonstration flights.
A year ago at EBACE 2011 Honeywell announced that the EASy II software upgrade had received U.S. technical service order (TSO) approval for the Falcon 900. Certification of the system on the Falcon 900EX by both the European Aviation Safety Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration followed last June.
Service entry for EASy II is gathering pace, as over 50 Falcons are flying with the upgraded avionics suite and almost 250 pilots have been trained on it. “It not only improves the aircraft’s operational abilities but also takes advantage of the newest air traffic management tools,” said John Rosanvallon, president and CEO of Dassault Falcon.
Ten new Falcon 900LXs have been delivered with the new flight deck, which also was certified on the Falcon 900LX in June 2011. In addition, more than 40 Falcon 900EXs and LXs have been retrofitted with EASy II and one third of the Falcon 900 EASy fleet is now equipped with the new version of the system. Another 20 Falcon 900 retrofits are scheduled by year-end. Early Falcon 900s were not equipped with EASy originally and therefore cannot be retrofitted with EASy II.
Installation of EASy II is primarily a software upgrade with some hardware components. Any Dassault Aircraft Services facility or authorized service center can perform it with downtime estimated at 5 to 12 days, depending on the options selected. Pilot training takes two days.
Customer feedback has been very positive, according to Dassault. Since entry into service, only “minor corrections” have been required. The new approach capabilities, such as localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV), are proving useful. In the U.S., there are more LPV approaches than ILS Cat1 approaches, and Europe has started to implement LPV approaches.
Display symbology has been made more consistent between the primary flight display, the optional head-up display (HUD) and the optional synthetic-vision system. For example, the flight-path vector on the PFD is now “uncaged” which means it has lateral freedom and so can move around in crosswind conditions. Thanks to the harmonized symbology, head-up to head-down transitions are made easier, according to Dassault.
In an unusual attitude, the attitude direction indicator’s symbology is automatically cut down to the essential–focusing only on the information the pilot needs to recover. In that case, synthetic vision also disappears. This “de-cluttering” can avoid confusion, Dassault emphasized.
EASy II features an improved takeoff and go-around capability. In case of an engine failure, it provides guidance to the safety altitude, heeding the aircraft’s actual performance. This is a major change for the crews, Dassault pointed out.
The enhanced vision system (EVS) on the HUD has been improved on the Falcon 900 and 2000 series but performance remains short of that of the Falcon 7X’s second-generation HUD and EVS. The cooled infrared sensor is now the same, supplied by CMC Electronics. However, the image is displayed by CRT technology, as opposed to the better quality LCD. The certified operational gains of the Falcon 7X, therefore, can’t be found on the Falcon 900 and 2000.
Meanwhile, development of EASy II for the Falcon 7X and Falcon 2000 continues. The first certification test flight is scheduled to take place in June and certification is anticipated for both models by year-end. The Falcon 2000S, currently in development, will come with EASy II as standard equipment. In addition, Dassault engineers are already working on EASy III.