Jetcraft Avionics is unveiling an enhanced flight vision system (EFVS) that will be available for aftermarket retrofit in business jets.
Jetcraft’s HUD Vision Access system consists of an Elbit-Kollsman EVS II enhanced vision system combined with an Elbit AT-HUD head-up display. The first installation is underway on a Bombardier Challenger 604, and once that is certified, Jetcraft plans to develop similar installations on a Bombardier CRJ200 and Challenger 605. Jetcraft is announcing the EFVS retrofit program tomorrow at an event at the Elbit exhibit (“The Future of Low Visibility Operations” at Booth No. 4185, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.), and at the same time introducing the aviation world to a new personal-computer-based HUD simulator training and practice program developed by FlyRealHUDs.com.
Before Jetcraft’s development of an aftermarket EFVS retrofit, the benefits of lower landing minima (generally 100 feet lower for ILS and LPV GPS approaches with vertical guidance) were available only to new aircraft equipped with EFVS. The Jetcraft EFVS upgrade will be the first aftermarket EFVS (HUD with EVS) solution. In addition to credit for approaches, Jetcraft is working with industry committees and regulators to seek approval for credit for surface movement guidance and reduced takeoff minima.
For pilots, a key feature of EFVS is that the infrared EVS image is displayed on the HUD. While other companies are working on approach/landing minima credit for head-down displays (using primary flight displays instead of HUDs), the EFVS combination of EVS and HUD is currently the only way to employ the 100-foot credit. So this means that pilots using EFVS need to learn how to use the system, and this is where FlyRealHUDS.com comes in.
Learning how to use a HUD is challenging because the only way to practice is to book some time in an expensive full-motion simulator. FlyRealHUDs.com has developed a much lower cost way around this problem, a plugin piece of HUD simulator software that works on the X-Plane flight simulator (both PC and Apple Macintosh, version 10.10 or later). With the FlyRealHUDs.com plugin, pilots and simulator enthusiasts can fly any X-Plane aircraft with a full-blown real airliner or business jet HUD. The HUD plugin includes all the normal HUD features, such as the flight path vector, flight director cue, acceleration cue, angle-of-attack, EVS mode, glideslope and localizer indicators, rollout guidance, runway remaining, etc.
The benefit of using a program like FlyRealHUDs.com is that pilots can not only learn how to use a HUD, they can also practice flying with a HUD in varying weather conditions and also practice flying HUD-assisted instrument approaches into unfamiliar airports. X-Plane allows users to set any kind of weather conditions, or use existing real weather, time and date. “The FlyRealHUDs.com application may in the future be used as part of operator recurrent training,” according to Jetcraft. Demos of the FlyRealHUDs.com plugin are available at the Elbit booth, along with more information about the Jetcraft-Elbit-Kollsman Hud Vision Access EFVS retrofit.