Bombardier is developing an enhanced vision system with partners Thales Avioincs of France and CMC Electronics for its Global Express business jet, the Canadian airframer announced at an NBAA press conference yesterday. Flight testing of the system is expected to begin in the first quarter of next year, with customer availability expected in the first quarter of 2005. Texas Instrument’s flight department is the launch customer.
Flight testing of Gulfstream’s GV-SP is back on pace following a schedule interruption caused by last month’s terrorist attacks. The latest ultra-long-range business jet from Gulfstream Aerospace, the GV-SP made its first flight on August 31, four weeks ahead of schedule and well on the way to an expected certification date late next year.
With the ink still fresh on the paperwork certifying the installation of the $500,000 enhanced vision system (EVS) from Gulfstream and Kollsman, rival avionics manufacturers are accelerating their development programs to bring competing products to market quickly.
The enhanced vision system (EVS)–a tiny infrared camera that marries an image of the world outside the airplane to the head-up display–could easily be listed as one of the most important aviation safety innovations of the last 20 years.
After many years of diligent, and what must often have been discouraging, marketing efforts by their manufacturers, sales of head-up displays (HUD) have now taken off and are climbing rapidly. The main impetus behind this is the recognition by the airlines that HUD confers unique operational and cost benefits that are simply not available in the standard flight deck.
Boeing continues to add utility to its BBJ series corporate jets, and the latest effort is the addition of enhanced vision system (EVS) capability to the BBJ’s head-up display (HUD). To add safety to BBJ operations, however, Boeing is also working on delivering the EVS display on one of the Honeywell LCDs on the instrument panel, so the first officer can see the same EVS picture that the pilot sees on the HUD.
Boeing has installed the following eight new technologies in its 737-900 Technology Demonstrator:
Honeywell Aerospace is a major provider of business aircraft engines but the focus of its efforts to reduce aviation’s environmental footprint is at least as much in the cockpit as in the powerplant.
For a glimpse into aviation’s future one need look no farther than Seattle Boeing Field, the home of a specially modified Boeing 737-900 outfitted with an array of experimental avionics and flight controls. For much of the spring Boeing has been inviting select groups of airline representatives aboard its technology demonstrator for flights to Moses Lake Airfield in Central Washington to showcase the cutting-edge systems.
Flight Visions of Sugar Grove, Ill., has started building a mockup of a head-up display overhead projector for evaluations in a Cessna Citation X cockpit. Cessna asked the HUD maker to design the mockup to determine whether the projector fits well enough in the relatively small space available in the Citation X.