Over the last month-and-a-half Honeywell has been giving the trade and general press firsthand demos of the most recent version of its developmental synthetic-vision system (SVS) about to start serious flight trials with Gulfstream in the G550. AIN was among the first group of journalists offered the chance to try out the technology, on a night flight in mid-September in the avionics maker’s Citation V test airplane.
Charles Lindbergh knew it, and every pilot who has come after him has known it, too: if only there were some way of seeing through the clouds, of turning a black night into a sunshiny day, flying would be a far simpler, and by extension safer, endeavor.
Kollsman, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems of Israel, has introduced a low-cost head-up display and integrated glass cockpit concept that the company said could give thousands of general aviation pilots a new way of looking at their world. The products the Merrimack, N.H. company has in mind could be certified and in production within two years.
Bombardier has received FAA, Transport Canada and European certification for the enhanced-vision system (EVS) developed for its Global line of business jets, making the Canadian company the second business jet builder to have gained such approval after Gulfstream did it in 2001.
Head-up display (HUD) manufacturers have carved a respectable niche for themselves in the business aviation realm in the last decade or so, but if the marketing gurus at Rockwell Collins Flight Dynamics are right the technology could be on the verge of entering the segment’s mainstream, at least in larger jets.
Throw BAE Systems and Nav3D into the mix of companies indicating strong interest in sensor and software technology for emerging cockpit advanced-vision systems.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based Rockwell Collins and Max-Viz of Portland, Ore., have teamed to begin flight tests aboard an FAA aircraft of a guidance system integrating synthetic vision and an infrared enhanced vision system (EVS). They expect the guidance system will validate and complement synthetic vision databases and displays to provide a high level of “ground truth” and eventually enable approaches in very low visibility.
Honeywell researchers are demonstrating a synthetic-vision system (SVS) that uses terrain and obstacle data taken from the company’s enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS) to paint computer-generated views of the world ahead on aircraft flight displays.
Honeywell last month gave journalists their first look at the company’s developmental integrated primary flight display (IPFD), including the synthetic-vision portion of the system now in initial design testing with Gulfstream.
Marinvent, a small but highly regarded aerospace engineering firm located just outside Montreal, has big aspirations to step out of relative anonymity and into aviation’s limelight.