Over the last six years, the North American aeromedical transport industry, particularly its helicopter EMS community, has become increasingly concerned about an accident rate it (and others) sees as excessive. Attention has focused on night flights and operations in reduced visibility, both of which contribute significantly to the number of mishaps.
Thales UK, together with EuroFirst partners Galileo Avionica of Italy and Technobit of Spain, has been awarded a contract to supply 200 Pirate infrared search and track (IRST) and forward-looking infrared (FLIR) units for Tranche 2 of Eurofighter Typhoon production aircraft for the UK, Spain and Italy.
Max-Viz, the Oregon company whose only product is forward-looking infrared (IR) enhanced-vision systems (EVS), came to NBAA’06 riding a rising tide of interest in EVS.
Forward Vision of Russell, Pa., is working on a King Air 90 STC for its low-cost infrared enhanced vision system, according to company co-owner Patrick Farrell. Its EVS uses an uncooled barium-strontium-titanate infrared sensor that is immune to heat and sun damage.
“We’re changing the game in how enhanced vision is brought to the market,” said Adrienne Stevens, president of L-3 Avionics Systems, introducing the company’s low-cost forward-looking infrared imaging system, called IRIS.
Since 1999, the North American aero-medical transport industry, particularly its helicopter EMS community, has become increasingly introspective regarding an accident rate it sees as excessive and has focused its attention on night flights and operations in reduced visibility, which constitute a large portion of mishaps. An area of special interest is wider use of technologies to enhance and amplify the visual capabilities of pilots.
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.
Four-year-old Max-Viz of Gig Harbor, Wash. (Booth No. 1577), is here at Heli-Expo promoting its EVS-1000 enhanced-vision system for helicopters.
Max-Viz has announced an STC program that will bring the company’s EVS-1000 enhanced-vision system to the King Air 90 through 300 series. Max-Viz dealer ADI of Waterford, Mich., is leading the STC and installation program, which it expects to complete next month. The EVS-1000 package includes an uncooled infrared camera that measures about three inches across and seven inches deep.
- Page 5