BAE Systems has launched a new helmet-mounted display technology that it says will deliver enhanced “head-up, eyes-out” situational awareness for helicopter pilots, but at a fraction of the cost of more advanced head-up displays now on combat aircraft such as the Eurofighter Typhoon.
Some have called enhanced vision the single most important advance in aviation safety since the introduction of airborne weather radar more than 40 years ago. And for good reason. Enhanced vision systems (EVS)–infrared cameras and/or millimeter-wave radar married to a HUD or MFD in the cockpit– provide pilots with outside visual reference from the start of taxi through takeoff, cruise and approach, right down to the landing flare.
Gulfstream Aerospace announced yesterday that its synthetic-vision system and second-generation enhanced-vision system (known as EVS II) are now FAA certified. The approvals apply to applications on the Gulfstream G350/450/500/550 and make the company the first OEM to provide its customers with both enhanced- and synthetic-vision systems.
Eurocopter’s “all-weather helicopter” (AWH) demonstrator has flown from the manufacturer’s headquarters in Marignane, France. The proof-of-concept aircraft is an EC 155B fitted with systems that are expected to manage 3-D flight plans, help avoid collisions with terrain or obstacles, de-ice the airframe and allow the helicopter to perform steep approaches in zero visibility.
Bombardier has completed flight development testing of its enhanced vision system (EVS), a HUD-coupled package that uses a CMC Electronics infrared sensor and head-up display manufactured by Thales. The system has started certification flight testing, a regimen that Bombardier said will result in an amendment to the Global Express type certificate in next year’s first quarter.
Following the introduction of the Kollsman enhanced vision system (EVS) into its entire family of large-cabin business jets, Gulfstream reports it has started exploring the feasibility of bringing the technology down to the super-midsize G200 (formerly the Galaxy). Strong demand for EVS in the larger airplanes indicates that such a system would be welcome by G200 customers and operators as well, said Gulfstream president Bryan Moss.
In an experiment reminiscent of Jimmy Doolittle’s trailblazing instrument blind flight in 1929, researchers at Canada’s National Research Council (NRC) have conducted a full takeoff and landing flight of their testbed fly-by-wire Bell 205 helicopter controlled by a pilot completely “under the hood” and receiving all his visual cues via a helmet-mounted enhanced synthetic vision system (ESVS).
Gulfstream last month received certification approval to start installations of the long-awaited enhanced vision system (EVS) in the GV line. The Savannah, Ga. business jet maker expects to wrap up the first commercial installation of EVS by the end of the winter, after which it will concentrate on gaining approval authority for EVS installations in the GIV series and GV-SP.
Enhanced-vision system (EVS) manufacturer Max-Viz is in Atlanta this week at Booth No. 1501 unveiling three new systems, including an application of its dual-sensor system integrated with Rockwell Collins’ head-up display (HUD) on the Boeing Business Jet for landing credits.
Dassault is increasingly using tactile virtual reality (VR) to design its Falcon business jets. Haptic (from the Greek for sense of touch) interfaces, such as force-feedback arms, allow engineers to better check maintainability early in the design phase. Along with several partners, the French manufacturer (Booth No. 7514) is integrating these tools into its Catia v5 product lifecycle management (PLM) suite of software programs.