Officials from Rockwell Collins, Max-Viz, NASA’s Langley Research Center, the FAA and other organizations in late June conducted the culminating test flight of developmental advanced-vision avionics aboard an FAA Boeing 727.
Synthetic vision system
The possibility of business jets and airliners making autonomous low-visibility approaches and landings to airports without an ILS has moved closer to reality with the success of a six-month test of a flight guidance and display system featuring integration of both synthetic and enhanced vision techniques.
Head-up displays (HUDs) provide pilots with an array of flight-related information, when and where they need it most. The thick piece of HUD combiner glass that folds down and locks into position in front of the pilot’s eyes puts a veritable visual feast of instantly recognizable symbology directly in the forward field of vision.
The earliest versions of the Internet and e-mail trace their existence back to the 1950s, when Rand researchers first started thinking about ways to connect computers through a common network. You might be surprised to learn that early ideas for cockpit synthetic-vision systems (SVS) also originated in the 1950s, as part of a joint Army-Navy research project.
The FAA in late May granted the first Part 25 STC for a synthetic-vision system (SVS), handing over the approval paperwork to Universal Avionics after the successful completion of flight testing in a Challenger 601-3A at Long Beach Airport.
Bringing an updated cockpit to the Piaggio Avanti makes sense. The distinctive turboprop twin first graced the skies some 20 years ago but, while it has been revered by its hitherto small cadre of owners and pilots ever since, it has never been more popular than it is today. The trouble was, until about two years ago nobody was willing to fund an STC flight-test program.
Garmin in late July announced plans for a retrofit version of the G1000 avionics system in the Beech King Air C90 through an STC program with Executive Beechcraft in Kansas City, Mo. Scheduled for certification by the middle of next year, the cockpit will include the G1000 system’s glass displays, air-data computers and a long list of standard features.
Kansas City Aviation Center (KCAC) has obtained an STC to install the retrofit EFI-890R cockpit from Universal Avionics in the Pilatus PC-12. The upgrade replaces the original EFIS 40 suite with three 8.9-inch flat-panel displays. The integrated system also includes options for synthetic vision, electronic charts and satellite weather. Including installation, price for the cockpit upgrade runs from $325,000 to $398,000, depending on options.
Gulfstream secured bragging rights as the first airplane manufacturer to offer synthetic vision, formally launching an SVS certification program at last month’s Farnborough Air Show.
Code-named synthetic vision-primary flight display (SV-PFD), the technology will come to the Gulfstream G350 through G550 as optional software upgrades to the airplanes’ PlaneView cockpits.