Universal Avionics and AerSale have partnered on a supplemental type certificate (STC) program to install the SkyLens Head-Wearable Display on the Airbus A320. The SkyLens wearable head-up display (HUD) was developed by Universal Avionics parent company Elbit Systems, which purchased Universal Avionics a year ago.
Installing the SkyLens HUD takes much less time than a traditional HUD, according to Universal Avionics—just a few days versus a few weeks—and requires far less disassembly of the flight deck. “Once the STC has been issued by the FAA, we’ll install ClearVision in a fraction of the time required for current systems, maximizing flight time for our customers,” said Iso Nezaj, chief technical officer at AerSale.
Development of the SkyLens HUD coincides with China’s mandate for Chinese airlines to upgrade their fleets with HUDs by 2025. The first SkyLens HUD approval in a fixed-wing aircraft will be in an ATR 72 this year, and Leonardo is also working on SkyLens approvals for its helicopters. The A320 fleet, particularly in China, would open a significant new market for the SkyLens HUD.
What makes SkyLens unique compared with traditional fixed-in-place HUDS is that SkyLens has an unlimited field of view because pilots can look in any direction and see high-resolution HUD symbology, as well as enhanced vision system (EVS), synthetic vision system (SVS), and combined vision system (CVS) imagery. The EVS, SVS, and CVS capability is part of the SkyLens HUD’s ClearVision enhanced flight vision system (EFVS) solution, which combines SkyLens with Elbit’s multi-spectral camera system.
“This STC will allow A320 operators to install EFVS breakthrough technology, for the first time, in a commercially affordable way,” said Universal Avionics CEO Dror Yahav.
The Universal Avionics ClearVision EFVS will allow operators to take advantage of lower instrument approach minimums, improved dispatch capability, and the new FAR 91.176 regulations that allow operators to seek approval for touchdown and rollout with no natural vision in visibility as low as 1,000-foot RVR.
According to Universal Avionics, the A320 STC should receive FAA certification by the end of the first quarter of 2020, followed by Chinese CAAC and EASA STC validation.