Honeywell Synthetic Vision for Helicopters on the Horizon

 - May 7, 2013, 2:25 PM
AIN flew Honeywell’s combined vision system in the company’s AW139. Here: a view of the Bear Mountain Bridge, east bank side of the Hudson, looking south from West Point.

Honeywell, which provides SmartView synthetic-vision systems (SVS) for Gulfstream business jets with PlaneView avionics, Falcon jets with EASy II flight decks and Pilatus PC-12 NG turboprops with Apex cockpits, is far along in its development of a combined vision system (CVS), which marries forward-looking infrared to SVS, for helicopters.

The system uses the terrain database of the company’s enhanced ground proximity warning system merged with head-up display symbology and presents the SVS graphics on an aircraft’s primary flight displays (PFD).

“We’re in the middle of flight-test and one of the tests we do are human-factors evaluations,” Trish Ververs, an engineer fellow with Honeywell’s Advanced Technology Group, told AIN. “We want to see how pilots react and adapt to the system.”

So AIN joined Marc Lajeunesse, Honeywell lead helicopter pilot, for a flight on the company’s AgustaWestland AW139, which had been tricked out with the helicopter CVS for one week in April. From an engineering perspective, the system could be ready by the end of this year, but it would likely take several more years before it would be ready to go into production.

Read the full report of the flight in AIN’s June issue.