Gulfstream Aerospace is demonstrating its second-generation enhanced-vision system (EVS II) on its G150 experimental flight-test aircraft here at the NBAA Convention.
Infrared enhanced-vision systems (EVS) optimized to provide greater situational awareness for business aircraft are finding an increasing number of applications as evidenced by the activity reported by EVS suppliers exhibiting at NBAA’08.
Gulfstream pilots flying in Europe with the Kollsman enhanced-vision system (EVS) are now permitted to descend below published instrument approach minimums to a decision height of 100 feet after the EASA adopted standards equivalent to those used in the U.S. since 2004.
Until about a year ago, infrared enhanced vision systems (EVS) were exclusively the bailiwick of operators of large aircraft, in which they were installed as upgrades to the standard head-up display. Primarily, the aircraft were the Gulfstream IV/IV-SP/G300/G400, GV/ G500/G550 and Bombardier Global Express, and their EVS add-ons– built by Kollsman of Merrimack, N.Y.
Cessna has selected Max-Viz (Booth No. 3164) to provide its dual IR sensor-based enhanced vision system (EVS) as an option aboard the Citation X and Sovereign. The EVS-2000 will be offered beginning in 2003 on new Citation X and Sovereign aircraft, as well as a retrofit to Citation Xs already in service.
At NBAA ’02, Kollsman Avionics is featuring its newest enhanced vision system (EVS) product, Night Window, targeted at operators seeking only improved situational awareness during clear night operations.
The first Max-Viz EVS-1000 installation on an operator-customer’s aircraft is being completed by Total Aircraft Services (TAS) at Van Nuys (Calif.) Airport (VNY). The system going aboard a Bombardier Challenger 601-3A is expected to receive STC approval by the end of the year. TAS president Stan Fisher said the tail-mount installation will apply directly to other Challenger models and possibly to Bombardier CRJ regional jets.
With the ink still fresh on the paperwork certifying the installation of the $500,000 enhanced vision system (EVS) from Gulfstream and Kollsman, rival avionics manufacturers are accelerating their development programs to bring competing products to market quickly.
Thales Avionics, the French firm that changed its name from Sextant Avionique last year, announced last month that it will design and certify an enhanced vision system (EVS) for the Head-Up Flight Display System (HFDS) that was certified by the FAA in September. The avionics manufacturer thus becomes the fourth entrant in the EVS development arena, joining Kollsman/Gulfstream, CMC Electronics and Max-Viz.
The enhanced vision system (EVS)–a tiny infrared camera that marries an image of the world outside the airplane to the head-up display–could easily be listed as one of the most important aviation safety innovations of the last 20 years.