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.
After many years of diligent, and what must often have been discouraging, marketing efforts by their manufacturers, sales of head-up displays (HUD) have now taken off and are climbing rapidly. The main impetus behind this is the recognition by the airlines that HUD confers unique operational and cost benefits that are simply not available in the standard flight deck.
Flight Visions of Sugar Grove, Ill., has started building a mockup of a head-up display overhead projector for evaluations in a Cessna Citation X cockpit. Cessna asked the HUD maker to design the mockup to determine whether the projector fits well enough in the relatively small space available in the Citation X.
MaxVis Inc., a new company established in Portland, Ore., has thrown its hat into the enhanced vision system (EVS) ring, where competition is heating up. EVS units are add-ons to head-up displays (HUD) and use infrared sensors to “see” through cloud and fog to provide an almost photographic quality image on the HUD of the situation ahead, far beyond the pilot’s visual range.
Bombardier revealed last month it is developing an enhanced vision system (EVS) with partners Thales Avionics of France and CMC Electronics of Canada for its Global Express business jet.
Canada’s CMC Electronics announced it has signed an agreement to acquire head-up display (HUD) maker Flight Visions of Sugar Grove, Ill. Jim Close, CMC Electronics president, said the acquisition will allow the company to expand the scope of its military aviation cockpit modernization programs for trainers and jets.
Head-up display manufacturer Flight Dynamics, a division of Rockwell Collins, outlined its future technology strategy to AIN during a recent visit to the company’s Portland, Ore., facility.
Rockwell Collins will integrate an infrared sensor-based enhanced vision system (EVS) for the Boeing Business Jet and other 737 models using Rockwell Collins Flight Dynamics head-up displays (HUD).
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.