The Astronics Max-Viz-1500 enhanced vision system is now available as a factory option for new Bell 429s, as well as for retrofit installations in the light twin helicopter. According to the company, the system permits pilots to see farther than the unaided human eye while offering an added degree of safety and situational awareness in conditions with obscured vision. Retrofit installations will be done at the Bell Helicopter service facility in Piney Flats, Tenn.
Synthetic vision system
Pilatus Business Aircraft has received an STC from the FAA for installation of Garmin G600 avionics in all pre-NG PC-12 turboprop singles, built between 1994 and 2008. The retrofit brings the modern flat-panel New Perspective system to the older aircraft in the form of a single 10-inch LCD screen that incorporates both the primary flight display and the multifunction display.
The rush to synthetic vision and integrated avionics with cursor control for the next generation of helicopters is decidedly evident in this year’s Heli-Expo exhibit halls. While Thales (Booth No. C6428) dazzles attendees in the central hall with its TopDeck suite, MD Helicopters (Booth No. N4121) is wowing them in the north hall with the Universal Avionics system developed for the MD Explorer.
“We’ve decided that touchscreens are not the way to go, for reasons of durability and practicality,” said Grady Dees, director of technical sales for Universal Avionics Systems.
Today at Heli-Expo, Enstrom Helicopter announced that it selected the Garmin G1000H integrated digital flight deck for its Rolls-Royce 250-powered 480B. The Garmin panel integrates all primary flight information, navigation data, communications, terrain awareness, traffic, weather, and engine parameters on two 10.4-inch displays. It also incorporates a large moving map and supports a wide array of safety enhancing features, including synthetic vision, helicopter Taws, datalink weather and traffic awareness and collision avoidance system, among others.
The Astronics Max-Viz 600 infrared enhanced vision system is now covered under a Cessna service bulletin for retrofit installation in late-model Cessna single-engine airplanes. The bulletin includes Skyhawks, Skylanes and Stationairs that have already been factory-provisioned for the FAA- and EASA-approved upgrade. Cessna authorized service centers can install the Max-Viz 600 EVS in about eight hours.
To help build sales momentum as it prepares to emerge from bankruptcy protection, Hawker Beechcraft is offering a free upgrade to the Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics suite for customers who purchase a King Air 250 or 350i by February 28. The Fusion system features touchscreen primary and multifunction flight displays, as well as wireless updates of all flight-related databases and wireless downloading of maintenance information. According to Hawker Beechcraft, the upgrade also comes standard with synthetic vision and a graphical flight management system.
The Rockwell Collins HGS Flight app for the iPad may seem like a game, but spend enough time with it and you’ll soon come to appreciate the benefits of a head-up display (HUD) and learn about HUD symbology and operation.
West Star Aviation is offering the enhanced flight vision system known as HUD Vision Access (HVA) for the Challenger 604 and 605. Certification is expected next month. It consists of three LRUs and provides safer operation in low visibility, enhanced situational awareness, terrain avoidance and runway incursion detection, according to the company. The most prominent benefit is lower landing credits to minimums of 100 feet above the ground.
Eclipse Aerospace’s new 550 very light jet will feature an enhanced vision system (EVS) sensor made by Lexavia. The Lexavia LFS6000 infrared sensor has a 640- by 480-sensor element and 4X zoom. EVS imagery will be displayed on the Eclipse 550’s MFD, which is part of the jet’s Innovative Solutions & Support Avio/IFMS flight deck. The EVS sensor is mounted in a low-profile housing that projects 1.42 inches above the fuselage nose surface.
AgustaWestland is going glass in the AW119 single. On October 22 the company unveiled the AW119Kx, which features the Garmin G1000H integrated flight deck system with synthetic vision, moving map and highway in the sky and obstacle/terrain avoidance systems. Certification is scheduled for early next year. Life Flight Network is the launch customer, ordering 15 of the helicopters configured for helicopter EMS operations from its bases in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The helicopters will be outfitted to carry two patients.