4-Apr-2017 Source: Elbit Systems
Elbit Systems has teamed with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as a research partner to study operational concepts for the use of Enhanced Flight Vision Systems (EFVS) in helicopters. The study will help lay the foundation for the future implementation of EFVS in rotorcraft.
While EFVS rules currently exist for approaches to runways at airports, comparable regulations for EFVS do not exist for helicopters flying to onshore or offshore helipads at heliports. In addition, the unique aspects of helicopter flight and the visual cues generated require additional considerations beyond the typical Head-Up Displays (HUDs) used today.
As part of the study, Elbit Systems will install the Heli-ClearVision EFVS in the FAA’s Sikorsky S-76 helicopter to be used as the evaluation platform. The system will include several subsystems such as the revolutionary Skylens™/SkyVis™ wearable Head Worn Display, the HeliEVS™, Synthetic Vision System (SVS) and a Combined Vision System (CVS).
The study will consist of several flights to assess operational concepts and sensor characterization criteria for maintaining visual references/cues during the visual segments of instrument approach procedures and enhancing VFR (Visual Flight Rules) operations. Flights are planned to occur in different weather conditions (i.e. visibility), times of day (day, night, twilight), and via different approach types (i.e. LNAV, LPV). The results of the study will be used to evaluate the overall contribution of EFVS technology to flight safety and operational effectiveness for helicopters. Yoram Shmuely, General Manager of Elbit Systems’ Aerospace Division, said: “We are proud to cooperate with the FAA in regulating enhanced vision operation for rotorcraft. This technology will enable many lifesaving missions and will significantly increase the safety of the flying crew”.