Elbit Systems is partnering with the FAA to research operational concepts for enhanced flight vision systems in helicopters, the company says, with plans to install its Heli-ClearVision system in the agency’s Sikorsky S-76 at its Technical Center near Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The study is aimed at closing the gap between use of enhanced vision systems (EVSs) for approaches to runways at airports and operations to onshore or offshore helipads at heliports, the Israeli's defense, homeland security and commercial manufacturer said. It added that the study would assess “the unique aspects of helicopter flight and the visual cues generated,” which require additional considerations beyond the typical head-up displays used today.
Under the latest agreements, Elbit said, the FAA S-76 will serve as the evaluation platform on several flights assessing the performance of Heli-ClearVision and subsystems such as the Skylens/SkyVis head-worn display and the HeliEVS, Synthetic Vision System and Combined Vision System. In additional to operational concepts, the assessments look at characterizing sensor criteria for maintaining visual references/cues during the visual segments of instrument approach procedures and enhancing visual flight rules operations.
Flights are to be conducted in different weather conditions; at day, night and twilight, and via different approach types, including lateral-navigation and localizer-performance-with-vertical-guidance.