Last Thursday evening, we beggared into the larboard bench of Legacy 500 s.n. 52, Brazilian badged as PR-LKT, for a abrupt affirmation of the bigger achievement of its Rockwell Collins HGS-3500 bunched head-up display, EVS-3000 multi-spectral added eyes arrangement and constructed eyes capability. This is Embraer’s aboriginal aircraft to accept the certified adaptation of E2VS, abbreviate for Embraer Added Eyes System, that was FAA accustomed in September as an added flight eyes arrangement in accordance with AC90-106A. It can be acclimated for acclaim to fly as low as 100 ft. aloft the touchdown area acclivity afore the flight aggregation charge see the aerodrome ambiance with abandoned eyes in accordance with FAR Part 91.175l. Aback HGS-3500 is announcement constructed eyes accomplishments imagery, it cannot be acclimated to fly bottomward to lower than appear access action minimums.
Accompanied by Sydney V. de M. Rodrigues, chief demonstration, adviser and Legacy 450/500 standards pilot in the appropriate bench and Peter Kruger, chief affirmation and assurance pilot on the jump seat, we taxied out from Embraer’s Melbourne, Florida, ramp. Alike admitting the acclimate was too bright to appearance off all of the system’s capabilities during low-visibility approaches, its amount became credible as anon as we started rolling bottomward Taxiways G and K against the access end of Aerodrome 09L. We could see the thermal angel of Embraer’s auto administrator on the ramp, pavement edges and the taxiway and aerodrome acrylic strips. The thermal angel is hardly account to the larboard from the absolute pavement and acrylic band due to parallax amid the left-side army HUD and center-mounted EVS-3000 camera array.
The long-wave IR sensor of the EVS camera arrangement enabled us to see bottomward the taxiway two or three times further than we could application our own eyes and the aircraft auto lights. The short-wave IR and electro-optical arresting ablaze sensor enabled us to see both beaming and LED/sodium vapor/mercury breath ablaze sources. We additionally could see the bittersweet bankrupt signatures or almost agent aircraft, but not the four-cylinder Piper Cherokee in the larboard cartage pattern.
Rodrigues acclimated the FMS to compute ascent V speeds and ascent acreage length. We acclaimed that s.n. 52 is 329 lb. added than what Embraer quoted for Business & Commercial Aviation’s May 2016 Purchase Planning Handbook. With 5,990 lb. of ammunition and one passenger, our computed ascent weight was 30,260 lb. At Melbourne’s 33 ft. acreage elevation, at 25°C and application Flaps 1 for takeoff, V1 and VR were 112 KIAS, V2 was 120 KIAS, and en avenue ascend dispatch was 140 KIAS. Ascent acreage breadth was 3,379 ft. with 6,000 ft. of pavement available.
Cleared for takeoff, we avant-garde the advance levers until the autothrottles engaged. The agilely loaded aircraft had a 1:2.15 thrust-to-weight ratio, so dispatch was brisk. Aback Rodrigues alleged “Rotate,” we anon were reminded why the Legacy 500 is such a amusement to fly. Pitch acknowledgment to the sidestick ascribe was brittle but able-bodied damped. It was accessible to chase the flight administrator cue in the head-up display.
We acclimatized into a adequate 180 KIAS climb. Tower asked us to advance the 094-deg. aerodrome branch until 1,500 ft. for babble abatement. After switching over to Orlando Departure, we were austere to ascend southeasterly through burst cumulus to 5,000 ft. MSL. We could see the shapes, sizes and acme of the clouds both in the HUD and on the head-down displays with the advice of the EVS IR sensors. Rodrigues showed us how to use the accomplishments adumbration on/off on on the larboard sidestick to analysis afterimage with abandoned vision. That analysis is capital aback aerial approaches bottomward to minimums. You accept to be able to see the aerodrome ambiance with abandoned eyes at 100 ft. MSL.
Okay, we admit: We’re HUD junkies. It’s so abundant easier to fly an aircraft with accuracy and attention aback application the HUD’s flight aisle agent and 1:1 conformal symogy than it is with a aeroemism adumbration head-down display, in our opinion. And it keeps the pilot head-up and alfresco the cockpit. It could be the better assurance advance aback the apparatus of the windshield.
For the aboriginal access aback at Melbourne, though, Rodrigues adopted to about-face to constructed eyes for the accomplishments adumbration so that we could see how it works in allegory with added vision.
SVS, as it uses the aircraft’s own TAWS area database, will accommodate situational acquaintance alike if the clouds are so close that they abstruse the appearance of the added eyes camera array. SVS provides arch images over adjacent airports, high-resolution area contours, countdown curve to aerodrome centerlines and aerodrome outline imagery. In addition, in bright acclimate it can advice visually aces out airports and runways in burghal areas that generally can abandon in a sea of lights from buildings, anchorage and apartment developments.
But switching amid SVS and EVS for accomplishments HUD adumbration requires use of the cursor ascendancy accessory and a alternation of drop-down menus. We’d adopt a angular mounted, two-way, cursory acquaintance rocker about-face in abode of the accomplishments adumbration on/off on on the sidestick. One ancillary of the rocker could be acclimated to about-face on/off the EVS and the added could be acclimated to about-face on/off the SVS.
As we approached Aerodrome 09R application the RNAV (GPS) LPV procedure, SVS showed us the connected aerodrome centerline. The afterpiece we came to the airport, the beyond the aerodrome outline angel became. At the appear 232 ft. MSL (200 ft. AGL) accommodation altitude, we accomplished a go-around and set up for the ILS Aerodrome 09R.
This time, we switched from SVS to EVS imagery. As we peered through the HUD, it was absolutely credible that improvements accept been fabricated by Rockwell Collins and Embraer to the multi-spectral EVS camera aback we aboriginal flew the arrangement in Brazil. The assets amid the two IR sensors and low-light camera accept been harmonized to accommodate a added astute angel of lights, area and pavement. We could see I-95 and Ellis Road, for instance, east of the airport. We additionally could see the thermal signatures of the high-intensity aerodrome bend lights on Runways 09L and 09R, additional the MALSR arrangement arch us to Aerodrome 09R.
Rodrigues additionally could see aggregate detected by the EVS camera in an high larboard window of the right-side affectation screen. He additionally had SVS adumbration displayed on the appropriate bisected PFD affectation so that he could analyze the two.
Rodrigues alleged “minimums” at the ILS 232 ft. accommodation height, and we replied “continuing.” We flew bottomward to 132 ft. MSL, switched off the EVS to booty a abrupt attending at the runway, and accomplished a additional go-around.
For our final approach, we afresh flew the ILS Aerodrome 09R application EVS. This time, we switched off the EVS at 132 ft. MSL (100 ft. AGL) and connected for landing application the HUD with abandoned vision.
We afresh switched on the EVS for the auto aback to Embraer’s Melbourne headquarters, accouterment a much-enhanced appearance of the pavement, paints stripes, lights and arising ditches forth the abandon of the taxiways.
Conclusions? The aggregate of HGS-3500 and EVS-3000 provides actual amount allowances in the anatomy of actuality able to fly bottomward to lower-than-published minimums. Intangibles accommodate aerial with VFR attention and accuracy in IMC and much-improved situational awareness. Embraer is appraisement HGS-3500 at $275,000 and EVS-3000 at $275,000, if they are purchased separately. Together, the amalgamation will be accessible for aloof over $500,000. That’s almost bisected the amount of accepted stand-alone HUD/EVS packages. Apparently, abounding Legacy 500 buyers see the amount of the system. Afore it was certified, added than bisected of the barter were acclimation their aircraft with accoutrement for both systems. Now that it’s FAA and EASA approved, 80% of operators with HGS/EVS accoutrement are installing the system.
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