FAA Formally Recognizes Safety Benefit of EVS as Low-Visibility Landing Aid
GULFSTREAM ENHANCED VISION SYSTEM VALIDATED BY FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION RULING FAA
Formally Recognizes Safety Benefit of EVS as Low-Visibility Landing Aid
SAVANNAH, Ga., Jan. 15, 2004 - Two and one-half years after Gulfstream received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification of its Enhanced Vision System (EVS), vision-enhancing technology has received a significant "vote of confidence" with a rule change recently issued by the FAA.
The new FAR Part 91 rule change revises the regulations for landing under instrument flight rules (IFR), allowing FAA-certified enhanced flight vision systems (EFVS) to be used to determine "enhanced flight visibility." Pilots using EFVS can now descend and operate aircraft below decision height, decision altitude, or minimum descent altitude by utilizing the EFVS image to detect the required visual cues and to determine flight visibility. The regulation acknowledges that certain enhanced vision systems are adequate for the pilot to "see" down to an altitude of 100 feet above the touchdown zone. At that point, the pilot must see the required cues without the aid of the EFVS.
The Gulfstream EVS remains the only system of its kind certified by the FAA. The cryogenically cooled detector in the Gulfstream EVS provides a level of sensitivity that gives it the ability to identify objects through fog and rain - a capability unmatched by other currently available vision enhancing systems. In the rule change, which was issued Jan. 9, 2004 and becomes effective Feb. 9, 2004, the FAA noted the following:
"The proposed rule, therefore, could allow for operational benefits, reduced costs, and increased safety for aircraft equipped with an EFVS. Use of an EFVS with a HUD (Head-up Display) may improve the level of safety by improving position awareness, providing visual cues to maintain a stabilized approach, and minimizing missed approach situations."
The Gulfstream EVS incorporates a specially designed, forward-looking infrared (FLIR) camera that projects an infrared real-world image on the pilot's Honeywell Head-Up Display (HUD). Available as standard equipment on the G550 and G450 and as an option on G300, G400 and G500 aircraft, the system addresses many of the issues raised in the FAA's Safer Skies Agenda. The Gulfstream EVS enables the flight crew to see runway markings, taxiways, adjacent roads and surrounding areas in conditions of low light and reduced visibility. Additionally, the Gulfstream EVS also helps crews avoid runway incursion and hazards that would otherwise not be readily visible.
The recent FAA rule change also addressed the subject of runway incursions.
"In addition to using an EFVS to satisfy new Part 91.175 (1) requirements, an EFVS may allow the pilot to observe an obstruction on the runway, such as an aircraft or vehicle, earlier in the approach, and observe potential runway incursions during ground operations in reduced visibility conditions. Even in situations where the pilot experiences the required flight visibility at the DH (decision height) or MDA (minimum decision altitude), he or she could still use an EFVS to have better situational awareness than may be possible without it especially in marginal visibility conditions."
Gulfstream Aerospace, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), worked in close cooperation with Kollsman Inc., to develop the Gulfstream EVS for use on large-cabin, long-range and ultra-long-range Gulfstream business jets.
"As pioneers of EVS, Gulfstream and Kollsman have recognized the safety benefits the system offers to operators. This ruling unequivocally validates the original concept and subsequent years of hard work," said Pres Henne, senior vice president programs, engineering and test, Gulfstream. "The expediency in which the FAA made this ruling is a clear indication of the incalculable value this system will bring to both the business and commercial aviation industries."
First certified for the GV in October 2001, the Gulfstream EVS has been installed on more than 50 GV aircraft. Since December 2002 when the FAA certified the system for use on the GIV-SP, the Gulfstream EVS has been installed on 11 GIV-SP aircraft. To date, Gulfstream has delivered five new aircraft - a G550, three G400s and a G300 - with EVS onboard. In addition to customer aircraft, the EVS also has been installed on a total of six developmental aircraft used in the company's G550 and G450 flight test programs.
NOTE TO EDITORS
Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), designs, develops, manufactures, markets, services and supports the world's most technologically advanced business jet aircraft. Gulfstream has produced more than 1,400 aircraft for customers around the world since 1958. To meet the diverse transportation needs of the future, Gulfstream offers a comprehensive fleet of aircraft, comprising the mid-cabin, high-speed Gulfstream G100™; the wide-cabin, high-speed Gulfstream G150™; the large-cabin, mid-range Gulfstream G200™; the large-cabin, mid-range Gulfstream G300™; the large-cabin, long-range Gulfstream G400™; the large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulfstream G500™ and the large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulfstream G550™. Gulfstream also offers aircraft ownership services via Gulfstream Financial Services Division and Gulfstream Pre-Owned Aircraft Sales®. The company employs more than 6,750 people at seven major locations. We invite you to visit our Web site for more information and photos of Gulfstream aircraft at www.gulfstream.com.
General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, employs approximately 66,900 people worldwide and estimates 2003 revenues of $16.1 billion. The company has leading market positions in mission-critical information systems and technologies, land and amphibious combat systems, shipbuilding and marine systems, and business aviation. More information about the company can be found on the World Wide Web at www.generaldynamics.com.