The technology transfer that benefits civil aviation

Civil aviation is benefitting from technologies Israeli firms developed to cope with security challenges.

Time and again revolutionary technologies are moving into the cockpits of civil aircraft.

A few days ago Elbit Systems unveiled its Skylens wearable head-up display (HUD) for enhanced flight vision system (EFVS) applications.

The Israeli company says the system is packed in a lightweight, easy to install device similar to a pair of sunglasses. The company says Skylens is a revolutionary approach to meeting the challenges of today’s aviators.

Suitable for day and night operations and all weather conditions, the system provides head-up information while minimising dependency on airport instrumentation.

Equipped with Skylens, aircraft are capable of take-off and landing in low visibility conditions and in locations that non EVS-equipped aircraft could not access previously.

Designed for use by commercial aviation anywhere in the world, the system provides a unique solution for retrofitting existing platforms, small aircraft and helicopters. The new system, which is being processed for airworthiness certification, is expected to enter into service by the end of 2016.

According to Dror Yahav, Elbit Systems aerospace division vice-president commercial aviation, the system allows the pilot to see more detailed symbology compared to a normal HUD.

“While the HUD sees the front of the aircraft, the new system sees also the sides,” Yahav says. He added that the system is very effective during taxiing. He also says the company already has a launch customer for Skylens.

Elbit Systems is a leading developer of night vision and enhanced vision systems in the military and commercial aviation market, supporting thousands of helicopters, business jets and other aircraft.

Skylens is based on technology incorporated in the fighter aircraft of both the Israeli and some foreign air forces. However, this technological adaptation is not easy, as the civil market wants it light and simple to use.

Also, not every technology is a candidate for such an adaptation. Some technologies remains classified – even in a somewhat downgraded form.

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