By Graham Warwick in Washington DC
Gulfstream is flight testing its second generation of enhanced vision system (EVS), with certification on the large-cabin G350 and G450 scheduled for the second quarter of next year, followed shortly after by approval on the long-range G500 and G550.
The EVSII system will be fitted to new production aircraft from late next year or early 2008, says Pres Henne, Gulfstream senior vice-president programmes, engineering and test.
Produced by Kollsman, which supplies the EVS now used by Gulfstream, the new system is smaller and lighter and features a more-sensitive infrared detector. "We take 22lb [10kg] out of the aircraft," says Henne.
While the improved cryogenically cooled detector has an enhanced ability to detect runway lights, Gulfstream is not seeking - at least initially - a reduction in minimum approach visibility beyond the current system, which allows the pilot to continue the descent using EVS down to a 100ft (30.5m) decision height.
The new system has been designed also for retrofit to large-cabin Gulfstreams that have not yet been fitted with the original EVS. But, although the new system's size and weight are reduced, the EVSII is still not small enough to be fitted to the super mid-size G200, says Henne, adding: "We keep looking at the G200, but we are not there yet."