Gulfstream has begun flight testing the final development software load for its synthetic vision-primary flight display (SV-PFD) system in development with Honeywell for planned certification later this year.

"We just got the final development load, and will be flying with the FAA using it next week," says Gulfstream test pilot Thomas Horne. "We will be getting human factors work done as part of Phase II flight tests that are in progress."

The SV-PFD system is a large three-dimensional colour image of the terrain overlaid with PFD instrument data. The system combines terrain information from Honeywell's Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System with obstacle data, and includes both traditional and head-up-display symbology.

Following certification, Gulfstream plans to offer SV-PFD as an optional upgrade to current operators of PlaneView-equipped G550, G500, G450 and G350 models, as well as a forward fit upgrade for customers awaiting delivery of new PlaneView-equipped aircraft. SV-PFD development follows the jointly produced and fielded Gulfstream-Kollsman enhanced vision system incorporating a HUD projected forward-looking infrared camera image.

A newer EVS 2 system, incorporating a cryogenically cooled detector that does not tap into the aircraft's environmental control system, is also on track for certification by mid-year, says Gulfstream. Horne adds that flight tests of the SV-PFD have shown it maintains high fidelity, even during more extreme manoeuvring. "You can do roll rates of 45°/s in a Gulfstream, and even then we didn't get any latency."

Horne adds: "We are awaiting FAA TIA [type inspection authorisation] testing to begin shortly." He is also optimistic further development could see the system get landing credit. "With WAAS [wide area augmentation system] and its 2m [6.6ft] accuracy we may be able to go to zero-zero [landing conditions]," he says.

Source: Flight International