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Gulfstream moves closer to EFVS upgrade for G280

Gulfstream has moved a step closer to rolling out the first major upgrade to the G280's cockpit, less than six months after the super-midsize jet entered service.

The US Federal Aviation Administration has published a draft copy of special conditions for installing in the G280 an enhanced flight vision system (EFVS), which displays forward-looking infrared (FLIR) imagery in a head-up display (HUD). The agency will receive comments on the proposed conditions until 29 June.

By artificially illuminating possible obstructions or important signs, such a system can improve pilot awareness as the aircraft approaches a runway or moves around the airport tarmac.

Several Gulfstream jets, including the G450 and G550, have used an EFVS since 2004 as a visual reference to descend below normal minima and to within 100ft (30m) of the runway.

The FAA still requires pilots to use their own vision as a primary reference within 100ft, but the FLIR imagery on the HUD can be used as additional tool.

However, the FAA is also imposing special conditions before it approves the EFVS supplemental type certificate for the G280. The conditions, if approved, will require Gulfstream to prove that the brightness of the display can be managed, even if a particularly heated object enters the view of the heat-seeking FLIR camera.

The pilot must also be able to see clearly through the image to outside the windshield, the FAA says.

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