universal avionics debuts new ‘fly by sight’ navigation system
October 24, 2019
Universal Avionics (UA), an Elbit Systems Company, debuts its latest advancement in the ‘Fly by Sight’ flight deck concept this week at the 2019 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) in Las Vegas, NV. The company unveils the ‘Fly By Sight’ Navigation System, which combines ClearVision™ SkyLens™ Head Wearable Display (HWD) and the company’s recently unveiled Interactive FMS (i-FMS).
The ‘Fly By Sight’ Navigation System reduces head-down time in high workload environments by enabling the pilot to conduct critical functions like a direct-to, runway change or vector-to-final via head-up technologies instead of relying on head-down displays. The system is designed specifically to make these operations more intuitive, made feasible by integrating the head-up display with key FMS functionality.
This is the next generation in UA’s drive to expand Head Up operations, augmenting the real world through Head Up technologies with Line-of-Sight (head-tracking) functionality that pilots can use to accomplish highly demanding tasks during critical phases of flight.
“We believe the future of flying should be simplified, automated, and more intuitive, utilizing new avionics technologies and systems,” says CEO Dror Yahav. “At NBAA, we are demonstring how integration between the FMS and a wearable HUD like the SkyLens can greatly improve the way pilots fly – reducing workload while maintaining high efficiency and heightened situational awareness.
This announcement comes on the heels of UA’s announcement of the ClearVision™ Interactive-FMS at the 2019 Paris Airshow, revealing a significant engineering effort underway for the product, and innovation sparked within the company.
The ‘Fly By Sight’ will be offered as an add-on to existing cockpit systems as a retrofit package or as part of the company’s integrated Insight ClearVision cockpit solution.
The i-FMS is a software-based FMS designed on a flexible and open architecture system which can be hosted on a variety of hardware platforms. It enables new concepts in Human-Machine Interface (HMI) such as augmenting head- down displays with ClearVision Head-Up Displays (HUD) and Head-Wearable Displays (HWD), allowing pilots to ‘fly-by-sight.’
Built from the ground-up by a company with decades of flight management experience, the i-FMS tackles one of the main challenges pilots face today with FMS operations; the need to propose changes to the FMS during critical phases of flight such as takeoff and landing. Typically, during this time pilots are required to shift their attention from outside the cockpit window to the FMS display unit – to reprogram the FMS and validate that changes are correct – requiring last-minute updates and significant head-down operations. The i-FMS allows pilots to project waypoints and information from the FMS onto the real-world, superimposed on UA’s HUD or SkyLens™ HWD.