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Tue, Jul 24, 2007

Aviat Aircraft, Forward Vision Announce Joint Venture At Oshkosh 2007

EVS-100 FLIR To Be Optional Equipment On Husky

by ANN Correspondent Dave Ziegler

In a joint news conference Monday at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Aviat Aircraft and Forward Vision announced the Forward Vision EVS-100 (Enhanced Vision System) will be available as optional equipment on new Aviat Huskys and as a retrofit item for existing Husky aircraft, making Aviat the first GA aircraft manufacturer to offer the system.

The Forward Vision EVS-100 sensor, which weighs in at only 1.2 pounds, displays real-time enhanced video by responding to long wave infrared. This "camera" portion of the EVS-100 consists of a hermetically sealed package that has been put through a dry nitrogen purge to prevent moisture and dust from entering the sensors. Integral window heaters prevent ice buildup, and a light sensor protects the unit from damage when the aircraft is pointed towards the sun. The EVS-100 system is set up to run independently, minimizing impact on the pilot workload.

The current display, which provides a 40-degree wide image of what is in front of the aircraft, consists of a 5" monitor with a glare shield that may be mounted in various locations in the cockpit. Several screen size and mounting options will also be available.

"It's not a virtual representation," explained Stu Horn, president of Aviat Aircraft, "it's the actual conditions of what's on the ground at that moment." This increased situational awareness promises to increase safety not only in the air, but on the ground as well. "This system will allow you to see clearly any obstacles on the taxi or runway, any aircraft or vehicles or pedestrians."

According to Forward Vision, the EVS-100 -- which it co-developed with technology partner Max-Viz -- has the capability of extending forward vision at least eight times what the naked eye can see in snow storms, fog, haze, smoke or total darkness. This has a significant bearing on a pilot's ability to negotiate a survivable landing during an engine-out at night or in dense haze. It will reveal people or animals on a runway at night when normal vision would not see what is actually there.

In addition to border patrol and search and rescue missions, FLIR technology promises to make all areas of General Aviation safer. "[The EVS-100] essentially turns night into day, or low-light situations into clear visible situations," said Horn, president of Aviat Aircraft. He further explained that in addition to improving night visibility, "this equipment can see into light clouds or fog."

"This system is going to be readily upgradable," explained Forward Vision president Patrick S. Farrell. "As our sensors continue to improve, as we integrate them with other sensors and synthetic imaging and other things, there's a clear upgrade path for this particular sensor for Forward Vision and for Aviat Husky." The product's life has been tested to, and projected to be greater than, 9,000 hours.

Aviat Aircraft will offer EVS-100 systems for $22,000, either in a new aircraft or as a retrofit.

FMI: www.aviataircraft.com, www.forward-vision.net

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