Forward Vision’s Actual Vision Challenges Synthetic Vision

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“In South Africa they’re doing night-time aerial spraying with five planes in formation, on the deck, following the lead airplane running our enhanced vision systems.” While he did say he didn’t personally endorse the practice, Forward Vision president, Patrick Farrell, may have offered his best example the company’s systems in practice when he told that story Monday at Oshkosh. Now certified in over 160 models (Cirrus aircraft and 158 models of Cessna aircraft), Forward Vision is currently involved in an extremely aggressive active process to acquire even more STCs. Both the EVS-100 and EVS-600 (the 600 is the only system available that combines both visible and infrared light for an in-context comprehensive view) see right through smoke, darkness, rain, and snow. Cirrus “saw the tangible benefits of EVS” and “decided to certify and offer EVS as an option,” according to the Cirrus’ own Web site. AOPA’s 2009 SR22 Sweepstakes aircraft is so equipped as is an American Champion firefighting aircraft. American Champion plans to offer the system as an option on all new models, and other companies are expected to do the same. Through Forward Vision’s partners, pilots not buying the system inside a new airplane have expanded purchase options.

National Aircraft Finance Company is working with Forward Vision to offer financing for units installed in existing aircraft. EVS systems from Forward Vision cost $15,000 or $18,000, for the EVS-100 and EVS-600 units, respectively. Beyond that, if you’re outfitting the aircraft via STC, you’ll lay out an additional $3500 for the STC kit, and more for a display. Currently appropriate displays excludes PFDs and Garmin-ware (they’re working on it), but includes MFDs and interchangeable flight displays (IFDs). EVS president Patrick Farrell did say that his company’s EVS units will display on the Bendix King AV8OR.

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