…Synthetic Vision Next…


We can’t help but wonder, then, when accessible, affordable and justifiable synthetic-vision systems will become the show watchword. Chelton introduced the first GA-oriented synthetic-vision system at last year’s show but it’s still a little pricey ($75,000) for most owner-pilots. In fact, it seems like GA applications of new technology such as synthetic vision are caught in the middle between the relatively risk-free R&D advances in the experimental market (ranging below $5,000) and the over-the-top bells-and-whistles systems developed for the military. But it seems those military versions, if you walk in front of the wrong end, might just give you a permanent tan … not to mention a respectable half-life. We did see some offerings on the grounds at OSH. Take, for example, Blue Mountain Avionics EFIS Sport. For $6,500 it nestles in the radio stack giving everything from a G-meter, to airspeed and altitude, to “3D virtual reality out-the-window terrain view.” Everything, that is, except the paperwork necessary to put it in your certified aircraft. And with all the RVs, Lancairs and other capable cross-country homebuilts out there, there’s no indication Blue Mountain is in any hurry to service the certified market.