U.S. OKs ‘Video Synthetic Vision’ for Specific Aircraft

Those airplanes will have a novel or unusual design feature associated with a synthetic vision system that displays video imagery on the head-up display.
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The U.S. government has approved the incorporation of a “head-up display” (HUD) containing “video synthetic vision system” (SVS) in specific aircraft models.

On May 31, 2011, the Federal Aviation Administration posted a notice on the Federal Register—Special Conditions: Bombardier Model BD-700-1A10 and BD-700-1A11 Airplanes, Head-up Display (HUD) With Video Synthetic Vision System (SVS)—which approves the HUD for Bombardier Inc. airplane models BD-700-1A10 and BD-700-1A11.

Those airplanes will have a novel or unusual design feature associated with a SVS that displays video imagery on the HUD, the notice says. In addition, current applicable airworthiness regulations do not contain adequate or appropriate safety standards for this design feature, therefore the FAA issued the “special conditions” rule which “contains additional safety standards the administrator considers necessary to establish a level of safety equivalent to that established by the existing airworthiness standards.”

On Jan. 26, 2007, Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), on behalf of Bombardier Inc., located in Montreal, Canada, applied to the New York Aircraft Certification Office (NYACO) for FAA approval of a type-design change on the Bombardier Model BD-700-1A10 and BD-700-1A11 airplanes, the notice says.

Per Type Certificate Data Sheet (TCDS) T00003NY, those aircraft models are known under the marketing designation of Global Express and Global 5000, respectively. The change is to introduce the Rockwell-Collins avionics suite to replace the existing Honeywell Primus 2000EP avionics suite. The change includes the installation of a SVS that displays video imagery.

Video display on the HUD constitutes new and novel technology for which the FAA has no certification criteria. In addition, federal regulations do not permit visual distortions and reflections that could interfere with the pilot’s normal duties. Existing regulations were not written in anticipation of such technology, therefore “special conditions” approving the HUD are issued, the FAA says. Other applications for certification of such technology are anticipated in the near future and magnify the need to establish FAA safety standards that can be applied consistently for all such approvals, the agency says.