Elbit Systems recently completed a series of successful helicopter flight tests in Zurich, using the SkyVis Day/Night Head Mounted Display (HMD) onboard an AW-109SP helicopter of the Swiss air rescue company Rega.
Adverse weather can prevent an air rescue team from executing their life saving missions – searching for and rescuing survivors. By improving flight safety and situational awareness, SkyVis enables flight in limited visibility conditions, increasing the total number of rescue missions that can be safely executed and potentially saving more lives. Elbit Systems teamed with Rega to demonstrate this capability and to support this highly important task.
The flight tests demonstrated the “out of the window” display concept, presenting flight and navigation data overlaying the real world by using two and three dimensional symbols, enhanced degraded visual landing applications and head tracking capabilities.
Among the unique capabilities tested during the flights were landing on helipads, such as a hospital rooftop. During some of the landing tests the pilots used only the guidance of the system while the cockpit window was covered (in this maneuver, a safety pilot served as the captain of the aircraft for safety purposes).
The flight tests were performed in both day time and night to test the system in different flight conditions. The flights were successful, and the Rega pilots emphasized the contribution of the system to flight safety and the enhanced situational awareness gained in different flight phases thanks to the use of the system.
The companies will work together to integrate the capability in Rega’s future platforms.