Bombardier combines RC SVS with CMC EVS to give CVS all-weather approaches

Combined Vision System adds IR to SVS to bring new level of situational awareness.

By Glenn Connor
Pres, Discover Technology Intl ATP, Cessna 425

Bombardier Global Flight Deck is in final testing of the combination of SVS and EVS into a combined vision system (CVS). (L) TAWS alert in SVS on the PFD over mountainous terrain. (R) Same TAWS alert in SVS as viewed on the HUD.

Bombardier Global Vision Flight Deck is the first to develop and certify the new Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion with both enhanced flight vision system (EFVS) and synthetic vision system (SVS) on a head-up display (HUD) for corporate aviation. The purpose of putting SVS on the HUD is that it gets the pilot heads-up again.

The SVS image on the HUD, even though it is computer-generated, is also conformal (ie, overlays the real world) and is also transparent like EFVS. But, unlike EFVS, the SVS image is not affected by weather—it is always present.

The value to the pilot is that terrain and other situational surface features at a glance give you a quick orientation especially when looking in the real world for the airport or runway. First flight of the Bombardier Global Vision program was Aug 3, 2009, and is part of the company’s plan in achieving a full equivalent visual operational (EVO) capability.

EVO includes the full integration of SV, EV with IR and other vision sensors, flight guidance, runway and taxi guidance capability, all with vision displays. The goal of EVO is to replace past instrument interpretation with vision, reducing workload, mistakes and improving safety. Putting 2 or more images together is what a combined vision system (CVS) does.

The objective is to put into one display the best of EVS and SVS. The SVS displays in service today are advanced primary flight displays (PFDs) and incorporate flight instruments and guidance as well as digital terrain, obstacles, runways and airports.

The operational improvements of SVS include safety and a more intuitive display. Most SVS displays have also turned to the use of the flightpath vector (FPV) symbology which is the main element of the operation used in head-up displays (HUDs).

Flightdeck design

The main design of Bom­bar­dier’s Global Vision Flight Deck is shaped in the form of a classic T with 4 adaptive flight displays. These are large displays that are 15 inches diagonal in size and are the largest in corporate aviation today.

Bombardier flight test center flight ops and Transport Canada civil aviation team on Global Vision. (Top) Senior Engineering Test Pilot Gary Bruce. (Second row L–R) Senior Engineering Test Pilot Mark Schlegel, Transport Canada Engineering Test Pilot Kevin Horton, Senior Engineering Test Pilot Jeff Karnes and Transport Canada Avionics Engineer Mike Palmer.

(Bottom row L–R) Bombardier Aerospace Principal Engineering Specialist Advanced Vision Systems Tony Barber, Transport Canada Flight Test Engineer Hugh Morrin and Flight Test Engineer Mark Mondt.

These same adaptive flight displays—the core of Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion—are also being used on the Boeing 787. The center displays can be used for synoptic, weather, terrain, flight planning, approach charts, etc. The lower center display can be viewed either full or half screen and will be used mostly for FMS functions and graphical flight planning.

Pro Line Fusion’s FMS interface in the Global Vision Flight Deck is also new. Now with a combination of cursor and keypad entry, the Bombardier and Rockwell Collins team have addressed the traditional FMS design with quick key entry, graphical flight planning supports on-the-go planning and displays several elements of the flightplan, performance, approach and other planning data.

Design of the Global Vision PFD includes SVS, flight reference and flight guidance symbology. The PFD also includes the use of the flightpath vector, which provides a more precise means of control of the aircraft. The PFD symbology is harmonized with the HUD so that pilot transitions to heads-down or heads-up are seamless with no additional workload.

The PFD displays can be viewed as half displays or even back to the classic blue over brown type that your grandparents used to fly. In terms of viewing quality, Bombardier pilots report that flying Rockwell’s Pro Line Fusion LCD displays is like viewing hi-def TV versus older analog TV. Pro Line Fusion will be standard equipment on both the XRS and Global 5000.

Global Vision Flight Deck includes CVS on the HUD and SVS, both on the PFDs and HUD. The first customer completed aircraft delivery will have HUD, EFVS on the HUD, SVS, both on the PFDs and HUD. The avionics system has the right performance characteristics to allow for a future update to incorporate CVS, which integrates or merges EVS/SVS imagery in the same physical space.

Operationally, the advantage of using SVS as an integral element of the PFD is that terrain features that provide complete geographic awareness are now part of a single display. In the past, a pilot had to integrate the data on the PFD, that is basic attitude data and flight guidance information, and then refer to a separate display or paper map to complete the picture in the head of the pilot.

The cause of many approach and landing accidents have been found to be due to a mistaken mental picture of location. Now, full color of the terrain and other features such as rivers and lakes are part of the flight environment and shown as part of a completely integrated display.

Global Vision ops

HUD SVS image during an ILS Rwy 1L approach to ICT, using the Bombardier Global 5000 strategic test and development airplane.

A typical approach begins many miles from the runway, but on the Global Vision color PFD is helpful in assessing the progression of the approach and maintaining a clear perspective of where you physically are on the approach. Getting lost is more problematic in the parking lot than with Bombardier’s Global Vision on an approach.

As you approach the outer marker (OM), use of the same SVS data on the HUD allows the crews to better transition to out the window external cues, now knowing exactly where to look for the runway, approach lights and touchdown portion of the runway for a seamless transition no matter the outside visibility.


1 | 2| next