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EFIS is User Friendly


Wayne Hicks
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Those of you participating on the Cozy Email list no doubt remember the article I wrote about my recent NASA flight with an experimental EFIS unit. I've updated the article and added several depictions of what the EFIS display looked like as I shot the approaches. I've posted it to my website at this link:

 

http://www.maddyhome.com/canardpages/pages/waynehicks/efis_report.htm

 

Feedback is welcome.

Wayne Hicks

Cozy IV Plans #678

http://www.ez.org/pages/waynehicks

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Once all the parameters get tuned and worked out, and HITS displays become common, won't this teach everyone to forget the basics? Kind of like the lack of need for knowing Morse code. Then again, maybe that was a good thing...

 

But forget the EFIS, your real achievement is getting those pictures to happen using PowerPoint! I'm impressed. :)

 

After being sucked into and tortured by your concept panel pages once again, I'm nearly convinced I need to decide which of my daughters won't be going to college. I hope the prices of this stuff comes way down over the next 5 years.

Jon Matcho :busy:
Builder & Canard Zone Admin
Now:  Rebuilding Quickie Tri-Q200 N479E
Next:  Resume building a Cozy Mark IV

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Wayne,

 

Great writeup. I flew out of RIC many years and AKQ was where we would go for night formation roll ons (helicopters with wheels don't ya' know) and I was curious about the terrain relief. Thought maybe things had changed a lot in the last couple of years.

 

Hasn't one of the major avionic manufacturers already certified an EFIS system with HITS for GA? Can't remember if it is Chelton or Avidyne (sorry for the spelling) but it seems one of them got a mass certification for about 80 airframes and that the system uses HITS. I'm going to do a FW instrument add on one of these days and would prefer to go EFIS after years of steam gauges. I agree that most of IFR is reactive and if you're not accustomed to the approach and environment a lot of catch up is played on the AC configuration side of the house. It seems like this technology is years overdue.

 

Anyway, I was wondering if you are somehow involved in the SATS program with NASA?

Darrell

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I know Chelton has the HITS with the 4-box presentation. I don't know if the Garmin 1000, Avidyne, Integra, and all the other cert'd guys have HITS, but I imagine they do.

 

NASA's experiment was not to determine if HITS is a good thing. (It is.) NASA is just evaluating different symbologies to help the FAA establish a standard that appeases most pilots.

 

No, I'm not involved with SATS, but I'd sure like to be. There's a job opening to develop the flight procedures and evaluate the data for when NASA starts doing the SATS approaches into the three Virginia airports outfitted with the ground aids. The job might also involve flying some of the GA aircraft. That would be a dream job!

Wayne Hicks

Cozy IV Plans #678

http://www.ez.org/pages/waynehicks

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Thanks Wayne,

 

If you try for the position, good luck! It is interesting that most pilots prefer to lose the colors on the background. I would have thought red for higher terrain would have been a preference. Never know till you test it I guess.

 

And now a rant. The one thing that blows me away is how slow the aviation industry has been to really progress, mostly in the realm of scheduled carriers. I can't believe how little things have changed in the last 20 years (or even 40). That two human beings sit in front of the machine and must actually see (in the vast majority of landings) the runway is unbelievable. I share my life with a Part 121 pilot and with the exception of the FMS (the glass displays aren't much more than a reconfiguration of what's seen on the mechanical gauges), she may as well do exactly what I was doing 15 years ago in a Blackhawk. For god's sake, for the most part we are still talking to each other (and over each other in most airspace) using a radio!?

 

I think the day will come when the brightest among us (yes - engineers) will win over the romantic among us (pilots) and the bungling among us (FAA) to create machines and an operating environment that can effectively do for the carriers (not just one or two - but most) what capital equipment is meant to do - provide a predictable and quality product for the customer and maximize the wealth of the stockholders. Godspeed to NASA and others who will someday turn all of this around. If you can't tell, I'm a huge fan of the X-45 and Global Hawk. And I know - the cost, the cost!

 

Keep up the good work Wayne.

 

Rant over.

Darrell

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The one thing that blows me away is how slow the aviation industry has been to really progress...

I would like to believe there's hope here (I have to believe in something). If you look at telephones, they went virtually unchanged for well over 50 years. The technology finally evolved with cordless, cell phones, encryption/security, and deregulation along the way (don't think this last factor will help us with avionics). Most recently, we see small companies changing the landscape once again with telephony over the Internet. Options for the consumer are at their best.

 

I hope that many more www.bluemountainavionics.com and www.advanced-control-systems.com stories develop -- with experimenters grabbing the attention of the industry and making progress happen.

Jon Matcho :busy:
Builder & Canard Zone Admin
Now:  Rebuilding Quickie Tri-Q200 N479E
Next:  Resume building a Cozy Mark IV

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Jon,

 

Agreed on all points. Having experienced "skunk works" operations in the Army, I was able to see just how fast a technology can move from planning to the battlefield, realizing of course the considerable risk most of us took as the technology was proven is beyond what most people would accept. I too hope that change will accelerate in an exponential manner so that at least the most basic of our air transportation system could come out of the 50's. I have a friend who flies a G-V with EVS and he is amazed that the airlines aren't kicking the crap out of the manufacturers to get a like system certified and fielded. Simple stuff first, complex later.

 

By the way, I really enjoy your site. Looks like you will end up with an excellent product.

 

Regards

Darrell

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I was able to see just how fast a technology can move from planning to the battlefield

I'm not holding my breath for much good coming out of the current battlefield. There is that other battlefield where we want EFIS Company A fighting with EFIS Company B over features, quality, and value. I'm hoping for an all-out war here.

 

By the way, I really enjoy your site. Looks like you will end up with an excellent product.

Thank you very much, but I hope for my sake that you're referring to my plane parts and not my Web site. :)

Jon Matcho :busy:
Builder & Canard Zone Admin
Now:  Rebuilding Quickie Tri-Q200 N479E
Next:  Resume building a Cozy Mark IV

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