Purchasing new hardware? Read our latest product comparisons

Elbit extends Skylens HUD system to helicopter pilots


July 17, 2014

The Helicopter Skylens is aimed at pilots of medium-size rotorcraft

The Helicopter Skylens is aimed at pilots of medium-size rotorcraft

Image Gallery (3 images)

Helicopters are so commonplace, it's easy to forget that an aircraft that can take off and land vertically as well as hover is a tricky thing to fly – especially in close quarters and low visibility. One solution is augmented reality systems, such as the Helicopter Skylens wearable head-up display for Enhanced Flight Vision System (EFVS) applications.

A new helicopter-specific version of Elbit System’s Skylens, the Helicopter Skylens was unveiled at this year’s Farnborough Airshow.

It's a lightweight wearable device consisting of a visor large enough to fit easily over the pilot’s glasses, and is part of the Clearvision Enhanced Flight Vision System (EFVS) family. The visor displays high-resolution data, symbols, and video in a wide field, and is designed to be retrofitted to existing systems in helicopters to provide an augmented view of the outside world with data laid over what the pilot sees.

The device has a similar sunglasses-like design to that of the original Skylens, and is designed for helicopter pilots on medium-size civilian rotorcraft. It gives them a real-time "out of the cockpit" real-world view of the area’s terrain, that identifies obstacles and generates computer guidance with suggested safe flight paths overlaid on the field of vision.

Elbit sees the first applications of the Helicopter Skylens on rotorcraft operating on offshore oil and gas platforms. From there, the company hopes to see it used for search and rescue, law enforcement, offshore marine work, and emergency management.

Source: Elbit

About the Author
David Szondy David Szondy is a freelance writer based in Monroe, Washington. An award-winning playwright, he has contributed to Charged and iQ magazine and is the author of the website Tales of Future Past. All articles by David Szondy

I suppose it all depends on where the augmented reality system gets its positional data from. If that data is reliable, then one can envisage an option where the pilot tells the on-board flight computer which of the suggested exit route he or she wants to take and leave it to the aircraft to fly itself out. That being said, I sincerely hope that the radar/ultrasonic distance measuring sensors are fail safe rather than fail dangerous.

Mel Tisdale

I am more interested in how systems like this HUD/HMD compare to the gigantically expensive and problematic display being developed for the F35 fighter. How big is the performance gap? And does the performance gap map to the pricetag gap?

Post a Comment

Login with your Gizmag account:

Related Articles
Looking for something? Search our articles