FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), has achieved a milestone in innovative flight safety technology with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification of a new aircraft avionic system that dramatically improves situational awareness for pilots during takeoff and landing"the most critical part of any flight.
FedEx Express is the first major commercial carrier in the airline industry to receive a Supplemental Type Certificate from the FAA for the advanced system, authorizing its installation in the company's fleet of Boeing MD-10 freighters. The company's goal for the system is to improve the level of flight safety by increasing visibility of pilots during adverse weather conditions and darkness.
Upon activation of the system, pilots can significantly enhance visibility in poor weather "including darkness, smoke, smog, haze and other weather events"while simultaneously seeing critical flight data. This allows the captain to maintain a heads-up view of his surroundings, eliminating transition time normally needed to look down at cockpit primary flight information. The visual enhancement is similar to that created by infrared night-vision technology used in modern-day defense systems.
A unique application of Honeywell International " Head Up Display" (HUD) technology combined with infrared " Enhanced Flight Vision System " (EFVS) technology of Elbit Systems of America Commercial Aviation-Kollsman Business Unit, positions the system as the leader in the avionic visual technologies market.
The Honeywell HUD interfaces with aircraft navigational and flight data systems in presenting a high resolution liquid crystal display of critical flight guidance information. This is overlaid with real-time EFVS infrared video of the outside world that is displayed in an overhead unit in the captain's forward field of view using state-of-the-art HUD "combiner" technology. Elbit Systems Ltd., Electro-Optics-Elop manufactures the combiner glass.