RotorWay believes so strongly in the potential safety enhancements infrared enhanced vision (EV) systems offer that it will subsidize the cost adding Forward Vision EV products to its two-seat kit and planned certified, turbine helicopters.
“We’ve partnered with Forward Vision to offer this option on our helicopters, and we believe so strongly in it that we’ll cover a portion of the costs,” RotorWay CEO Grant Norwitz announced Feb. 23 at the Helicopter Association International’s convention in Anaheim, Calif. “No other [EV system] on the planet can compete on quality or price range.”
RotorWay will add a Forward Vision EV system as a $15,000 option. Similar systems on fixed-wing aircraft typically sell for $23,000 to $25,000. Norwitz said RotorWay will absorb research, development, and other costs he estimated at up to $10,000 per unit.
The 1.2-pound infrared camera and display system is meant to dramatically improve flight safety in night and low-visibility conditions. GPS-based synthetic vision shows terrain, but it can’t spot deer on a runway or obstacles such as cell phone towers or wires that aren’t part of a database. EV also can help helicopter crews in disorienting “brown out” conditions caused by swirling dust.
“(EV) makes our aircraft a very, very functional vehicle,” Norwitz said.