Lead test pilot Bryan Weaver heads up our flight on the Falcon. He's taxiing the plane down the runway as we take off at Phoenix's Deer Valley Airport. Directly in front of him is a synthetic vision display. It shows a 3D rendering of the world outside the cockpit, with obstacles, terrain and runway information on one screen.
Weaver checks displays in the cockpit during the flight. He tells me that synthetic vision displays can help pilots with situational awareness. Compared to traditional displays, synthetic vision displays give pilots a better a better sense of where the plane is in relation to the environment, he says.
This is an infrared image superimposed over a traditional flight display. The blue-over-brown view underneath the IR image (as seen on the previous slide) is normally all pilots see. With infrared, pilots get a clear view of what the environment looks like outside the cockpit, even if there's low visibility due to bad weather or they're flying at night.
Honeywell's flight simulator is used to collect pilot feedback on new displays, such as synthetic vision. Other technology under the hood includes a feature that lets pilots see where they need to go once they're on the runway, kind of like GPS in a car. They enter a gate coordinate on a tablet, then the taxi path is displayed on screen in the cockpit.