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Climb aboard the Falcon

The Falcon's flight deck

No jetway needed

Preparing for takeoff

Helping pilots see what they might miss

In flight

Blue-over-brown display

Infrared overlays

Seeing is believing

Synthetic vision

The airport map

Dark outside, bright inside

Flight simulator

Landing

This plane is a Dassault Falcon, one of several planes used by Honeywell to test out new aviation technology.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Lexy Savvides/CNET / Read the article
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of 14

Climb aboard the Falcon

The Falcon's flight deck

No jetway needed

Preparing for takeoff

Helping pilots see what they might miss

In flight

Blue-over-brown display

Infrared overlays

Seeing is believing

Synthetic vision

The airport map

Dark outside, bright inside

Flight simulator

Landing

The Falcon is home to several experimental displays, including one that shows a 3D airport representation so pilots can safely navigate between gates and taxiways.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Lexy Savvides/CNET
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of 14

Climb aboard the Falcon

The Falcon's flight deck

No jetway needed

Preparing for takeoff

Helping pilots see what they might miss

In flight

Blue-over-brown display

Infrared overlays

Seeing is believing

Synthetic vision

The airport map

Dark outside, bright inside

Flight simulator

Landing

Even the stairs on the aircraft announce the plane's experimental technology.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Lexy Savvides/CNET
3
of 14

Climb aboard the Falcon

The Falcon's flight deck

No jetway needed

Preparing for takeoff

Helping pilots see what they might miss

In flight

Blue-over-brown display

Infrared overlays

Seeing is believing

Synthetic vision

The airport map

Dark outside, bright inside

Flight simulator

Landing

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.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Lexy Savvides/CNET
4
of 14

Climb aboard the Falcon

The Falcon's flight deck

No jetway needed

Preparing for takeoff

Helping pilots see what they might miss

In flight

Blue-over-brown display

Infrared overlays

Seeing is believing

Synthetic vision

The airport map

Dark outside, bright inside

Flight simulator

Landing

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.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Lexy Savvides/CNET
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of 14

Climb aboard the Falcon

The Falcon's flight deck

No jetway needed

Preparing for takeoff

Helping pilots see what they might miss

In flight

Blue-over-brown display

Infrared overlays

Seeing is believing

Synthetic vision

The airport map

Dark outside, bright inside

Flight simulator

Landing

Even though it's almost completely dark outside the cockpit, synthetic vision displays (shown here on the left and right) make it look like we're flying on a bright, sunny day.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Lexy Savvides/CNET
6
of 14

Climb aboard the Falcon

The Falcon's flight deck

No jetway needed

Preparing for takeoff

Helping pilots see what they might miss

In flight

Blue-over-brown display

Infrared overlays

Seeing is believing

Synthetic vision

The airport map

Dark outside, bright inside

Flight simulator

Landing

This blue-over-brown display is something that today's pilots are used to seeing, but it doesn't give them the same level of detail as synthetic vision.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Lexy Savvides/CNET
7
of 14

Climb aboard the Falcon

The Falcon's flight deck

No jetway needed

Preparing for takeoff

Helping pilots see what they might miss

In flight

Blue-over-brown display

Infrared overlays

Seeing is believing

Synthetic vision

The airport map

Dark outside, bright inside

Flight simulator

Landing

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.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Lexy Savvides/CNET
8
of 14

Climb aboard the Falcon

The Falcon's flight deck

No jetway needed

Preparing for takeoff

Helping pilots see what they might miss

In flight

Blue-over-brown display

Infrared overlays

Seeing is believing

Synthetic vision

The airport map

Dark outside, bright inside

Flight simulator

Landing

The infrared camera is mounted at the front of the plane.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Lexy Savvides/CNET
9
of 14

Climb aboard the Falcon

The Falcon's flight deck

No jetway needed

Preparing for takeoff

Helping pilots see what they might miss

In flight

Blue-over-brown display

Infrared overlays

Seeing is believing

Synthetic vision

The airport map

Dark outside, bright inside

Flight simulator

Landing

Honeywell's version of synthetic vision, called SmartView, also guides pilots onto the runway with helpful symbology.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Lexy Savvides/CNET
10
of 14

Climb aboard the Falcon

The Falcon's flight deck

No jetway needed

Preparing for takeoff

Helping pilots see what they might miss

In flight

Blue-over-brown display

Infrared overlays

Seeing is believing

Synthetic vision

The airport map

Dark outside, bright inside

Flight simulator

Landing

One of the displays in the Falcon shows the plane's position in the airport.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Lexy Savvides/CNET
11
of 14

Climb aboard the Falcon

The Falcon's flight deck

No jetway needed

Preparing for takeoff

Helping pilots see what they might miss

In flight

Blue-over-brown display

Infrared overlays

Seeing is believing

Synthetic vision

The airport map

Dark outside, bright inside

Flight simulator

Landing

Another example of how these new displays can help pilots see everything outside the cockpit even though it's completely dark.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Lexy Savvides/CNET
12
of 14

Climb aboard the Falcon

The Falcon's flight deck

No jetway needed

Preparing for takeoff

Helping pilots see what they might miss

In flight

Blue-over-brown display

Infrared overlays

Seeing is believing

Synthetic vision

The airport map

Dark outside, bright inside

Flight simulator

Landing

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.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Lexy Savvides/CNET
13
of 14

Climb aboard the Falcon

The Falcon's flight deck

No jetway needed

Preparing for takeoff

Helping pilots see what they might miss

In flight

Blue-over-brown display

Infrared overlays

Seeing is believing

Synthetic vision

The airport map

Dark outside, bright inside

Flight simulator

Landing

A commercial airliner comes in to land near Honeywell's facilities in Phoenix, Arizona.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Lexy Savvides/CNET
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