On the Horizon?
EFIS-App for iPad is designed to save lives
A NEW IPAD APP from X-Plane creator Austin Meyer may one day be used to
safely land an airplane if the pilot in command becomes incapacitated. In its
current version, the EFIS-App from Laminar Research works with an iPad linked
wirelessly to the X-Plane simulator program to automatically find a nearby
airport and then instructs the flight control computer to glide in for a safe landing.
Meyer, who is building a Lancair Evolution expected to be completed this
year, intends to connect the app to his airplane’s flight control system and, using
the onboard satellite navigation data, allow it to perform a landing. EFIS-App
would find airports within gliding range, and assess distances, obstacles, runway
lengths, and other factors, then manipulate the flight controls accordingly to steer
the aircraft toward the best option.
After the airplane descends, the software would set up for a standard
instrument approach, and if applicable, the non-pilot passenger would manually
deploy the landing gear. If the tests are successful, Meyer will make the software
available to other Evolution owners and seek to obtain certification for other
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AEROINNOVATIONS highlights developments that have potential to impact the future of aviation. EAA does not necessarily endorse the ideas, products, services, or views stated.
SPACE PLANE RETURNS
THE U.S. AIR FORCE’S X-37B
space plane recently completed
225 days in orbit around the
Earth, followed by the first U.S.
fully automated re-entry and
runway landing from low Earth
orbit. The X-37B is a smaller
automated version of the U.S.
space shuttle and made at least
four major course changes
during its time in orbit.
THE TRICHUTE SAFE LANDING
SYSTEM basics were first tested
in the 1960s, but the Aviation
Safety Resources (ASR) system
for in-flight catastrophes is only
now nearing final development.
The ASR system monitors the
aircraft for serious safety and
operation problems, alerts the
pilot of an emergency, and, if
the pilot doesn’t respond, can
deploy three parachutes for
safe landing of the aircraft.
AN AUTOPILOT SYSTEM developed
in Australia allows planes to
guide themselves through
extreme maneuvers, including
a loop, a barrel roll, and an
Immelmann. Modeled on the
visual horizon detection method
used by honeybees to guide
their flight, cameras on the
aircraft determine its position
relative to the horizon and
provide safer and more accurate
control than gyroscopes.
MORE ENERGY IN
ETV MOTORS IS TARGETING
aviation and electric bikes
with its energy-dense
advanced lithium batteries
that reportedly can deliver
50 percent more energy than
state-of-the-art cells. ETV’s
battery technology focuses
on high-voltage spinel oxide
cathodes and uses proprietary
coating techniques for the
cathodes and raw materials.