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Easy landing

Small planes sometimes have trouble landing in bad weather and in local airports. However, a new visualisation system can help make the task much easier.
Easy landing
Many aircraft accidents happen when small or medium planes land in bad weather, often on poorly equipped airfields. The EU-funded project 'Landing software for small-medium aircraft on small-medium airfields' (Landing) delivered a system that helps pilots of small or medium aircraft land safely on sub-standard airfields. It worked on developing hardware and software that could be installed during the building of an aircraft or after.

Landing designed the system so that it could assist the pilot during the approaching, tunnelling and runway phases. It combined several different software and data components, including a geo-positioning system through satellite, three-dimensional (3D) digital maps, 3D geodata, 3D visualisation, flight guidance and other high-tech advances. When combined, this technology enables the pilot to navigate more safely and manipulate the aircraft according to the information he or she receives.

The complex software package offers high-fidelity data visualisation of 2D and 3D images in real time. The system involves a graphic user interface and provides guidance in an easy-to-understand way. It also features positioning software and hardware based on the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) and Galileo technology. In addition, the project team outlined a database in standard format for predefined flight-test areas covering airports and their immediate vicinity, thus enhancing the system's capabilities.

New, affordable equipment and system can be easily integrated on a panel or mounted on portable computing equipment such as a pen-PC. It is ideal for business aircraft, hydroplanes and helicopters, providing an added level of safety for small and medium-sized aircraft. The product was successfully tested and marketed, and ranges in cost from EUR 15,000 to EUR 20,000.

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