Astronics Enhanced Vision STC approved for aerial firefighting on DC-10 air tankers

Astronics Corporation, a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace, defence and other mission critical industries, announced that a supplemental type certificate (STC) has been approved for its Max-Viz 1400 Enhanced Vision System (EVS) on DC 10-30 air tankers.

With the Astronics Max-Viz EVS, Aerial firefighting pilots can see through smoke and identify targets and terrain on their missions. Astronics Photo
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In cooperation with AVIO dg in Calgary, Alta., and 10 Tanker, the Astronics Max-Viz EVS was installed in one of 10 Tanker’s DC-10 aircraft, representing the first aerial firefighting tanker outfitted with the system. To achieve a supplemental type certificate, the Max-Viz 1400 system successfully underwent flight testing and evaluation during water drops.

The Astronics Max-Viz 1400 has an enhanced vision sensor using a 640 by 480 pixel resolution long wave infrared thermal imager with electronic zoom, which allows aerial firefighting pilots to see through smoke and readily identify targets and terrain on their incredible missions. Individual pins for control switches allow maximum placement flexibility and multiple horizontal field of view options: 45, 69, and 90 degrees.

The imager uses a lightweight, solid-state, low power, uncooled thermal camera. The sensor image can be presented on any display that accepts NTSC or PAL/Analog RS-170 signals. It utilizes a metal fairing design, is DO-160G compliant, and has integral window heaters for operation in all conditions with a temperature operating environment of -55 C to 70 C (-67 F to 158 F). The Astronics Max-Viz 1400 is manufactured in an AS9100 Certified facility, with solid state technology that requires no routine maintenance. It is exportable under the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Pictured is the Max-Viz 1400 installed on a DC-10. Astronics Photo
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“This specialized technology provides aerial tanker pilots with an unprecedented level of situational awareness and safety,” said Tom Geiger, Max-Viz Business Unit Director for Astronics PECO. “We worked closely with AVIO dg and 10 Tanker to get this technology approved for these specialized aerial firefighting missions involving the DC-10.”

Astronics Max-Viz EVS provides improved safety and enhanced vision, enabling pilots to see more precisely in adverse weather conditions, such as haze, smoke, smog, and light fog, even on the darkest night. In addition, pilots can see and avoid clouds delivering a smoother ride at night. Aerial firefighting pilots using the Max-Viz EVS at low altitudes can clearly avoid terrain hazards while flying their missions.

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