First General Aviation Flight Test Supports Expanding Market to Include General Aviation Pilots
BOTHELL, Wash., June 14 /PRNewswire/ — A successful week-long flight test of heads-up display technology showed dramatic increases in situational
awareness for private pilots using a cockpit visualization system built around
the Microvision (Nasdaq: MVIS) augmented vision technology and AvroTec’s suite
of moving map display software.
The demonstration also marked the first private pilot flight test
evaluation of Microvision’s prototype Nomad Personal Display System, the
company’s first commercial product based on its Retinal Scanning Display(TM)
Part of a strategic partnership between the companies, the flight trials
tested the effectiveness of a cockpit visualization system — built around the
two products — in keeping pilot attention focused on the outside environment
rather than looking down at the cockpit controls. With the increased
capability to keep attention focused on flying, test pilots reported external
situational awareness and ease of navigation were greatly enhanced, and that
the head-mounted display proved to be comfortable and reliable.
“The possibilities of information that could be displayed are endless,”
noted one test pilot. “The moving map screen is great for situational
awareness and would be a great aid to the instrument pilot.”
The flight test supports the company’s extension of the Nomad system’s
aerospace applications beyond its core military customers to include private
pilots, said Steve Whiston, Microvision’s marketing manager for defense and
“This application is a natural extension for our Nomad system which excels
in brightly-lit environments where the user needs access to information in a
hands-free and see-through mode,” said Whiston. “We see a large marketplace
potential stemming from the base of over 200,000 single engine general
aviation aircraft in the US alone. Combine the potential for increased safety
with the overall improvement in situational awareness, and you have a solid
foundation for a very successful Nomad application.”
During the week-long trial, test pilots superimposed images from AvroTec’s
moving map display software onto their vision using the Nomad augmented vision
display system. Pilots reported the cockpit system delivered easily readable
data in bright daylight conditions against both the sky and the ground and did
not obstruct the field of view nor prevent such routine tasks as radio
frequency adjustments and throttle changes.
Based on this initial success, the two companies next plan a test to
compare and quantify the amount of time pilots spend looking down at controls
and maps with traditional displays versus time spent looking out of the
cockpit using the prototype Nomad system displays. The increase in time spent
looking out enhances situational awareness, which correlates with increased
safety. Second round test results will be reported at the EAA AirVenture 2001
in Oshkosh in July.
The flight tests are the first joint project between the two companies,
which recently entered into a strategic alliance aimed at pursuing advanced
cockpit visualization systems. AvroTec and Microvision will perform a series
of flight tests with both company and independent test pilots evaluating the
system for display of navigational maps, local airport area strip charts, and
other aviation symbology.
Microvision continues to pursue market opportunities applicable for the
Nomad wearable display and to demonstrate productivity and safety benefits
achieved by customers and partners in real world applications.
Digital photo of pilot in the cockpit available:
Contact Randy Balogh, Parker LePla, 206-285-5280, email@example.com
Headquartered in Bothell, WA, Microvision Inc. is the developer of the
patented retinal scanning display technology and a world leader in micro
miniature optical scanning technology for display and imaging applications.
The company’s technology has applications in a broad range of military,
medical, industrial, professional and consumer information products.
Forward Looking Statement
The information set forth in this release includes “forward-looking
statements” within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934, as amended, and is subject to the safe harbor created by those
sections. Certain factors that realistically could cause results to differ
materially from those projected in the company’s forward-looking statements
are set forth in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly
Reports on Form 10-Q, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
About AvroTec: http://www.AvroTec.com
AvroTec, Inc is a ten year old Aurora, OR manufacturer of cockpit displays
for general aviation aircraft and is also a founding member of NASA’s Advanced
General Aviation Transport Experiments government/industry consortium (AGATE).