Auto-Landing on the Horizon?
December 23, 2010 — A new iPad app from X-Plane creator Austin Meyer may one day be able to be used to safely land an airplane in the event the pilot-in-command becomes incapacitated. Today, EFIS-App works with an iPad linked wirelessly to the X-Plane simulator program and, within the sim, automatically finds a nearby airport and instructs the flight control computer to glide in for a safe landing, reports PopularMechanics.com.
Meyer, who is building a Lancair Evolution expected to be completed in 2011, 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, assessing distance, obstacles, runway lengths, etc., then manipulate the flight controls accordingly to steer toward the best option.
After descending through a series of waypoints, the software would set up for a standard instrument approach and, if applicable, the non-pilot passenger would manually deploy the landing gear. If it works he will make it available to other Evolution owners and seek to obtain certification for other aircraft types.
For more information on EFIS-App, click here.