The world's first mass-produced air collision warning system is being fitted aboard military aircraft in the United States.
The world's first mass-produced air collision warning system is being fitted aboard military aircraft in the United States. The system is being used by army helicopter pilots at Fort Rucker, Alabama, and experts hope the anti-collision radar will eventually be operational on passenger jets.
Even when more than 50 planes are flying within an area of one square mile, the new Proximity Warning System - nicknamed "PWS" - helps prevent collisions in the air. The pilot sets his protection area for one, two or three thousand feet. If another plane enters his area, a beeper sound and flashing light warn the pilot immediately.
The army is installing nearly 300 of the Honeywell units on training helicopters. These units include two antennas and built-in tester for each plane. In the air the unit keeps transmitting radar signals that are picked up by the PWS on any other craft entering the same area.
A pilot can't always see another plane approaching, but his PWS alerts him immediately with the beeper sound and flashing light. The "Equal" light means the intruding plane is at the same altitude and three thousand feet away. Both pilots have been warned and they pull away in plenty of time to avoid a collision.
The equipment could also be adapted for fixed-wing aircraft of all types.