Once activated when available, Safe Return assumes control of the aircraft and transforms the Vision Jet into an autonomous vehicle that navigates to the nearest suitable airport for landing, communicates with air traffic control, lands and brings the aircraft safely to a complete stop.
“Our mission is to make personal aviation more accessible by continuing to improve passenger comfort and safety. Safe Return delivers the next step towards autonomous flight, bringing a new level of confidence to the overall flying experience by providing the ultimate level of safety and control to passengers. Together, with the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System® (CAPS®), we have once again set a new standard for safety in personal air travel.”
Zean Nielsen, Cirrus Aircraft Chief Executive Officer
Safe Return, easily accessible by passengers in the cabin, is activated by the touch of a button when available. Once pressed, the autonomous system analyzes terrain and datalink weather to determine the optimal airport for landing, and simultaneously begins communication with Air Traffic Control (ATC). Safe Return utilizes all available aircraft data streams, including available fuel, to safely navigate the Vision Jet to the identified airport and transition on to final approach for the appropriate runway based on ground winds. Autothrottle and the automatic flight control system manage the aircraft’s speed, altitude and path, while the system automatically lowers the flaps and landing gear on final approach.
Eventually the aircraft makes a fully autonomous landing on the intended runway and comes to a complete stop.
Included during this entire process is constant communication with ATC – another layer of autonomy that provides assurance to passengers experiencing a critical situation. Upon activation, Safe Return immediately transmits an emergency message to ATC. Using text and speech technology, the system communicates the aircraft’s intentions over the appropriate ATC frequency, the 121.5 emergency frequency, and also switches to the universal emergency transponder code 7700. ATC is automatically updated at regular intervals of the aircraft’s location, emergency situation and intended airport landing location. These communications begin the process of activating emergency services at the airport of intended landing to assist the passenger and pilot upon arrival.
Safe Return can be easily disengaged by the pilot with a simple press of the Autopilot disconnect button on the yoke if a passenger inadvertently activates the system.
More information on Safe Return and the G2 Vision Jet can be found at www.cirrusaircraft.com/visionjet.
Photo & Video Credit: Cirrus Aircraft