Yesterday, Boeing released a photo from the flight deck of RC501 during power on testing for the first 747-8 freighter, and I was struck by the (subtle) differences between the -8 and the -400 cockpits.
Many of the changes build on the 747 flight deck upgrades that found their way into later -400 models, including LCD displays to replace the CRT screens and consolidation of the back up instruments to a single unit.
The 747-8 maintains the same type rating as the -400, but adds HF datalink, new multifunction displays (MFD), a new LCD flight management computer (FMC) interface, cursor control knob like that on the 787, vertical situation display, as well as electronic checklists like those first introduced by Boeing on the 777.
The avionics will also enable RNP .1 navigation for precision approaches and departures.
Other subtle changes to the pilot interface include the removal of the center detent in the landing gear lever. Previously, crews would have to set the lever to ‘up’, then to ‘off’ once retracted. Crews need only to set the ‘up’ position to retract the landing gear after takeoff. As a result of the smaller landing gear lever, the autobrake selector has also been relocated to just above the first officer’s FMC, similar to the arrangement in the 777 and 787.
In addition, as a result of the additional multifunction display options, the Display Select Panel on the glareshield, which sits between the Electronic Flight Instrumentation System (EFIS) and the autopilot Mode Control Panel (MCP), reflects a 777-style arrangement to select a range of synoptic pages on the left and right inboard displays and lower center MFD.
Photo Credit Boeing
Graphic Credit FlightBlogger