FARNBOROUGH -- While I'm back officially in DC right now, I've got several more posts in the pipeline from this week's Farnborough Air Show. On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to get onboard the Suhkoi Superjet while it was on static display at the show. While Mary Kirby focused on the cabin, I decided to spend some time in the front office of the new 100-seat jetliner. Sukhoi strongly emphasizes the western nature of the aircraft's design, perhaps most notable is the influence of the Airbus flight deck philosophy.
The fly-by-wire aircraft features Thales avionics with an Intergrated Modular Avionics (IMA) and Aircraft Full Duplex switched data network (AFDX) ethernet architecture, which is nearly identical to the system supplied for the A380 and similar to 787. In fact, the folks at Superjet International are prone to calling it "The Little A380".
The IMA architecture requires fewer avionics components, and easier disassembly, maintenance and repair, as well as simplification of fault isolation and upgrade implementation. AFDX requires fewer connections with exponentially increased capacity to move data over the previous ARINC 429 standard.
The sidestick controls are notable, as Boeing was a consultant on the program. Boeing has always included yoke controls on its aircraft, its differentiator over Airbus products. The sidestick drives electro-hydraulic servo actuators in the ailerons, elevators, rudder, and ground and multifunction spoilers.