What’s got five 15.1in LCD screens, a sidestick with auto throttle, glareshield tuning, integrated overhead panel, virtual panels, a cursor and keyboard, and an electronic check-list (with options for single and dual head-up displays and class 2 EFB)?
That would be Bombardier’s new CSeries flight deck. It’s no secret that Bombardier selected Pro Line Fusion, the latest integrated avionics suite from Rockwell Collins, for the CSeries family that it is developing for service entry in 2013.
But the previous flight deck iteration called for four high-def, landscape-format screens – one in front of each pilot, the other two stacked in the centre – not the five screen interchangeable ensemble you see before you.
By the way, that white knob is a cursor control. Ben says the CSeries will be the first narrowbody aircraft with a cursor control (the Boeing 787 has one).
So where did I take these extraordinary pics? (And yes, they would have been more extraordinary if I had a better camera!) Well Bombardier was kind enough to give me a sneak preview of the flight deck at its Aerospace Product Development Centre (APDC) in St Laurent today.
Having that extra screen comes in handy, says Bombardier new commercial aircraft programme director Ben Boehm, noting that if one of the top four stopped working, “You can still fly a revenue flight.”
So will Bombardier update it’s CSeries reconfigurable engineering flight simulator (REFS) to the new design? You betcha, say executives. That will happen in June.
However, I gave the current model a whirl today.
All I can say is that, for the first time in my simulated flying experience, I didn’t crash the plane. Thank God. I was feeling a bit anxious for my “passengers”.
(Yes, I know this isn’t classic IFE&C and interiors, but I couldn’t help myself)