Airbus has evolved the A350 XWB's flightdeck design from the A380, using the same display philosophy but adopting fewer, larger screens for improved inter-changeability, reliability and lower weight.
In place of the eight electronic flight instrument system screens and two on-board information system (OIS) displays on the A380 are six larger identical 15.4in (39cm) screens, five of which are installed in parallel across the cockpit, with the sixth placed centrally adjacent to the pedestal.
"With the A350 we have the EFIS, ECAM [electronic centralised aircraft monitor], FMS [flight management system] and OIS all displayed on the same screens and they are all interchangeable," says senior Airbus test pilot Jean-Michel Roy. "This means for the first time on an airliner the OIS screen will be the same size as the other displays," he says.
The normal configuration is for the OIS to be displayed on the outer screens, the navigation/primary flight displays on the inboard screens, the ECAM on the upper centre screen and the FMS multifunction displays (MFD) on the lower centre screen.
As with the A380 system, control of the MFD, navigation and mailbox displays is through the keyboard cursor control units installed on the pedestal. "For the A350 we have extended interactivity of the KCCU to the OIS on the outer screens," says Roy. "In addition, as the normal checklists have been moved to the MFD on the lower screen, they are also accessible through a 'mouse click' from the KCCU."