Design of the Boeing 787 cockpit
means that crews will be able to access improved information, says the type’s
chief pilot, without the need to sacrifice simplicity or familiarity.
Speaking to ATI during a briefing in London,
Capt Mike Carriker said the
airframer was finalising
minor cockpit details ahead of producing the first test aircraft.
“We’re down to picking out the shade
of pixels on the displays,” he says.
Boeing intends to ease pilots’
access to data without adding complexity to the cockpit design, and aims to
retain commonality with the Boeing 777 in order to meet a target training
conversion time of five days between the 777 and 787.
The cockpit is based on five
30.5cm-by-22.9cm (12in-by-9in) displays which should be able to provide greater
visual information without loss of clarity.
Navigation screens will be able to
display large-format maps with a 1,280nm (2,370km) range, giving the crew clear
data on long-distance waypoints, while pilots will be able to bring up airport
layout information without the frustration of having to scroll the display to
view relevant areas.
The display will be able to overlay
weather data without obscuring vital navigation information and screens will
also have dedicated sections for displaying air traffic control communications.
Among the avionics features will be advisories to ensure that
crews are reminded to perform necessary actions to comply with air traffic
Pilots will be offered increased
assistance through menu-driven software and features designed to reduce the
risk of erroneous data entry to the flight-management system by providing
options based on the specific operating criteria of the carrier.
The airframer has opted for an ‘ABC’ format keyboard for
the flight-management system rather than parallel rival Airbus’ decision to
adopt the ‘QWERTY’ layout.
“If we put in a QWERTY keyboard,
crews have to take more training,” says Carriker.
efforts to achieve design simplicity by replacing 22 line-replaceable units in
the 777 with just 12 in the 787. But the 787’s overhead panel will be similar
to that found on its larger predecessor.
Integrated approach navigation
systems will allow pilots conducting approaches with VOR, NDB and localiser
navigation aids to use the same procedures employed during ILS precision
approaches. This will save simulator training time, says Carriker, by reducing different approach procedures
to a single common one.
Pilots will be presented with
navigation scales displaying required performance levels – the 787 will be able
to support RNP 0.1 capability, ensuring that it can achieve lateral track
accuracy of 0.1nm – while safety will be enhanced through the installation of
vertical situation displays and dual head-up displays.
Boeing expects airlines to be able
to convert 757 and 767 pilots to the 787 in eight days and convert 737 pilots
in 11 days.