Testing is under way of Thales's cockpit equipment for the Airbus A350, with the French electronics specialist expecting to deliver the software and hardware for the first aircraft before the end of 2011.
Most of its systems and equipment have passed Airbus's lab unit acceptance reviews and are being tested on the airframer's rigs and simulators.
Thales supplies the main cockpit display screens, airport navigation system, head-up displays, air data and inertial reference units, and several other systems.
While the first full specification software should arrive at Airbus "this summer", hardware for the first aircraft is to be delivered "before the end of this year", said Thales A350 programme director Sébastien Perrignon.
The main instrument panel will be largely covered by six 15in (38cm) rectangular, horizontally arranged display screens, each 60% larger than those on the A380.
Given that the A350 screens are arranged in a horizontal rather than vertical manner, as employed on the A380, it is possible to combine, for example, the primary flight and navigation displays on a single screen.
But the A350 screens are subdivided by a virtual grey bar, making the display appear similar to the A380 equipment.
Thales said the A350 cockpit was designed as a "natural evolution" of the A380 and that Airbus requested the artificial division to ensure continuity with previous models and enable pilots to maintain cross-crew qualifications.