A new round of supplier selections on the Boeing 777X re-affirm Boeing’s strategy to emphasise commonality with the computing and display systems on the 787.
Boeing has already announced its intention to “harvest” such 787 technologies as composite wings and reduced pressure altitude inside the cabin.
The same strategy is now evident in the cockpit and electronic systems on board the 777X.
Rockwell Collins announced 16 December that Boeing selected the company to provide 787-style, 15.1in displays and integrated surveillance system on the 777X, displacing technology formerly supplied by Honeywell.
Combined with Boeing’s selection for fly-by-wire control system actuators on the 777X last July, Collins has trebled its work package on the 777X compared to previous models of the jumbo widebody.
“We saw a pretty much across the board the 787 package come on to the 777X,” says Kent Statler, Collins’ chief operating officer and vice-president of commercial systems. “That was our strategy all along because that makes for a good day for us.”
The integrated surveillance system includes several devices – multiscan radar, traffic collision avoidance system and transponders – that on previous 777 models offered customers a choice of competing options.
Boeing transferred the systems to standard equipment on the 787 programme. That policy continued on the 777X, and Collins was selected for the winner-take-all award.
“The great thing about that is the competition is over,” Statler says.
Boeing also selected the the Collins head-up display (HUDs) for the 777X, also leveraging technology developed for the 787. Unlike the multifunction displays beneath the glare shield and the integrated surveillance system, airlines can choose whether to install a HUD in the 777X. If the customer acquires a HUD, Collins will supply two displays in each cockpit – one for the pilot and co-pilot, Statler says.
Separately, Boeing has selected GE Aviation to supply the common core avionics computer and the electrical power system for the 777X.
In the case of the common core avionics computer, Boeing selected the 787 supplier over the incumbent on previous 777 models, which was Honeywell.
The common core functions as the “brain and central nervous system” of the aircraft, hosting more than 50 software applications delivered from more than 20 other suppliers, GE Aviation says.
Boeing has not yet publicly defined the requirements for the overall 777X electrical system, but, as a bleed-air driven architecture, it leans more on legacy 777 technology than the more-electric, bleed-less system developed for the 787.
As such, Boeing maintained GE Aviation as the 777X supplier for the electrical load management system (ELMS), which is also installed aboard previous 777 models.
The new system will be improved. Despite managing 30% more electrical load, the 777X ELMS will be no heavier or larger than the system found on the 777-300ER, GE Aviation says.
Source: Cirium Dashboard