Bell Helicopter and Lockheed Martin unveiled a single-screen glass cockpit concept in the V-280 tiltrotor mock-up displayed at an army aviation conference on 30 March.
The futuristic design concept stretches across the full width of the instrument panel under the glare shield, filling a space usually occupied by several multi-function displays.
In development under the US Army’s joint multirole-technology demonstrator (JMR-TD) programme, the actual V-280 flight deck will contain four conventional multi-function displays.
The JMR-TD will help the army shape requirements for a family of Future Vertical Lift (FVL) aircraft that will not become operational for nearly two decades, so the single-screen concept was unveiled at the Army Aviation Association of America conference to inspire discussion about the requirements for the future cockpit.
The seamless touchscreen display combines and overlays digital instruments over sensor inputs. Bell partnered with Lockheed to provide the mission systems for the V-280. The latter is proposing several technologies originally developed for the F-35, including the distributed aperture system and the electro-optical targeting system.
Also mimicking the F-35, Lockheed’s sensor fusion algorithms would allow the V-280 to pass onboard health and targeting information between other aircraft.
Bell acknowledges the visual display technology remains years, if not decades, from coming to fruition. To survive a strike by bullets or shrapnel, the single-screen layout must be constructed as a mesh of integrated panels. That way a single damaged panel would not wipe out the entire screen.