Large LCD screens, HUDs, electronic flight bag and conventional control wheel feature in twinjet's flightdeck

Boeing plans to equip the standard 787 flightdeck with dual head-up-displays (HUD) and very large format liquid crystal displays (LCD), and expects to reveal the final configuration in September.

Unveiling first details of what has been the most carefully guarded aspect of the 787 design, Boeing says the cockpit will have the electronic flight bag and electronic logbook as well as GPS-guided precision approach capability with a required navigation performance (RNP) of 0.1nm.

Rockwell Collins Flight Dynamics will supply the HUDs, which will be Model 2200 units, but based on the 5000-series product line with LCD technology.

The HUDs will be fully integrated into the flightdeck as part of the Rockwell Collins display suite, and will "be used in all phases of flight", says the avionics company.

Assistant chief pilot 787 programme Mark Feuerstein says the overall design philosophy builds largely on the 777 cockpit, but with advanced features proven on the company's 737 technology demonstrator. The large format displays, however, are a step beyond all previous flightdecks and will provide "more than double the available display area of the 777", he says.

The recently developed vertical situation display format, which shows a profile view of the planned path of the aircraft, will be a standard feature. "Future possibilities could include enhanced vision system and three-dimensional synthetic vision, but we are currently not offering those," says Feuerstein.

Not surprisingly, Boeing has elected to retain a 777-style control wheel and column as well as standard rudder pedals, throttles and secondary controls.

The high-speed aerodynamic lines have now been frozen and "this year we'll see the end of testing and start moving into the detailed design phase", says 787 vice-president engineering, Walt Gillette. "We are also moving from a joint definition phase to ‘design transfer', as factories around the world start to be put together," he adds.

Assembly of the first test Section 41 nose at the Onex, Wichita site is also under way with the wrapping of the mandril in weave expected to be completed by the end of April. The nose section, which shows the true design of the flightdeck area for the first time, is one of seven test barrels.

Boeing says deposits have been paid on around 250 787s, of which 193 have been announced and 64 firmed up.

Meanwhile, the timetable for the stretched -9 version of the 787 continues to be uncertain, but could be moving forward again, hints Bair. "Some of the airlines have said sometime in 2012. For certain, no-one has said it should be later, and some have said they'd like it towards the end of 2010."


Source: Flight International