Thales is in discussions with a potential launch customer for its next-generation Avionics 2020 suite, a deal for which is expected to be signed next year.
The company launched the system during last year's Paris air show, and is consulting with the undisclosed proposed launch customer throughout the development process, and once a deal is signed the design of the suite will be finalised.
“As this really is a breakthrough it is necessary to redefine the concept with the customer,” says Richard Perrot, marketing director of the avionics division at Thales.
The design is centred around a touch-screen configuration that stores digital charts and manuals within the avionics suite itself. Compatibility with the EU's SESAR and US NextGen future air traffic management systems is being built into Avionics 2020.
A helmet-mounted display can also be implemented, and Thales is considering introducing technology similar to that used in Google Glass into one configuration so that a helmet is not required to clip the system onto.
“We’ll probably have two ranges of product – one close to Google Glass and one like military systems,” Perrot adds.
Development is anticipated to run until 2018 followed by a year of flight testing and one year of qualification trials, ready for implementation and service entry in 2020.