Lufthansa Systems has launched a digital charting system, the Lido Route Manual (LRM), which is designed to make cockpits paperless in the near future.
The LRM database is unique in that it not only generates en-route charts and approach plates electronically for either print-out or on-screen display, but also integrates with the aircraft's flight management system (FMS) and can be used to update it.
The LRM will first be integrated into the Airbus A380's cockpit as part of its onboard information system, for which it will be the manufacturer's preferred "flight bag" database, says Lufthansa Systems chief executive Dr Peter Franke. However, it will also be available for retrofit to other types. A hardware supplier has not yet been selected, but Franke says it is likely to be a company of the calibre of Honeywell or Rockwell Collins.
The LRM database creates to-scale colour charting and is based on the existing Lido navigation database, which is also updated for aviation information services changes, including notams, and a real-time or forecast weather overlay for display charts is available. Lufthansa has been using charts produced from the LRM database since the start of September.
By the end of 2004, the database will be able to create or present approach or departure plates for all 650 airports used by Lufthansa's network as destinations or alternates, but by the end of 2005 the airports on the database will number 1,500.
DAVID LEARMOUNT / FRANKFURT