Thales is aiming to make pilots' lives easier with its Avionics 2020 future cockpit concept, which uses touchscreens with a host of features to make a more flexible flying experience that the manufacturer says will be feasible to introduce within the next seven years.

Thales is showing the technology in a configuration with four large screens in front of the pilot, a head-up display and two smaller screens closer to the pilots and near the seat, allowing them to pull important data from the main screens onto a separate tablet. However, the system is scalable to fit different types of aircraft and missions, including military applications.

 Thales cockpit concept


The systems manufacturer decided to use touchscreen technology for the cockpit in part because it allows for more natural movements than the knobs and switches that today's avionics provide, says Denis Bonnet, head of innovation for Thales' cockpit competence centre.

One important aspect of the new cockpit is a feature that stores digital charts and manuals within the avionics display itself, rather than residing on an external electronic flight bag (EFB) tablet.

The displays also include ways for pilots to make changes more easily in the air. If a pilot needs to file a different flightplan, they would simply key in the letter of the airport, and a path with the new route would appear. If the aircraft is already cleared to fly in that zone, it would only take a minute to change the path on the screen.

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Source: Flight Daily News