Joint Winner: BFGoodrich Avionics Systems

Location Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Joint Winner: Meggitt Avionics

Location Fareham, UK


Achievement Development of solid-state electronic standby instrument systems. Over the past couple of decades, the modern flight-deck has changed out of all recognition. Old electro-mechanical instruments have all but disappeared, to make way for new electronic systems and the colour liquid-crystal display (LCD).

Yet one part of the cockpit appeared to have missed out on this revolution. While other systems have changed, the standby instrument panel, required as a back-up in most passenger aircraft, has remained solidly electro-mechanical.

That is now on the verge of changing with the launch of new solid-state standby instrument systems by both BFGoodrich and Meggitt.

The aim of both companies has been to combine the functions of the traditional attitude, airspeed and altitude indicators into a single modern instrument with LCD display.

The new systems not only reduce the clutter in the cockpit by combining three instruments in a single unit, but they also bring the usual solid-state advances of reduced weight, power consumption and maintenance. Meggitt says that its unit was designed to provide mean time between failures of more than 10,000h.

BFGoodrich also points out that a solid-state unit visually matches the primary electronic flight-instrument systems by which a pilot would normally fly the aircraft. The new units can also be integrated with air-data computers and navigational systems to give the same sort of accuracy and information as the primary displays.

Meggitt's Secondary Flight Display System received Federal Aviation Administration approval at the end of 1996 and has already received orders for applications on Cessna Citation and Gulfstream IV/V business jets, and for retrofit on US Air Force Lockheed C-141 and C-5 transports.

BFGoodrich says that its GH-3000 electronic standby system cleared its final approvals earlier this year and is under evaluation with major aircraft manufacturers and operators across all segments of the industry from airliners to helicopters.

The Awards judges agreed that both systems marked a substantial advance in cockpit instrumentation and should be recognised jointly.

Source: Flight International