Four years ago at Le Bourget, Thales launched Avionics 2020 – a project to develop a next-generation suite of cockpit systems.

The company is using this year's show to highlight the technology, for which it says it already has an OEM launch customer.

Although Thales declines to disclose any names, it expects flight testing to begin in 2019, followed by certification and entry-into-service in 2020, says marketing director of flight avionics Guillaume Lapeyronnie.

Large-display cockpit touchscreens, which airlines can customise to preferred settings, anchor the avionics in the cockpit. The screens assume the role of the countless switches, knobs and dials of previous-generation cockpits, Lapeyronnie says.

As a result, Thales's new avionics weigh some 40% less than earlier-generation equipment and consume 30% less electricity, he adds.

The avionics integrate with Thales's tablet-based electronic flightbag (EFB). Pilots can use the EFB to monitor the aircraft and weather conditions in flight, and to develop new routes, says Lapeyronnie.

Pilots can also send those new routes from the EFB to the aircraft's flight management system.

In addition, the avionics suite ties into Thales's TopMax head-worn display system, which provides pilots with head-up aircraft information, such as pitch, flightpath, speed, altitude and visualisation of terrain.

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Source: Flight Daily News