Airbus has selected Thales Avionics to supply the modules for the A380's integrated modular avionics (IMA). The French avionics manufacturer, teamed with Germany's Diehl Avionik Systeme, was selected over Smiths Aerospace to help Airbus define the modular architecture, which Thales chief executive aerospace, Francois Lureau describes as "revolutionary".

In the IMA architecture, avionics functions are distributed between generic computing modules slotted into cabinets located in various places throughout the aircraft and linked by high-speed Ethernet databus.

Avionics functions ranging from display processing through communications routing to utilities management will be performed by software developed by other suppliers to run on the Thales-produced modules.

Thales will also bid to supply several of the software packages, says Lureau, including flight management, which because of its importance to the development schedule will be the first IMA function to be competed.

Other A380 equipment selections already announced include: CAE (development simulators); Goodrich (main gear); Messier-Dowty (nose gear); Saab (wing fixed leading-edge); and Rockwell-Collins (Ethernet databus).

Thales, meanwhile, has teamed with TRW to offer a variable-frequency power generation system. The team is competing against Hamilton Sundstrand. Other teams competing for A380 work include Goodrich/Messier competing for the wheels and brakes against Honeywell/Dunlop.

Source: Flight International