The paperless flightdeck is flying now - in a business jet. Last month, Rockwell Collins received US Federal Aviation Administration approval for paperless flight operations in a Bombardier Challenger 601 fitted with its Pro Line 21 avionics and Integrated Flight Information System (IFIS).

Honeywell, meanwhile, is working with Dassault and Gulfstream toward paperless approval for their integrated flightdecks, both based on the company's Primus Epic avionics platform. In each case, Class 3 electronic flight bag (EFB) capability is being provided on the cockpit multi-function displays, avoiding the need for separate side screens. "We are providing Class 3 EFB capability - including electronic charts, graphical weather and moving maps - through Pro Line 21," says Collins manager, aftermarket programme marketing, Tom Simon.

"The file-server unit [FSU] is the platform for the system and allows us to run any information management application of value in the cockpit."

A dual-redundant IFIS, with two FSUs, is required for approval to remove paper charts from the cockpit. Initially, Collins is offering IFIS on Pro Line 21 applications with 200 x 250mm (8 x 10in) liquid-crystal displays (LCDs). These include Challenger 601 and Dassault Falcon 50 retrofits and forward fit on the Cessna Citation CJ1/2/3 and Raytheon Premier I and Hawker 800XP.

IFIS will also be an option on the Challenger 300 and Gulfstream G150, both of which have larger, 250 x 300mm displays.

Software only is required to add Class 3 EFB functionality to the Primus Epic-based Dassault EASy and Gulfstream PlaneView integrated flightdecks. "We have certificated the first part of charts and maps and areworking to get to paperless," says Honeywell director product marketing and strategic planning, Ken Snodgrass. "There is a lot of redundancy already, so the basic architecture does not need modifying. It is how to do data loading, storage, etc."

Honeywell will roll out a similar capability for other Epic-equipped aircraft and the Epic CDS/R retrofit system by the end of 2005. This involves adding an advanced file graphics server.

"We will take the same look, feel and functionality as EASY and PlaneView into the other aircraft types," says Snodgrass.


Source: Flight International