Farnborough Air Show

Avionics integration at a new high on 787

 - July 20, 2010, 11:03 AM

The Boeing 787’s flight deck elevates the level of avionics integration to a whole new level for an airliner, connecting a vast array of systems and capabilities through a common Ethernet-based network. Rockwell Collins supplies most of what pilots see and touch in the 787 cockpit, from the big 151-inch-diagonal LCD fight displays to the dual head-up guidance systems and even the throttle, speedbrake and flap controls on the center pedestal. 

Crews interact with the avionics using cursor-control devices and a multi-function keypad designed by Boeing and Rockwell Collins specifically for the Dreamliner. Rockwell Collins has also developed the 787’s crew alerting system and the physical control stand, including auto throttles, flight controls and the interface to the airplane’s fly-by-wire systems.

The setup is designed to meet Boeing’s goal of creating a cockpit that has a look and feel similar to the Boeing 777 while achieving significant weight savings and minimizing training transition time, said Jeff Standerski, vice president and general manager of air transport systems at Rockwell Collins.

Rockwell Collins also supplies the 787’s integrated surveillance system, including weather radar, traffic alert and collision avoidance, mode-S surveillance and terrain awareness and warning as well as the communication radios and digital flight deck audio system.

All of the 787’s flight systems are tied together through Rockwell Collins’ AFDX-based Core network, which integrates cockpit data and is connected to a massive hard drive for storing maintenance and other systems data.