Paris Air Show

Paris 2011: Rockwell Collins Shows Off CSeries Flight Deck

 - June 23, 2011, 3:05 AM

Rockwell Collins (Hall 4 A18, and Chalet B19) held an official unveiling of its Pro Line Fusion flight deck for the Bombardier CSeries yesterday at Le Bourget, by showing a 360-degree “virtual tour” at the dedicated CSeries pavilion (Static Exhibition D128).

Robert Dewar, v-p and general manager for the CSeries program, said, “This flight deck for the future offers enhanced pilot awareness, increased simplicity, paperless operation and reduced pilot training time.”

Pro Line Fusion draws on advanced features developed by Bombardier for its business aircraft, including features which have not been seen before on an airliner, according to Colin Mahoney, v-p sales, marketing and support at the U.S. avionics manufacturer.

The integrated flight deck features five high-resolution 15.1-inch (diagonal) LCD displays. The flight management system (FMS) is based on phase of flight, saving the pilots from confusing menus by displaying all the information they need for a particular phase, such as landing. Bombardier has also opted for sidestick controllers, which leave the pilots room for a pull out keyboard.

The cockpit uses keyboards and the new displays for pilot input, as part of a philosophy that is “heads up” rather than “heads down,” said Mahoney. “[The aircraft] provides all the information that the pilots need and keeps them in the loop. The ultimate control of the aircraft always remains with the pilot.” There is envelope protection to prevent the pilot over-stressing the aircraft, however.

The dual head-up displays also allow for enhanced/synthetic vision advances in due course. Bombardier Business Aviation and Rockwell Collins have been pioneering this in the industry.

Much of the paper previously used by the pilots can now be accessed directly on Bombardier electronic flight bags (EFBs), or customers can choose third-party EFBs. Meanwhile, the built-in electronic checklist is again a first for an airliner.

Dewar said Bombardier is now building up toward finishing the CSeries CIASTA (complete integrated aircraft systems test area) by the first quarter of 2012. This will allow the company to test fly the aircraft without leaving the ground, so that it should have no surprises and next to no changes to make when the actual aircraft flies in the second half of 2012.