Eurocopter last month released the first photo of the actual cockpit of the EC175 medium twin. Previously, only mockups were shown and the prototype doors were kept almost closed during its official introduction on December 17 last year.
According to system architecture department director Serge Germanetti, the new avionics system is based on quadruple-redundant architecture that Eurocopter developed. Its specialized components have been tailored to the helicopter’s needs. However, individual components can still be procured from several different equipment suppliers, Germanetti said.
The central processing unit (CPU) is said to translate into flexibility for the customer, its partitions allowing various functions–such as the autopilot, the vehicle monitoring system, the flight parameter recorder and so on–to operate simultaneously while maintaining the “individually adapted safety levels” of each. The configuration also requires less wiring, Eurocopter says.
Moreover, said Germanetti, “customers can choose the capabilities they need, without having to modify the overall system architecture”–useful when adding functions such as computer-generated terrain imagery and collision avoidance.
As a flight-test engineer explained, the philosophy behind the design is to lighten crew workload. For example, the computer prioritizes alerts messages, deciding which alert to transmit to the crew between those from the fuel system, the engine, the air conditioning, the EGPWS and so on.