L-3 throws its hat into EFB ring

 - June 19, 2007, 10:54 PM

L-3 Communications said here at the show Monday that it would produce an electronic flight bag (EFB) portable cockpit computer, adding yet another player to a market already flush with competitors.

The class-2 device will include a color touch screen generally used in specialized military applications and a computer processor running Microsoft Windows. Flight crews will use the unit for viewing electronic approach charts, manuals, checklists and other information.

Developed by L-3’s Display Systems and Aviation Recorders divisions, the EFB can also host a number of proprietary applications developed by other L-3 units. These include live video images supplied by the Iris enhanced-vision camera sold by L-3 Avionics Systems, surface area movement management tool developed by ACSS (a joint venture of L-3 and Thales) and cockpit weather data through a partnership with WSI.

Buyers can choose a single- or dual-display configuration that connects to a single processing unit. The product, due for initial certification by the end of the year, will be marketed to business aircraft operators and airlines, L-3 said.

More than a dozen companies currently offer EFB products, from simple handheld tablet computers to ruggedized machines that are permanently installed in the cockpit. L-3 said it believes the range of cockpit applications its unit can host and its high-resolution color display will stand out in the market.  

“Our displays are the best in the industry,” said Bob McGill, L-3 Display Systems president. The company specializes in the development of military integrated systems and will be responsible for designing, manufacturing, testing and certifying the product, he added.