Subscribe Free
in Technology

Airbus brings two projects together in modernising the Primary Flight Display

Posted 12 March 2018 · Add Comment

Airbus has said it is working on two projects together to modernise the future of primary flight display.

Since the earliest days of flight, the aviation sector has worked to develop better ways for pilots to understand their aircraft’s position relative to the ground.

The evolution has gone from visual cues outside the aircraft to in-cockpit digital displays with data-rich views of the environment – and innovators at Airbus are ready to improve this instrumentation once again.

A cornerstone of today’s cockpits is the Primary Flight Display (PFD), an electronic instrument that brings together the functions of six previously separate gauges on the panel: the airspeed indicator, attitude indicator, altimeter, turn coordinator, horizontal situation indicator and vertical speed indicator.

“Every generation of PFD gave pilots a better version of what they already were used to,” explained Fabrice Bousquet, an Airbus vision systems expert. “In 2015, we started working on a research and technology project that would break with tradition to exploit the full potential of modern screen technology – giving pilots their data superimposed onto a nearly-real visual representation of where they’re heading.”

“This led to development of a synthetic vision system (or SVS) that received a positive response from pilots during flight tests. Crucial to the SVS’ success was Airbus’ work on another project – the primary full-format flight display (PF3D) – because, without changes, older-generation PFDs would have degraded the visual dimension of information being presented.”

Giving pilots the information they need 

“We had to adapt the scales because they weren’t uniform across the display, which would have resulted in natural features like mountains being flattened,” said Alexis Frenot, the SVS and PF3D project leader. “We also needed the capacity to show pilots their trajectory. While existing PFDs give pilots the information needed to work this out for themselves, our new system actually shows them.

“Teams for the SVS and PF3D systems have now merged and are conducting feasibility studies in advance of the display’s anticipated commercial service entry in 2021. “We know from customer focus groups that airlines and their pilots would like to have cockpits with this technology and that they value the added situational awareness it provides.”

He added: “The combined team is confident these new displays will become the norm. “We have a wave of pilots who grew up with information-rich screens, and the benefits are obvious to them,” concludes Frenot. “Add the ability to ‘see’, even at night and in poor conditions, and you have the best of the old and the new combined.”


* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Latest News

Cooperation the key to a safer future for all

Airspace, safety and security are key issues for the Middle East and North Africa. The United Nations body for civil aviation, ICAO, has its regional headquarters in Cairo, where Alan Peaford met regional vice president, Mohamed Rahma.

SITA: Biometric technology is emerging as top solution for airlines and airports

Biometric technology is emerging as the top solution for airlines and airports to automate identity checks amid rising passenger numbers. This is according to Biometrics for Better Travel: An ID Management Revolution, a report

Spike Aerospace predicts supersonic market exceeds 13 Million+ annually

"Supersonic flights could be enjoyed by over 13 million passengers annually when flights begin in 2025," according to Vik Kachoria, CEO & President of Spike Aerospace.

Qatar Airways and Iberia expand codeshare partnership

Qatar Airways and Iberia have extended of their codeshare partnership, offering Iberia customers increased connectivity to destinations across the Middle East and Asia, as well as providing enhanced accessibility for Qatar Airways

Emirates anticipates high passenger traffic for spring holiday

Travel is expected to peak for Emirates, as the airline expects yet another busy period with visitors passing through Terminal 3 ahead of the spring holiday.

Boeing 737 MAX 7 completes successful first flight

Boeing's new 737 MAX 7 successfully completed its first flight today. The airplane remains on schedule and now begins a comprehensive flight test programme leading to certification and delivery in 2019.

Aviation Africa SK18418
See us at
BIAS BT271017161118ArabianTravelMkBT250418Aviation Africa BT18418Global Aerospace BT2018Istanbul Airshow BT22018MEBAA BT2018AirportShow BT1502090518SOFEX BT2018