Thales integrated touchscreen becomes the world's first product of its kind to gain EASA certification
The integrated touchscreen developed by Thales for Airbus A350 cockpits achieved certification by the European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) in November 2019. It is the first screen of its type in the world to gain certification for use on board commercial aircraft. Thales drew on its intrinsic potential for innovation to propose a new screen designed entirely around the pilot's user experience and offering the smoothest possible interaction with cockpit systems.
Airliner cockpits are becoming increasingly digital, connected and optimised to offer the best possible pilot experience. Thales has leveraged its proven flair for innovation and extensive experience of flight avionics systems to develop the first integrated touchscreen for the Airbus A350 to achieve EASA certification. With its large 15-inch display and a design that simplifies crew interactions, the new screen enables pilots to make faster, more intuitive decisions in every phase of the flight.
The new interface offers the same fluid, interactive experience as a latest-generation smartphone or tablet as well as an unprecedented degree of precision. In addition, it enables pilots to interact directly with the Electronic Flight Bag applications, which can be displayed on demand. When used in conjunction with these latest-generation applications, touchscreens offer pilots reaction times as fast as most everyday life touch screen.
Touchscreens designed for use in an aircraft cockpit must overcome a number of significant operational constraints: they must offer low reflectivity, operate in dense electromagnetic environments, withstand high levels of vibration and sustain their high performance characteristics throughout the product lifecycle. Combining innovative design with the benefits of a mature supply chain, the Thales solution fully complies with all the performance and safety requirements of the commercial aviation sector.
"Thales's integrated touchscreen is the first touchscreen to be certified by EASA for commercial aviation, on A350. It is a landmark in the cockpit evolution offering pilots a new user experience and enabling airlines to accelerate their digital transformation thanks to our long-term partnership with Airbus. The innovative technology is also one of the core components of our advanced FlytX avionics suite, which has been selected by Airbus Helicopters and the French defence procurement agency (DGA) to equip the future military helicopters," comments Jean-Paul Ebanga, Vice President, Flight Avionics, Thales.
Explanatory video by Airbus of the A350’s new touchscreen cockpit displays:
- Picture credit: © AIRBUS S.A.S. - photo by H. GOUSSÉ / Master Films
- Click here to read about the first Airbus deliveries of A350s with touchscreen cockpit display options to customers