Panoramic display in F-35 Joint Strike Fighter sparks industry debate on the size of cockpit screens

By John Keller

FARNBOROUGH, England–The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is setting new standards for combat aircraft avionics with its 8-by-20-inch panoramic cockpit display. This large active-matrix liquid crystal display (AMLCD) has the avionics industry talking about whether it's a good idea to place so much cockpit information on one display.

Proponents of the F-35's Panoramic Display, designed by L-3 Display Systems in Alpharetta, Ga., point out its flexibility, intuitive touch-screen use, and ability to present the F-35 Lightning II pilot with all the information he needs, quickly, and without overwhelming him with too much information. Detractors, however, contend that one big display in a military cockpit poses a single-point-of-failure risk, one that distributing several different displays throughout the cockpit, rather than relying on one big display, does not.

The 8-by-20-inch panoramic display in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is sparking debate on how many displays are necessary in tactical aircraft.

Despite the debate, however, large panoramic cockpit displays are receiving increasing attention from display manufacturers and avionics systems designers. L-3 officials had long considered themselves to be the only viable manufacturer of displays this large that are rugged and redundant enough for avionics use. Now, however, Elbit Systems Ltd. in Haifa, Israel, is getting into the game with its CockpitNG system. Both displays were on display in July at the Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough, England.

The L-3 Panoramic Display for the F-35 is divided in two electronically, a design that offers full redundancy that enables the display to continue functioning in case of component failure or battle damage. One company representative explains that L-3's Panoramic Display can withstand a puncture or a crack, and still offer all its features on only one side. In a pinch, L-3 officials point out, the F-35 pilot still can rely on his helmet-mounted display in case of catastrophic avionics failure.

Detractors, however, privately question that wisdom. Military aviation is an industry that avoids risk, and multiple-display redundancy is a deeply ingrained cultural value. Using just one big cockpit display, as the F-35 does, runs counter to much that experts have known throughout their careers. This display represents a paradigm shift in military avionics, and as such, it is treated in some quarters with suspicion and skepticism.

These cultural differences within the avionics display industry, however, have not deterred Elbit, which is offering the 22-inch-diagonal CockpitNG for consideration in military and commercial aircraft programs and upgrades, particularly for the Boeing F-15 Eagle jet fighter. Boeing is trying to position a stealthy new version of the F-15, called Silent Eagle, as an affordable alternative to the F-35.

Getting into the large cockpit display business is not easy. The cost of entry is immense, with the amount of testing and evaluation, as well as the government certification, necessary to qualify these cockpit subsystems for use in military and commercial aircraft.

Elbit officials say they have no firm customer for the CockpitNG, while L-3's Panoramic Display still is exclusively on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. While skeptics claim that Elbit is simply trying to set itself up as a second-source supplier for the F-35 primary display, other cockpit designers may be giving this large display a second look. Boeing may have particular interest–particularly for foreign military sales–if Elbit's large display could make its Silent Eagle an even more attractive option to the Lockheed Martin F-35.

More Military & Aerospace Electronics Current Issue Articles
More Military & Aerospace Electronics Archives Issue Articles


Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:


  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles


Get All the Military Aerospace Electronics News Delivered to Your Inbox or Your Mailbox

Subscribe to Military Aerospace Electronics Magazine or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest information on:


  • C4ISR
  • Cyber Security
  • Embedded Computing
  • Unmanned Vehicles

Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

Round Dome Light - NVIS

Blue Wolf’s NVIS MIL-STD-3009 Dome light is designed for cabin illumination or cargo areas. It ha...

Dual Mode NVIS 4 Inch Pod Light

Blue Wolf’s new DUAL Mode NVIS 4 inch pod lights is fully rotatable thru 320 degrees, can be fixe...

XCalibur1645 | Freescale Eight-Core P4080 Processor-Based Conduction-Cooled 6U VPX Module

The XCalibur1645 is a high-performance, 6U VPX, single board computer supporting Freescale QorIQ ...

Optical Switches

Multiport (N x M) Optical Switches from large core, multimode and Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) for...

NVIS Gooseneck Map Light

NVIS MIL-STD-3009 White Gooseneck Map Light. 0 to 100% brightness control. Tactile feedback and ...

NVIS White Post Light Cap Insert

Blue Wolf’s MIL-STD-3009 Post Light cap inserts are specifically designed for illuminating instru...

XPedite7574 | 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 Broadwell-H Processor-Based Conduction- or Air-Cooled 3U VPX-REDI Module

The XPedite7574 is a high-performance, 3U VPX-REDI, single board computer based on the 5th genera...

XCalibur5090 | Dual Virtex-7 Based Digital Signal Processing 6U LRM FPGA with Quad 2500 MSPS DAC and 3200 MSPS ADC

The XCalibur5090 is a high-performance, reconfigurable, conduction-cooled 6U LRM module based on ...

NVIS White Utility Light

Blue Wolf’s NVIS MIL-STD-3009 Utility Lights is specifically designed for easy handling and spot ...

TELESIS® LASER MARKING MACHINES

Telesis offers a broad range of laser marking solutions. By working with all major laser marking ...

Related Companies

TEN TECH LLC

Is a mechanical engineering consulting company headquartered in Los Angeles, CA with operations in Billerica, MA, pro...

Blue Wolf

Blue Wolf has been designing Night Vision (NVIS) LED lighting products for Government and Commercial vehicles since 2...

Fibersense & Signals Inc

Develops and manufactures fiberoptic, optoelectronic, photonic and laser-related products for aerospace command and c...

LiquidCool Solutions

LiquidCool Solutions is a technology development firm with patents surrounding cooling electronics by total immersion...

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions

About Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions (CWDS) is a long established techno...

MiltechUK

Mil Spec EMC/NEMP/ filters and EMC product solutions for military applications.

Telesis Technologies Inc

Specializes in product identification and processing technologies. Provides a range of permanent and programmable DPS...

ISVI Corp

ISVI designs, produces and sells machine-vision camera systems combining high-speed and high-resolution sensors with ...

Southwest Antennas

Southwest Antennas designs and manufactures high-performance RF & Microwave antennas and accessories designed for tod...

Premier Polymers

Provides seamless epoxy flooring and industrial resinous coatings

Webcasts

Harsh Environment Protection for Advanced Electronics and Components

This webinar will offer an opportunity to learn more about ultra-thin Parylene conformal coatings – how they are applied, applications they protect today, and the properties and benefits they offer, includin...

New Design Tools That Help You Develop Radar That Sees the Un-seeable and Detects the Undetectable

Xilinx EW/ISR System Architect, Luke Miller, has new tricks and he’s going to tell you all about them in a new Xilinx Webinar—for free. His Webinar will cover new ways to implement Radar functions including ...
Sponsored by:

Press Releases

CURTISS-WRIGHT AWARDED CONTRACT BY SIERRA NEVADA CORPORATION

Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that its Defense Solutions division has received a contract from Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) to supply its small form factor ...

Innovative Integration Announces the FMC-Servo

Camarillo, CA June 19, 2015, Innovative Integration, a trusted supplier of signal processing and data acquisition hardware and software solutions, today announced the FMC-S...

METADATA SUPPORT ENHANCES INDUSTRY-LEADING HD VIDEO MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FROM CURTISS-WRIGHT

Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that its Defense Solutions division has further enhanced its innovative VRD1 high definition (HD) video management system (VMS) w...

All Access Sponsors


Mil & Aero Magazine

August 2015
Volume 26, Issue 8
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Cyber Security

Monthly newsletter covering cyber warfare, cyber security, information warfare, and information security technologies, products, contracts, and procurement opportunities
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE