Next generation Rockwell Collins avionics and pilot control systems make first flight on 787

Dec. 30, 2009
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, 30 Dec. 2009. Rockwell Collins' next-generation avionics and pilot control systems helped guide the first flight of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner airplane.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, 30 Dec. 2009. Rockwell Collins' next-generation avionics and pilot control systems helped guide the first flight of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner airplane.

Rockwell Collins serves as the systems supplier for the Boeing 787 flight deck display system, crew alerting system, pilot controls, communication and surveillance systems, and the core network cabinet. Rockwell Collins also provides the common data network for the airplane's Common Core System.

The Rockwell Collins display system for the Boeing 787 is an integrated display system featuring five 15.1-inch diagonal liquid crystal displays (LCDs), as well as dual LCD head-up displays (HUD). The Rockwell Collins Head-up Guidance System (HGSTM) provides primary flight, advanced navigation, and complete crew alerting functionality. The system utilizes cursor control devices and a multi-function key pad for data entry and retrieval.

Communications capabilities provided by Rockwell Collins include VHF-2100, SAT-2100, and HFS 900D capabilities including the lighter weight, highly reliable VHF-2100, which is VDL Mode 2 capable with future growth to VDL Mode 3 and 4. The new, smaller and more reliable SAT-2100 supports the International Civil Aviation Organization's safety services, as well as three channels of voice communications and offers growth to future Inmarsat Swift Broadband high-speed data capabilities. As part of the communications package, Rockwell Collins is also providing a state of the art digital flight deck audio system, and the cockpit voice and flight data recording system.

The Integrated Surveillance System (ISS) includes the company's MultiScan Hazard Detection System, traffic alert and collision avoidance, Mode S surveillance, and terrain awareness and warning capabilities.

Pilot controls include a control stand that includes auto throttles, and pitch, roll, yaw and primary flight controls, as well as their interfaces to the aircraft's fly-by-wire systems. The modular design of the pilot controls will simplify installation and maintenance, company officials say. This new system meets Boeing's objective of providing operators with a look and feel similar to the Boeing 777, while achieving weight savings.

The Rockwell Collins Core Network, offered as standard on the 787, plays a key role in Boeing's objective to 'e-enable' the entire aircraft, Rockwell Collins officials say. Utilizing commercial open standard computing servers and networks, the Core Network hosts a wide range of third-party applications and manages onboard information flow to improve airline operational efficiency.

A key component of the 787 Common Core System, the Common Data Network (CDN), is a high integrity, bi-directional fiber optic and copper network that uses ARINC 664 protocols and standards to manage the information flow between the aircraft's onboard systems. Based on commercial Ethernet technology adapted to the avionics environment, the integrity and deterministic characteristics of Rockwell Collins' CDN allows systems integrators to utilize this network for systems requiring a high level of data criticality. The CDN offers improvements over current generation data buses including expanded connectivity, higher data rates, and reductions in aircraft weight when compared with point to point topologies.

During the development and design process, Rockwell Collins served on Boeing's 787 Partner Council and has employees working onsite at Boeing participating in day-to-day program design, integration, and production activities.

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