28 December 2012

A350 XWB one step further in the EFB (Electronic Flight Bag). Flexibility + Integration = class 2-plus. And available in the iPad

Airbus aims to revolutionize electronic flight bag philosophy with the A350 XWB. It will offer a system that combines integrated hardware with the ability to dock a laptop computer or an iPad, which is operated using the aircraft's on-board controls. The EFB will offer typical applications like E-documentation - for example flightcrew operating manual or minimum equipment list -, as well as performance programs and mission management support.

Dubbed a "class 2-plus" EFB, the system has been evolved from the A380's on-board information system (OIS), which is a fully integrated class 3 EFB, says senior Airbus test pilot Jean-Michel Roy. "What we wanted to do is to combine the benefits of a class 2 EFB and a class 3 EFB, by having a fixed integrated keyboard and screen, but with an easily removable central processing unit and memory," Roy says.

Click the image to watch Mr. Roy explaining the AFB class 2-plus; "The benefit of having fixed and removable parts is that it is open and flexible," he said.
"Unlike the A380's class 3 solution, where computers that are part of the aircraft are connected to flightdeck screens, the A350's class 2-plus EFB enables a pilot to connect his laptop or iPad into the docking station and control it using the KCCU [keyboard cursor control unit] on the pedestal or the keyboard and touch panel integrated into the table, and it will be displayed on the lateral outer screen."


"If an airline - for example Lufthansa - likes to give a laptop to each of its pilots, he can plug it into the aircraft's docking station, it will be displayed on the flightdeck screens, and can be removed at the end of the flight," he says. "Another configuration could be an airline that keeps it on board and removes it just for updates."

Airbus’ EFB content available in the iPad.

Airbus has become the first aircraft manufacturer to provide its Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) performance-calculating applications for Pilots on iPad. Airlines will soon be able to download the first apps as part of its “FlySmart with Airbus” EFB portfolio from the App Store. Pilots will be able to compute performance calculations and also consult Airbus’ Flight Operations Manuals from a light hand-held device.

Didier Lux, EVP of Airbus Customer Services says: “15 years ago Airbus was the pioneer in providing the first EFB applications with the goal of creating the ‘paperless’ cockpit. Today we go a step further: By combining our EFB content with the world’s most versatile mobile digital device, the iPad, airline pilots will be able to optimize aircraft performance in the palm of their hand, while obtaining savings in cost, weight and time.”


Airbus’ new iPad solution has been tested by Airbus pilots in order to ensure its compliance with Airbus EFB standards. Moreover, Airbus has already ordered iPads for its Flight Test and Training Department who will use of FlySmart with Airbus on iPad as standard practice from now on. Licenses for the EFB apps are available exclusively to Airbus customers.

1 comment:

  1. I trust that all that interfacing between aircraft and external devices is *HEAVILY* firewalled!