GE has launched a cross-functional project with industrial and academic partners to develop technologies to deliver the ‘Open Flight Deck’.The partnership includes GE, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Coventry University and the University of Southampton.

Aircraft are in service for decades, yet there is a huge barrier to adopting new technologies on the flight deck due to the high cost of change and certification. An Open Flight Deck architecture will define the standards and interfaces to allow functional ‘apps’ to be developed, which are then easier and quicker to deploy.

GE has pioneered open avionics systems on the Boeing 787 and Gulfstream G500/600. “This project extends into the flight deck, where flexibility and lower cost of change is a real challenge for our customers,” said Alan Caslavka, president of Avionics for GE Aviation. “Open Flight Deck will deliver order-of-magnitude reductions in the cost of change, future proofing platforms by enabling regular upgrades of flight deck applications.  This technology will deliver significant benefits to future aircraft manufacturers, airlines and pilots.”

GE has delivered an open platform approach to the avionics system, pioneered on the Boeing 787, called the common core system or CCS. This platform enables suppliers to plug in modules within an overall platform architecture, giving the aircraft manufacturer the flexibility to upgrade systems or choose the best suppliers for individual subsystems.

This same approach can now deliver similar benefits within the flight deck. This open platform or ‘Open Flight Deck’ where the manufacturer can partner with a range of suppliers to develop applications or ‘apps’, will help ensure that a pilot can navigate and communicate in a range of future scenarios, with the potential to upgrade as new mission systems or capabilities become possible.

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Source: Air Traffic Management