Home' Australian Aviation Magazine : April 2011 Contents APRIL 2011 AUSTRALIAN AVIATION
Media were left scratching their heads as
to what this all meant as red and orange are
not good luck colours in Korea or Germa-
ny, but in China red is a sign of good luck,
money, respect and recognition, and orange
is a sign of Yang, organisation and purpose.
Most commentators believed correctly
that the purpose of the colour scheme
was to honour, yet to be announced at
the roll-out, orders from Chinese airlines
for the passenger version, which came on
March 7 with a commitment for ve from
Air China, announced at Asian Aerospace
in Hong Kong.
When Boeing rst touted its glass
cockpit 747-400 in the mid 1980s, Stewart
John, revered chief engineer of Cathay
Paci c Air ways, urged the retention of the
three crew analog cockpit for commonality.
ankfully John didn't get his way, but
the pressure not to mess with things that
work has been a constant problem for
Boeing as it has upgraded its 747 over the
decades to keep pace with both technology
And now the urgency to update avionics
is even greater with the need to take advan-
tage of new fuel saving and airspace tech-
nologies such as RNP and GLS becoming
imperative, says Boeing VP engineering
747 Todd Zarfos.
e challenge for Boeing has been to
retain the "traditional 747-400 cockpit"
for pilot commonality while incorporating
much of the 777/787 technology and the
staggering advances in commercial avionics
in the last 20 years. Zarfos says that while
the 777's and 787's architecture is di erent
to the 747-8, the features are very similar.
e result is a near identical 'shop front'
with a brand new 'warehouse' of storage
space behind chocked full of features that
will keep the 747-8 current well into this
"We needed to keep the common type
rating and to keep the cross training hours
down to an absolute minimum," notes
Zarfos. "But what we are looking for to
justify change is an increase in safety and
operational e ciency."
And contrasting early models of the 747
with 39 clipboard options, commonality
and standardisation now rules with little
input from airlines' chief pilots.
" e days of a chief pilot coming in and
picking and choosing what he or the airline
wanted are gone," says Zarfos. " e airlines
want us to limit the amount of change in
the eets and we have tried not to intro-
duce any variability."
at said, Zarfos notes that much of
the extensive functionality of the 747-8
cockpit is a result of pilot feedback from
the 787, 777 and 737NG cockpits. "Lots
of those issues had been sorted on our
more recent designs."
However, as Zarfos explains, much of the
capability cannot be used until the aviation
industry (ATC) catches up with technology
on the ground.
As with the 787, Boeing has adopted a
standard 'package ts all' approach to the
747-8 cockpit as the company moves away
from the former business model of buyer-
furnished equipment (BFE) in avionics to
supplier-furnished equipment (SFE). ere
are only a few options on the 747-8, such
as Class 3 electronic ight bags.
Zarfos explains that the 747-8's cockpit
is built around a Rockwell Collins-supplied
advanced display system, ightdeck com-
munications, navigation and sur veillance
suite and central maintenance computer,
and a new ight control management com-
puter from Honeywell.
Rockwell Collins EVP and COO com-
mercial systems Kelly Ortberg says that
the "teamwork that has occurred on this
[747-8] program has been outstanding.
Rockwell Collins has collaborated with
Boeing to create a very powerful airplane
equipped for the next generation airspace
-- while keeping required pilot training to a
minimum by maintaining an interface that
is similar to the 747-400."
Rockwell Collins's DU-7001 Active
Matrix Liquid Crystal Displays (AMLCD)
emulates the 747-400 cockpit, and was rst
introduced on the 747-400ER but enables
the display of advanced features found on
the 777 and now the 787. ese include
vertical situation display, RNP scales and
e Rockwell Collins GLU-925 Multi-
Mode Receiver is tted with a 24 channel
GNSS receiver with GLS/ILS capability
which enables the 747-8 to perform RNP
operations as well as GPS guided ap-
proaches using GBAS.
e GNSS receiver meets or exceeds
all applicable industry requirements and
provides position, velocity and time (PVT)
outputs for use by other aircraft systems
such as TAWS and FMS.
e GLU-925 also has ADS-B capa-
bility and its advanced chipset allows for
expansion to support such things as Wide
Area Augmentation System.
As with the 787, the 747-8 features
Rockwell Collins WXR-2100 MultiScan
Hazard Detection System, which analyses
and determines weather hazards, not sim-
ply atmospheric moisture content.
e WRX-2100, which was introduced
by Qantas on the 747-400ER in 2002, is
a fully automatic, hands-free radar system
which signi cantly reduces pilot workload
and enhances safety and passenger com-
fort by minimising unexpected turbulence
encounters, while providing optimal
clutter-free weather detection out to 320
Meanwhile Honeywell's Next Generation
Flight Management System (NGFMS),
which has been four years in development,
will give the 747-8 full capability for all
future air tra c control developments.
According to Carl Esposito, VP market-
ing and product management, Honeywell
Aerospace, the NGFMS provides all of the
capability to meet requirements for improv-
ing air tra c management through de-
creased separation and more direct routing.
" e future of navigation and air tra c
management is ying today." Esposito said.
With 4-D (trajectories), required time of
arrival and trajectory based optimisation,
the FMC system is going to be at the heart
of an aircraft cockpit says Honeywell.
e NGFMS enables Required Naviga-
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS? Boeing's challenge and aim has been to retain the traditional 747-400 cockpit
for pilot commonality while incorporating much of the 777/787 technology. (Boeing)
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