Future Flight Deck Project

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Future Flight Deck Project


Technology Strategy Board




General Electric; BAE Systems; University of Southampton

Project Objectives

To develop new pilot-centred interface technologies to improve situation awareness, decision making and improve the availability of aircraft in adverse weather. 

A further major objective is to develop novel system architectures which will allow for the safe and expedient operation of commercial aircraft with a reduced number of crew.

Research Impact

The design of the next generation of flight decks be driven by the requirements to support aircraft operation in a Single European Airspace/NextGen airspace.

The flight deck design must support concepts such as 4-D (four-dimensional) flight planning and zero visibility landing which will extend the operational envelop and offer significant fuel savings. These advanced capabilities will improve the availability of aircraft by providing the pilot with a fuller picture of the situation and supporting their decision making processes.

The future flight deck technology project will develop a new flight deck architecture and the related technologies including displays, data networks, graphics and general processing to implement these functions. The project will serve to develop a sustainable UK capability in the design and delivery of the next generation aircraft flight decks.

The flight deck user interfaces will comprise new:

  • Head Down Displays
  • Head Up Displays
  • Head Mounted Displays
  • Touchscreens, and
  • Integrated pilot interfaces

Throughout the project the consideration of human factors aspects of the new technology solutions will inform design decisions, enabling more radical approaches to flight operations to be evaluated. It is the Human Factors requirements that will drive the design of the new flight deck, not the technology. One of the major aims of the project will also be to develop novel system architectures based upon the principles of distributed cognition which will allow for the safe and expedient operation of commercial aircraft with a reduced number of flight deck crew.