Thales Unveils Avionics 2020 for Helicopters

New touchscreen system for helicopters in development.

Thales Avionics 2020

Thales Avionics 2020

One of the most aesthetically pleasing small exhibits at Heli-Expo was the showcase of Thales Avionics 2020 for helicopters, a system introduced by the French company at the show last week in Anaheim, California. A four-screen touchscreen display was set up under an arc imitating a section of the fuselage of a helicopter. The simulated forward view was shown on a massive flat-screen while a view of the cockpit action was shown on a smaller screen on the right side of the display.

While demonstrating the capabilities of the Avionics 2020, Thales director of marketing for avionics Richard Perrot explained that there is continuity between the screens, which means that you can move information from one screen to another with the fingertips and even display a portion of one screen on the adjacent screen. You can also pinch zoom in a similar manner as on an iPad. Thales goal with the Avionics 2020 suite is to reduce the cockpit workload.

In a press conference at the Thales booth, the company's vice president of helicopter avionics, Yves Joannic, described the helicopter suite as Lego-like because of its open architecture and scalability through the "full family of helicopters." While Thales has been in discussions with several OEMs no formal contract has been signed for a launch customer. As the name implies, the company hopes to introduce the new avionics in 2020.

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