Airbus has commenced deliveries to airlines of the first A350s equipped with pioneering new touchscreen cockpit displays.
Specially developed for the A350 together with Thales, they will confer enhanced operational efficiencies, greater crew interaction, cockpit symmetry and smoother information management.
China Eastern Airlines earlier took delivery in Toulouse of the first A350 equipped with the new devices.
To date, around 20 airlines have selected the option for their new A350s.
Of the A350 cockpit’s six large screens, three can now become touch capable: the two outer displays plus the lower-centre display.
These displays now offer touchscreen capability for the pilots when presenting Electronic Flight Bag applications.
This new method of input complements the existing physical keyboard integrated into the retractable table in front of each pilot and also the keyboard and trackball “keyboard-cursor control unit” located on the centre console.
The new technology, which was recently certified for the A350 by EASA in November, facilitates ‘pinch-zooming’ and panning gestures and will facilitate more flexibility and better interaction between both pilots.
Patrick Piedrafita, head of the Airbus A350 XWB programme, said: “Airbus continues to set the industry trends in aircraft cockpit design with these new interactive touchscreen displays in the A350.
“With our partner Thales we are very proud to bring this technology to our customers, to enhance their aircrews’ operations.”
Also today, Air Caraibes (a member airline of Groupe Dubreuil) has taken delivery of its first A350-1000, the largest member of Airbus’ new generation A350XWB family.
The move makes the airline the first French operator of the type.
The airline plans to operate its A350-1000s alongside its three A350-900s and six A330s on routes from Paris to the French Caribbean.
The new aircraft will seamlessly integrate into Air Caraibes existing fleet thanks to Airbus’ unique fleet commonality and provide the airline with additional flexibility.
In total, Groupe Dubreuil has three A350-1000s on order.