EFBs Remain a Key Product Line For CMC
While it may seem as though Apple iPads are replacing Microsoft Windows-based electronic flight bags (EFBs) in transport category cockpits, that is not the case for Esterline CMC Electronics’ PilotView EFBs. The company is advancing EFB development with its latest product line, the Mk3 EFB, available in 8.4-, 10.4- and 12.1-inch display sizes. But CMC (Booth 1943) is well aware of the opportunities afforded by iPads and has developed Tandem software to leverage iPad capabilities.
“In that market, the iPad has a role to play,” said Jean-Marie Begis, CMC product line director, EFB and aircraft wireless systems. “We are genuinely aiming at getting complementarity of those two types [of devices] in cockpits.”
At this year’s EBACE show, CMC is highlighting the Mark 3 EFB capabilities, new EFB operating system software and applications as well as Tandem and new product support efforts to make updating of EFBs simpler.
Mk3 improvements include Intel’s Core i7 processor, which greatly improves graphics performance and allows for use of more advanced applications, according to Begis, “such as data-intense moving maps or 3D rendering.” Advanced applications on the PilotView EFBs include CMCView video display for up to four sources; real-time weather display via Iridium datalink; eFlight Report for pilot log entries and multiple flight leg management with customizable reporting; FlightView display of ground features “in an FAA AC23-26 synthetic vision environment,” according to CMC; and the Tandem software that facilitates sharing of flight plans, charts and application data between EFBs and iPads.
Another benefit of the more powerful EFB hardware is the ability to add dual-touch capability. While CMC EFBs have always been touchscreen controlled, they were single-touch only. Dual-touch adds gestures such as rotating charts, pinch zooming, etc. For now, CMC is introducing dual-touch on its 12.1-inch EFBs, which have been selected for a large program where the customer does not want to be identified. Dual-touch may gradually be introduced on the 8.4- and 10.4-inch EFBs, Begis said.
EFBs will continue to provide utility in cockpits, according to Begis. “We see EFBs moving into other capabilities,” he added, such as more integration with aircraft systems. “More and more EFBs are installed with connections to satcom and VHF and communicating with other systems via Ethernet. This aspect is becoming important. We’re seeing demand from OEMs and end users for connecting EFBs to more systems with our Class II EFB offerings.”