Touchscreen Technology Is Coming to Airliner Cockpits
Between phones, computers, ATM machines, and other kinds of electronics, it’s no question that touchscreen technology has changed the way the world functions. Even some cars can practically be fully operated through touchscreen displays now. But you won’t find any touchscreen displays in an airliner cockpit — until now. That’s changing.
Airbus is currently testing touchscreen displays on its A350-1000 development aircraft. “We will soon deliver touchscreens [on the A350] to a launch operator,” said Airbus A350 XWB marketing director François Obé, according to Flight Global. He did not say which airline, but A350-1000s, the biggest version of the plane, are being delivered to launch customers Qatar Airways and Cathay Pacific.
There’s no timescale for when the technology will be available, but Airbus assures that it’s coming soon and it already has customers for it.
Airbus intends to incorporate the touch-control function for the two onboard information system (OIS) displays and the central multi-function display (MFD). Now, pilots must use keyboards and cursor control units to navigate these displays. The new displays will be much simpler and function similar to tablets, including familiar gestures like pinch-to-zoom.
While Airbus will be the first manufacturer to offer touchscreen technology in airliner cockpits, it’s not the only one to be developing it. Boeing has plans to also debut touchscreen technology on its new 777X aircraft when it enters service in 2020.
The introduction of touchscreen technology to airliner cockpits is definitely an exciting development, though not a complete first for the industry. Gulfstream already offers it for some of its business jets. Airports around the world are also going digital and implementing touch-sensitive aviation technology, but most are outside the US.
Featured image of Airbus A350-900 cockpit by JT Genter / The Points Guy
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.