The first Airbus A350s equipped with new
touchscreen cockpit displays are now being delivered to airlines.
China Eastern Airlines took delivery of the
first A350 equipped with the new devices in Toulouse on 18
December. To date, around 20 airlines have selected the option for
their new A350 XWBs.
Of the A350 XWB 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
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” (KCCU) located on the centre
The new technology, specially developed for the
A350 XWB by Thales, was certified by
EASA in November. It facilitates ‘pinch-zooming’ and panning
gestures and will facilitate more flexibility and better
interaction between both pilots, particularly during the following
scenarios: (a) before take-off (for computing take-off performance
while entering data into the flight management system “FMS”); (b)
in-flight/cruise (for accessing en-route navigation charts); and
(c) during approach preparation (for consulting the terminal
charts before entering FMS data).
Moreover, during high workload phases of
flight, the touchscreen capability reduces the need for pilots to
make multiple cursor inputs and avoids them having to flip between
different displays when using the EFB applications collaboratively
on the lower centre display.
Patrick Piedrafita, Head of 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 XWB. With our partner Thales we are very
proud to bring this technology to our customers, to enhance their
By the end of November, the A350 XWB Family had
received 959 firm orders from 51 customers.