Wings Magazine

Thales technologies onboard the B787


Thales technologies onboard the B787

Thales is proud to be onboard the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the new generation aircraft that is bringing big-jet ranges to mid-size airplanes.

January 19, 2010  By Administrator

Jan. 19, 2010 – Thales is proud to be onboard the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the new generation aircraft that is bringing big-jet ranges to mid-size airplanes.

The Dreamliner also boasts significant improvements in fuel efficiency and a more pleasant
environment for passengers inside the aircraft.

Boeing has designed the Dreamliner with a structure up to 50 per cent derived from composite plastic materials, meaning the aircraft is relatively light. The offshoot of this lighter
structure is a 20 per cent reduction in fuel requirements compared to existing models in its

Thales has contributed to weight reductions achieved for the B787, by creating lightweight
systems that together can reduce airlines’ carbon footprints and operating costs. These
innovative systems include the electrical power conversion system, the Integrated Standby
Flight Instrument, as well as the Top Series In-flight Entertainment system.


Thales’ lightweight system offers a reliable, innovative and optimized solution for power
distribution at a range of voltage levels to meet the B787’s significant electrical demand and
related need for AC/DC power conversions.

Thales’ power conversion system has achieved a very high power density benchmark,
further contributing to reductions in both weight and volume on board the B787. Lightweight
electrical circuits now replace some hydraulic circuits, meaning a greater range of systems
are now powered by electricity. For instance, the B787 features electrical brakes. The new generation power conversion system includes an innovative transformer and rectifier solution
that supports the B787 high-voltage DC network.

Boeing chose Thales' lithium-ion battery technology, which provides higher reliability and
improved maintenance compared to traditional solutions, for the B787 low-voltage DC
emergency back-up subsystem. This is a first in civil aviation, with Thales as prime contractor
in association with Securaplane of the United States and GS Yuasa of Japan.

Thales’s role in developing innovative power conversion solutions for the B787 has placed it
among the few worldwide leaders meeting complex demands for Air Transport conversion
applications. This achievement is a strong endorsement of the functionality and value of
Thales solutions and the company’s ability to develop innovative new technologies and
cooperate successfully at the international level.

Innovation and the Integrated Standby Flight Display

Boeing selected the Thales Integrated Standby Flight Display (ISFD), which displays
navigation parameters in one unit ergonomically designed to reduce pilot workload onboard
the B787. The ISFD features a liquid crystal display (LCD) that allows pilots to read the
aircraft’s pitch and roll attitude, airspeed, altitude, as well as heading and landing approach
deviation data in a format similar to a standard PFD screen (primary flight display).

Thales, a world leader in conventional standby instrumentation, drew on its expertise in both
Active Matrix LCD technology and solid state sensors to develop the ISFD. These very
precise embedded sensors include inertial and pressure components fitted to functions that
are then displayed on the colour, high definition and fully sunreadable Active Matrix LCD
(AMLCD) in the cockpit.

Thales has been Boeing’s preferred partner for the ISFD for ten years. The ISFD is also
installed on B737 New Generation, 757, 767, 777 and 747-400 aircraft throughout the world.
With a forward-looking design, this system is particularly suitable for aircraft upgrade

Innovation and In-flight Entertainment (IFE)
Thales and Boeing have been working together since 2004 to design and develop a new
lightweight In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system as part of the B787 program. This system
is based on Thales’ reliable, state-of-the-art Top Series family of IFE systems, which
supports both connectivity technology and personal electronic device usage. Thales’ IFE
solution not only enhances passenger comfort, but also reduces the cost of operations for
airlines by minimizing the need for maintenance.

The Thales Top Series IFE system is the first such system in the industry that is capable of
integrating broadband communications, on-demand entertainment (music and movies) and
in-seat power to accommodate personal electronic devices. Thales, the fastest growing IFE
developer in the world, designed the system as an on board “intranet” with digital servers that
store terabytes of data gigabit, Ethernet networks throughout the cabin, seat equipment that
includes passenger monitor displays and entertainment control units to navigate through the
menu options.
Thales has approximately 40 percent of the global IFE market. Its Top series system will be
fitted onto more than 165 aircraft from Air China, Air India, British Airways, China Eastern,
Ethiopian Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Northwest, Japan Airlines, Korean Airlines, LOT Polish
Airlines, Royal Air Maroc and Shanghai.


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