The French Company Thales is in charge of equipping the military transport aircraft A400M, through developing and producing an innovative cockpit and simulators, required for the training of the pilots and their accreditation among other contributions. Note that, many other companies have participated in the elaboration of this technological project.
Airbus A400M’s participation at the 51st edition of Paris Air Show was exceptional. Exposed on the tarmac picking up a VBCI, the aircraft was a big success to the public, which acclaimed it for each impressive demonstration scheduled every day. Ordered by the United-Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Turkey, Belgium, Luxembourg and Malaysia, the A400M is known for its flexibility. The aircraft is able to carry out both civil and military missions, and the troops or material transportation, as well as the evacuation and parachuting.
Nicolas de Ledinghen, the Vice-President Program Director at Thales said in that regard: “The principle of A400M is all in one”. In the framework of the A400M, Thales has equipped its cockpit with modern interactive displays, head-up displays and enhanced infra-red vision systems. Thales also provides innovative Integrated Modular Avionics computers, with all on-board computing modules networked, able to support different applications. Through its IMA platform, Thales has reduced the number of parts required, having as consequences an important decrease of maintenance cost.
In addition, Thales developed the A400M’s Flight Management System. The FMS allows a highly effective interface between the pilot and the aircraft’s systems with a high level of automation. This, and the overall Airbus design, lead to the reduction of the crew workload. So instead of 3 or 4 members in previous generation aircrafts, the A400M can fly with 2 pilots only.
The technologies provided by Thales allow the A400M to take off on unprepared grounds, which can take away 37 tons over long distances, which is the double of the C-130’s capacity and at a faster speed.
In that context, Nicolas de Ledinghen told SDArabia “all technologies have been designed to make the job of pilots really easier by simplifying the utilization. For example, the interactive and reconfigurable screens significantly reduce the number of buttons”. Indeed Nicolas de Ledinghen underlines the fact that pilots are very enjoyed and judge the A400M Flight Management System very intuitive and this, whatever their generation. Indeed, the FMS is so intuitive that a pilot of 30 or 50 years old won’t have difficulties adapting itself to the aircraft.
No other competitor offers such a high level of intuitive aspect as well as the civil and military duality of the A400M.