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Thales is one of a handful of truly global
players in the avionics sector, and by the far
the largest European company in the arena.
It's avionics equipment is installed virtually
all in production Airbus and Boeing aircraft, as well
as ATR 42 and ATR 72-600 turboprops, Sukhoi
regional jets and business aviation aircraft such as
the Gulfstream G650 and Dassault Falcon 5X.
For Airbus aircraft Thales' ship-set typically ranges
between 40 to 120 pieces of equipment on each
aircraft. For Boeing, Thales supplies Buyer Furnished
Equipment such as IESI (Integrated Electronic
Standby Instrument); ADM (Air Data Module);
SATCOM and Surveillance Systems; and Sensors
and Power Conversion Systems.
The Thales heads-up-display (HUD) is now the
standard across all Airbus planes, which the company
says is very relevant to China as the CAAC has now
pushed for HUDS to become standard in China.
Chinese carriers employing its T3CAS ground
surveillance systems include China Eastern Airlines,
Chengdu Airlines and Juneyao Airlines, while other
Asia-Pacific airlines include Lion Air, VietJet Air, Air
Asia and Air New Zealand.
Thales says its Flight Management System (FMS)
is onboard nearly every Airbus aircraft in China and
it has a 60% worldwide market share. "Our FMS
has unique features include FMS Landing System,
UNDO function and smart temporary flight plan,"
says the company. It's Asia-Pacific customers
include Indigo Airlines, Air China, Go Air, Vietnam
Airlines and China Southern Airlines.
Another Thales product is its Onboard Airport
Navigation System (OANS) that provides safety at
airports preventing runway incursion. This provides
the platform for future airport navigation functions
such as Brake to Vacate (BTV), Digital Taxi Routing,
and others. This feature will be a basic standard for
A350 and airlines in the region employing OANS
now include Qantas, Skymark and Korean Airlines.
Looking to the future, Thales believes that future
cockpits will require more simplicity and intuitiveness
to enable pilots to more instinctively access
functionalities, systems and connectivity options in
order to concentrate on their mission rather than
managing the instrumentation.
"To achieve this, a number of partnerships,
spearheaded by Thales over a number of years with
researches, scientific institutions and world class
experts, to refine its understanding in the field of
human-machine interface, culminated into a cockpit
concept called Avionics 2020," says the company.
Thales says this introduces a modern and
effective cockpit implementation which integrates a
large, secure display area associated with several
reconfigurable means of control including multi-
touchscreen capabilities, offering pilots an intuitive
interaction solution comprising all aircraft systems
and functions. "Unveiled at the Paris Airshow in
2013, this is the most advanced cockpit concept in
the world and the only future cockpit concept close
to becoming a viable product," claims Thales.
Thales, which is also a leading player in the IFE
sector, is striving to grow its presence in emerging
markets, including those in Asia. In its half year 2014
results, the group has recorded a 13% increase in
new orders from emerging markets compared to the
same period in 2013.
Part of this strategy is to develop "proximity
and interactions" with customers by increasing its
presence on the ground. "We are also developing
innovation hubs around the world. Hong Kong will
be the site for our Asian hub. This facility will enable
us to put in place collaborative platforms to define
and prototype new customer solutions, access
R&D budgets from local authorities and launch co-
developments," says Thales.
"We also see this as an opportunity for us and the
local environment to benefit from multi-disciplinary,
multi-business approach, leverage perception and
new ways of thinking and approaching problems
from the standpoint of different cultures."
Thales operates a global services operation to
help airlines maintain their equipment and ensure the
shortest possible time between a fault being detected
and the equipment being replaced. It has three global
repair hubs supported by 21 repair centres. The Asia-
Pacific region is served out of Singapore.
"With the growing market penetration in China
Thales also has a very important service hub in
Beijing which handles the growing number of
Chinese airlines equipping Thales products," says
the company. Thales Aerospace Beijing is a branch
specialized in avionics to serve China's needs. ✈
Thales Avionics 2020 cockpit concept
An increasing number of aircraft are
being equipped with Thales avionics,
writes Colin Baker
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