BAE fighters helped by tablet technology

Typhoon
Typhoon
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The latest tablet technology is now being used to help maintain fast jet Typhoon aircrafts.

Engineers at BAE Systems, Warton, are bringing together two technologies to offer a quicker, smarter and more intuitive way of servicing the world’s leading combat aircraft.

BAE Systems has been developing bespoke software applications (‘apps’) that will be hosted on the Panasonic FZ-G1 Toughpad tablet to compliment the aircrafts’ on-board health management systems. Before and after every sortie, the aircraft performs its own “healthcheck” and presents a series of findings onto the Maintenance Data Panel, located on the side of the aircraft.

Engineers analyse this information and conduct a series of checks, in parallel with the pilot’s pre-flight cockpit checks, to ensure the aircraft is safe and fit for flight.

With the introduction of the latest tablet technology, the data displayed on the aircraft panel is analysed automatically so that the user is presented with a series of simple, colour coded icons which, at a glance, confirm what missions the aircraft is fit to fly.

This approach is not only saving time on the ground but is also providing information in real time and from multiple missions.

Shaun Waddington is the engineering lead for the project. He said: “We are constantly looking at how we can incorporate new technologies to enhance our products and this project is part of a programme of capability enhancements on Typhoon.

“By linking together the latest tablet technology with a high performance aircraft we can deliver real benefit, saving time and reducing costs to Typhoon operators around the world.”

The first trials of this new system were successfully completed in June and with the capability now cleared and in use, the team of engineers responsible for bringing new technologies to Typhoon will continue to develop ways of exploiting tablet technology with the aircraft. Further developments continue on capability enhancements for Typhoon including integration of the Captor E-Scan radar, Meteor, Storm Shadow and Brimstone 2 weapons.