The technology and safety issues may take a few years to figure out, but paperless cockpit is already becoming a reality with pilots adopting iPads, and full touchscreen minus the knobs will be coming in a few years, no doubt.
By the end of the decade, says Thales, one of the world’s largest makers of aircraft cockpits… [P]ilots could start dispensing with buttons, trackballs and keypads for performing many routine flying tasks in favor of touchscreens…
[T]he migration toward touch screens is advanced by manufacturers as having the potential to enhance flight safety and improve efficiency.
Touch-screen advocates list several advantages over traditional cockpits, including the elimination of physical space constraints for instrument displays, since all the information the flight crew needs can be searched for and reached from the same set of screens. The displays can also be customized to present only the relevant data and input options that the pilot needs for a specific phase of the flight, be it takeoff, cruise or landing.
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