Home Medical Factors Facing Pilots Aviation Stories Of Interest FAA Exam Aviation News Maintenance and Aircraft Mechanics General Aviation Helicopters
Aviation History Legal Issues In Aviation Links To Other Sites Editorials Hot Air Balloon Aviation Training Handbooks Read Online Upcoming Events Editorials


Grumman Selects Garmin Integrated Flight Deck For The New Firebird
By Jim Douglas

November 19, 2012 - Northrop Grumman has selected Garmin to supply the avionics suite for the new Firebird, an optionally piloted vehicle (OPV) designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.

The Northrop Grumman Firebird is an intelligence gathering aircraft designed by Northrop Grumman's Scaled Composites design shop which can be flown remotely or by a pilot. At Scaled, it is known as the Model 355. It was unveiled on May 9, 2011. It was first flown in February 2011 and is considered to be an optionally piloted vehicle (OPV).

The Firebird is equipped with a tailored version of Garmin’s latest touchscreen-controlled integrated flight deck system, leveraging the expandable and scalable attributes of Garmin’s commercial avionics technology to yield a highly-capable Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) solution.

“Commercial avionics are an increasingly compelling option for government and military aircraft because they offer excellent features with significant time and cost savings,” said Carl Wolf, Garmin’s vice president of aviation sales and marketing. “Garmin has a proven track record developing and certifying some of the most sophisticated and remarkably capable avionics available for commercial use, and Northrop Grumman was able to draw upon on that expertise to integrate the avionics with their special missions systems.” 

The Firebird cockpit is equipped with three 14-inch, high-definition, widescreen displays. Multi-pane display capability effectively doubles the number of different presentations that the crew can control and view at the same time. This allows for primary flight information to be displayed to both the pilot and copilot along with additional displays capable of showing sensor data, moving maps, charts, engine indications and other important flight information. 

In addition, the cockpit is equipped with two touchscreen display/controllers that provide a centralized and intuitive interface to the system, giving pilots rapid access to the flight information they want. The touch controllers also allow for the control of external missions systems. 



For enhanced situational awareness and hazard avoidance, the Firebird is also equipped with Garmin’s Synthetic Vision Technology (SVT™), which presents a 3D depiction of terrain, obstacles, traffic and the runway environment on the flight displays. Garmin’s GWX 70 Doppler-capable weather radar and Garmin’s GTS™ 850 Traffic and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS I) are also on board the aircraft to provide the best possible picture of the operational environment. 

The triple widescreen displays, dual touchscreen display/controllers and flight management systems are also used in the ground control station that is used to fly the aircraft when it is operated as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). As a hybrid between a conventional aircraft and a UAV, the Firebird offers the flexibility to perform ISR missions based on the demands of the mission environment and whether manned or unmanned flight is optimal. The Firebird can support multiple types of ISR and communications sensor payloads simultaneously during flight including high definition full-motion video, infrared, radar and different types of electronic communications.

Other News Stories (For the latest news please checkout our home page)
blog comments powered by Disqus  
Home Aviation News Aviation Stories Of Interest FAA Exam Upcoming Events Links To Other Sites General Aviation Helicopters Medical Factors Facing Pilots
Maintenance and Aircraft Mechanics Hot Air Balloon Aviation Training Handbooks Read Online Aviation History Legal Issues In Aviation Sea Planes Editorials
 ©AvStop Online Magazine                                                                 Contact Us                                                  Return To News                                          Bookmark and Share

AvStop Aviation News and Resource Online Magazine