Airbus A400M and Boeing 787 Dreamliner first flight

By Alex Wilson


What a week for our customers in Europe and USA!
Last week saw the first flight of the Airbus A400M Military Transport and today the Boeing 787 Dreamliner took to the skies!

Congratulations go out to Airbus, Boeing and all of their worldwide suppliers!

Our man on the ground at Paine Field, Everett
is Chip Downing, Director of A&D Business Development and
he managed to send us this excellent video of the event!

It will be interesting to follow these two aircraft as they go through their respective flight testing and enter service!

On the Avionics side, the 787 Dreamliner is the result of collaboration between Boeing and its suppliers to integrate multiple applications at different safety levels on the Common Core System. This strategy of avionics development follows the RTCA DO-297 role based development concept, allowing each application developer to work independently of each other and provide the necessary safeguards for the systems integrator to bring this all together in the final configuration for this historic first flight.

The independence of each application is fundamental to allowing them to be designed, developed , and tested in isolation. DO-297 provides guidelines for each role in building the safety case for the aircraft, and by having these independent “components” the applications can be tested in isolation before being tested as part of the final system. This save a considerable amount of time and effort in software testing terms and provides a solid foundation for the final system integration tests.

As part of the work to develop the 787 Dreamliner, Wind River worked with the team to expand and develop the ARINC 653 XML schema. The schema was originally provided as an example of how you might use XML for ARINC 653 systems configuration, but had a lot of missing links and cross-referenced information that made it all but impossible to use on a large scale systems such as the 787. The modified XML schema is now being adopted as part of Supplement 3 to ARINC 653 Part 1, in order for the benefits it provides to be shared in the Avionics community on future projects – this is what open standards are all about!

The backbone of the Common Core System is Wind River’s VxWorks 653 Platform. This includes the VxWorks 653 RTOS provides the fundamental components needed to build such a system based on the ARINC 653 standard. Wind River launched the safety critical version of VxWorks in 1999 for federated avionics, and followed on with VxWorks 653 in 2003 for Integrated Modular Avionics.
As a COTS Software supplier to many industries, we wanted to develop the DO-178B Level A certification evidence for VxWorks 653 as a COTS solution, so that our customers could benefit from not having to re-certify the OS every time it was used. We came up with a unique hyperlinked DVD with our partners Verocel that allows customers to have a copy of all the safety related material in a fully traceable format that helps them to build the systems safety case. Included in this material are not only all of the safety related documents that need to be provided to the authority (such as PSAC, SAS etc) but also the software development folded, including all VxWorks 653 source code, test code and test coverage results.

Previous Press Releases from Wind River for these aircraft include:

2004 : Smiths Aerospace Selects Wind River for Use in Boeing 7E7 Common Core System

2006 : Wind River to Support Development of Military Communications Device by EADS CASA for Airbus A400M and MRTT Tanker

2006 : Wind River Platform for Safety Critical Devices To Power Indra Sistemas Aircraft Identification Project for A400M Military Aircraft

2006 : Innovative Design and Safety-Critical Software Enable Refuelling Wing Pod