In "glass cockpit" aircraft, what type of display is used for the PFD/MFD system?

Are they normal LCD screens, or are they "special" in some way (temperature tolerance, refresh rates, shatter resistance, etc...)?

Typical PFD/MFD:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2d/Primary_Flight_Display,_Boeing_747-400.png https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b4/Primary_Flight_Display_Garmin_G1000.jpg

Typical raw panel LCD screen:


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    $\begingroup$ The first ones were CRT and then switched to LCD. Of course they have more requirements for reliability, temperature, vibration, etc. than the typical monitor that sits on a desk or even in a laptop. $\endgroup$ – fooot Sep 29 '16 at 21:45
  • $\begingroup$ I do wish we had more resolution available for the G1000. In most GA aircraft, the G1000 is 1024x768. What is this, 2003? $\endgroup$ – RaajTram Nov 12 '17 at 12:42

Modern glass cockpits use LCD screens specially designed to be visible in bright sunlight. Earlier units used cathode ray tubes.

Both the Boeing PFD screen and the Garmin G1000 PFD shown above use LCD screens.

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  • $\begingroup$ Any references for this? $\endgroup$ – Notts90 supports Monica Sep 30 '16 at 7:05
  • $\begingroup$ 747 PFD in question is CRT. $\endgroup$ – ymb1 Sep 30 '16 at 14:57
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    $\begingroup$ The original 747 had CRT displays. Boeing shifted to LCDs in the late 90's when CRTs became non-procurable. They actually had to get a cert to allow for flight decks with a mix of LCDs and CRTs. That allowed airlines to swap out just one failed CRT with an LCD. That avoided having to replace all displays when one failed. $\endgroup$ – Gerry Sep 30 '16 at 17:52

The first PFD/MFD used CRT and as technology progressed, PFD/MFD was now developed and showed as LCD. CRT generates a lot of heat and consumes a huge amount of voltage (up to 50,000V) while LCD takes maximum 5V, which means less heat generated.

In addition, the development of LCD also gives us a better resolution compared to CRT and literally has no glare effect on the screen. You can see more pros and cons comparison between these 2 in the link below: http://bootstrike.com/Articles/LCDvsCRT/

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    $\begingroup$ Voltage and heat generation are not related (or only tangentially due to conversion losses). $\endgroup$ – Sanchises Nov 12 '17 at 11:51
  • $\begingroup$ Power is calculated by P = V^2/R = I^2*R = VI. Heat dissipation is calculated by H = Pt as t is the time in second! $\endgroup$ – RyanLe Nov 12 '17 at 22:39
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    $\begingroup$ Yes. And as such, you will find that high voltage devices generally use very little current at that high voltage, but since the useful power output is also P=U*I, the result is the same. $\endgroup$ – Sanchises Nov 13 '17 at 7:43
  • $\begingroup$ Ah ok. That makes sense. Thanks for your explanation! $\endgroup$ – RyanLe Nov 14 '17 at 5:31

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