Are there industry standards on dimensions of PFD symbologies like heading, airspeed and altitude?

I want to design a 15 inch screen and wonder if there are any standards or regulations regarding the design of those information displays.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Aviation.SE! Could you please further clarify your question? Are you asking how this is done in general or are you involved in developing a PFD system? $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 7:47
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    $\begingroup$ I'm trying to design Primary flight display for a flight simulator. I want to know the height and width of the symbologies generally used for a 15 inch display screen. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 7:55
  • $\begingroup$ Could you fit a 15 inch display in a cockpit? That is quite large. $\endgroup$
    – CrossRoads
    Commented Aug 24, 2018 at 14:18
  • $\begingroup$ 15 inch diagonally . $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 25, 2018 at 13:00
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, so is my laptop - and it won't fit in the panel of my plane. $\endgroup$
    – CrossRoads
    Commented Aug 25, 2018 at 19:58

1 Answer 1


Yes there are standards. There are industry standards which not regulatory standards, but they have been deemed acceptable by the regulatory agencies (e.g. FAA). So following them is usually accepted without issue.

The FAA also provides guidance in the form of an Advisory Circular, AC 25-11B Electronic Flight Displays.

You have two separate things to address; the actual display hardware and the displayed content.

The standard for the hardware is SAE Aerospace Standard AS8034B, Minimum Performance Standard for Airborne Multipurpose Electronic Displays.

The rest is covered under a group of SAE Aerospace Recommended Practice (ARP) documents. The top level is ARP4102, Flight Deck Panels, Controls, and Displays. Under it are several Volumes and Appendices.

ARP4102-7, Electronic Displays, covers the general requirements for what must be displayed.

ARP4102-7 Appendix A, Electronic Display Symbology for EADI/PFD, covers the details for the PFD. Appendix B covers the EHSI/ND and Appendix C covers the Engine displays.

  • $\begingroup$ Aerospace Recommendation Practice does mention the font size. But it doesn't mention the dimensions of symbologies. For example, how do i decide the dimension of airspeed indicator? assuming viewing distance of 30 inches for a 9 X 12 inches screen . $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 25, 2018 at 13:28
  • $\begingroup$ There's a fair amount of flexibility in the display of symbols. The key issue is that they need to be easily discernible, recognizable, and accurately positioned. The size and resolution of the displays and the allowable installed viewing distance will force trade offs in the symbol design. If you look at existing displays, you can find some wide variation in design. AC 25-11 provides the most recent guidance. $\endgroup$
    – Gerry
    Commented Aug 26, 2018 at 0:07

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