Touch Screen Cockpits; The Future?

Hey when I feel strongly about something I’ll write an entire essay. 😂


Seems Boeing still has some engineers up in the Office 🙂


I’ll play devil’s advocate and say that until anyone here has actually tried it that we can’t pass judgement. Gulfstream is a very well respected company with a test pilot team that would not sign off on a radical feature like this unless they truly believed in it. The development of new avionics is a very exciting dimension of the aviation industry right now, and I’m excited to see how this develops.

For a fun thought experiment, go back and read reviews of the orignal iPhone when it was announced before it came out. The idea of doing anything on a touchscreen was ridiculous, because every touch screen that had ever been made wouldn’t allow for it. But the iPhone, while looking similar to those older screens, was an entirely new technology and well, we all know how that turned out. Hopefully Gulfstream is on to something similar here.

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Dang bro how long did it take to type that? 😂

I agree with all those points.

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Boeing is so proud of their old school buttons and knobs that instead of joining the rest of the world in the 21st century like everyone else, they continue to force a square peg into a round hole and end up with the 737Max. Sure it may be romantic to have the same cockpit that you were using in the 1960’s, but beyond that, fly-by-wire, FADEC, and EFIS displays are just objectively safer/better. I’m not hating on anyone here, and I hear real world pilots say the same things all the time, but it’s just not based in any hard data or evidence.


What specific aircraft have you experienced this on? Do you think the concept is nice? Has it reduced/improved your workload? Maybe will help clear up some of the assumptions of others.

On the small side in the beach jet 400 XP with a Garmin G5000. On the heavier side the newer Gulfstreams like the 600. The idea is great, but the functionality of it is a whole other deal. As I said before one of the biggest issues is in turbulence being able to select the appropriate push screen button. With the Garmin it’s not for systems of the aircraft more so for tuning the radio, flight plan etc. The Gulfstream however is and has system integration. The issue I have found with it is in an emergency or even normal ops being able to reach up and turn a knob or push a button from muscle memory or even knob/button feel verses touching a screen which I or the other Pilot have to physically put eyes on. I do not see or believe that critical flight systems will be intra-Gated into touchscreens. Just my opinions here, I’m sure there’s other pilots that absolutely love it. Hope this helps.


I feel like too many people here are pointing to small issues that the technology may or may not have when they have never tried it. I certainly haven’t so I can’t pass judgment on the technology itself. But, I can say that innovation is the name of the game in aviation, and it has to be. Thinking into the future here we have a whole generation of people for whom a screen that you can’t touch might as well be broken. Don’t blame them for that either, it’s the world we live in for better or worse. Some day they will be flying these planes. The younger pilots are already in a generation who grew up with touch screens even if they can remember a day when they were not common place. These systems have to be intuitive to the pilots as much as functional. Sure pilots have to memorize functions of the plane, I’m not saying this makes them lazy, but it makes sense that it is easiest for them to interact with the plane the same way they do the rest of the world. I’m glad Gulf Stream is pioneering this technology because at the end of the day even if it is a desirous flop we won’t know till we use it at least a little. At the very least this technology seems obvious the way it is being integrated into the A350 as opposed to the trackball solution it has which to me (someone who has never used it) looks clunky at best.

I think @schloopy91 has made some really good points here. Especially what he said about the idea that the knobs and buttons are better. I definitely agree. While there are valid reasons to be hesitant, a lot of people here seem to be against it because it’s not how it’s done now, in my opinion ignoring present and future technology simply because you don’t like the look of it, or because it’s not how it’s been done for a while isn’t romantic, it’s ignorant. The world changes in big and small ways every day, and those inevitably do, and have to, seep into aviation. Columbus didn’t say Europe is good enough, I’ll stay here. The Wright brothers didn’t make a name for themselves because they said bikes are good and we don’t know if planes will be better so let’s stick with bikes. Steve Jobs and the teams at Apple didn’t say styluses and keyboards are good enough, why change and make a touchscreen. The scope and consequences in all those examples are vastly different, but I’m sure you see my point. As George Bernard Shaw said “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” I’m certainly not saying all progress is good, and especially in something so critical as aviation safety and other things have to be assessed thoroughly before bringing it to market. History though, does not remember the people who said this is good let’s stick with this, it remembers the people who innovated, brought new technologies, processes, mindsets and so much more to the world because intern those were the people who furthered the world. The people like that in aviation stand to make it safer, cheaper, more environmentally friendly and better in so many ways. Being stuck in the past brings us none of that.

Sorry for writing a book everyone 😂

Thanks for those of you who read the whole thing.


Woah Excellent topic!

Care if I shoot you a dm @Aceorbit?

Plot twist: The airplanes put a gigantic IPad in the cockpit that is reminiscent of the IF screen with a throttle tab, basic controls, doors, APU, lights, etc… hahaha

This is stupid. It’s (in my opinion) a textbook example of how overly reliant we are on fancy smart technology. Seriously? Why does EVERYTHING have to be touchscreen now? How hard is it to push REAL buttons?

But I know this will be short lived because some people nowadays actually say that touchscreens are too much of a hassle. Talk about laziness to new extremes.

This will only create more distracted pilots. Touchscreens require your attention almost all the time. And who’s to say that won’t lead to disaster? Especially if there’s improper programming on the tech causing glitches which will lead to distracted pilots which will lead to disaster.

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And being overly reliant on fancy smart technology only creates less skilled pilots. That’s why A350 pilots are not pilots. They’re electrical engineers.

Because it has to be a touch screen now you have to get an iPad air in order to not have it. It’s not hard to push Very REAL buttons!

The only thing I’m not comfortable with us functions like engine start not being a physical button. But avionics especially for the FPL would be absolutely amazing!

Sorry but I fundamentally disagree with everything you’re saying. To say A350 pilots aren’t pilots, or that better technology makes you a worse pilot, is just laughable.

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