|Object Type:||Control/Data Entry|
|Object Name:||Maintenance Data Panel|
|Division:||Powerplant Systems [PSD]|
|Year of Manufacture:||circa 1985|
|Location:||Archive Object Store|
GEC Avionics Limited
EAP stands for "Experimental Aircraft Programme and was a technology demonstrator for what was to become the Eurofighter Typhoon. The sole aircraft (serial ZF534) first flew on 8 August 1986. The EAP aircraft was retired from service on 1 May 1991 and was then sent to the Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering department of Loughborough University but as of April 2012 it has been moved to the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford.
Marconi Avionics, in common with other suppliers, made equipment for the EAP at their own cost in anticipation of orders for the Typhoon. Around 6 to 8 sets of equipment were made and all were put through the full evaluation/qualification tests. The Experimental Aircraft Programme (EAP) has two dual-redundant 1553B multiplex digital databuses. The Maintenance Data Panel collates and logs all faults detected on the ARINC 429 databus and acts as a central information unit on aircraft status. The Ground Crew can view the data in a simple English format and take appropriate action. Aircraft turnaround was significantly reduced by providing the operator with a single point read out. It is effectively two processors, one to do the data handling, listening and display, and a second based on a Intel MCS51 processor which manages storing the event data. The front panel has "virtual' keys over which there are horizontal and vertical infrared beams which recognise the finger key push. Each key is a 5 numeral LCD display and it is reconfigured depending upon the page mode. The long panel on the top displays the full fault description and has a two line LCD of 21 characters. Functions included recording of faults, aircraft consumable levels, initiation of Built-In-Test and read out and recording of expired life of aircraft lifed items.
This unit was made as part of the Utility Systems Management System provided for the EAP. On its front it has the mark (in ink): "AC244 270-27150-K".