Avionics Certification

Avionics Certification
A Complete Guide to
DO-178 (Software)
DO-178C (Update)
DO-254 (Hardware)

by Vance Hilderman and Tony Baghai


The first book on the most important safety certification documents (DO-178B and DO-254) for commercial and military avionics


Now offered only for download as an eBook, it is compatible with all devices: cellphone, tablet, laptop and desktop of all models.

The authors take you step-by-step through each milestone on the way to certification. They describe hundreds of examples, cases and actual experiences acquired while winning approvals for over 300 programs.

DO-178B and DO-254, they explain, are intentionally written to be vague.The documents contain considerations, not requirements----but you won't get certified without them. To reach that goal, the authors offer practical advice acquired over two decades of certifications now flying aboard every major airliner and numerous military projects. "We don't teach regulations," they say, "but how to think like the FAA."

They fill the book with anecdotes that show how many companies make false starts, waste time and break budgets. Each myth and misconception about DO-178B and DO-254 is dissected and debunked.. You'll also find the best way to get a project started (begin with the "big bang" or an evolutionary approach). There is even guidance on how to staff a project.

After traveling the certification route so often, the authors have strong opinions, and they don't hold them back. For example; when should you argue with your government auditor, how to deal with a DER (Designated Engineering Representative) and what are typical numbers for lines of code? Then there's story of how one little comma (,) in the wrong place cost $125 million on a trip to Mars. You'll get a chuckle over software that deteriorates into science projects, or dealing with engineers who become artists. There are suggestions on when to give your manager a raise.

There's advice on which tools to use and what to avoid, the merits of different programming languages, what the D in DO-178B should really mean, when planning can be too good, why some managers get it right the first time, some the second, some the third (and when it's too many times). There's the sad tale of a Very Light Jet manufacturer who ignored the authors' advice about unacceptable software in redundant systems. The FAA rejected it and the company lost $10 million.

This book is not a typical tutorial. Besides their software services, the authors are active trainers. Between them, they've taught DO-178B/DO-254 to more students than all other seminars combined. Their wisdom can provide valuable insights to bring your project to a successful conclusion.

The Authors

Vance Hilderman

Vance Hilderman spent 25 years designing and testing over 150 aerospace systems. He holds BSEE and MBA degrees, and a computer engineering MS from the Univ. of So. California. He founded the world's largest avionics software organization and completed several hundred programs for 50 major avionics companies.

Tony Baghi

Tony Baghai has over 20 years' experience in software certification. He holds a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MS in Aeronautical Engineering. He was one of the youngest Designated Engineering Representatives ever to earn FAA certification for Systems and Level A software.

The authors are co-founders of HighRely, a company that has provided software certification services for nearly every Boeing commercial transport (737, 747, 757, 767, 777) and Airbus 380, as well as many military programs. More than 6000 engineers over the world have been trained by the authors.

Contents of "Avionics Certification"

  1. Introduction
  2. Real World of DO-178B 
  3. Planning the Project 
  4. Criticality Levels
  5. What is “Certified”?
  6. Cost Vs Benefits
  7. Military Certification
  8. Getting Started
  9. Safety Assessment
  10. Planning, Development and Correctness
  11. Quality Assurance Plan 
  12. Configuration Management
  13. Software Development Plan
  14. System Requirements
  1. Software Design
  2. Unit Testing
  3. Software Testing
  4. Structural Coverag
  5. Test and Tools
  6. DO-254 (Hardware)
  7. Hardware Design Life Cycle
  8. Gap Analysis
  9. Verification
  10. Project Organization
  11. PSAC
  12. Tool Qualification
  13. Software Design Aspects
  14. Cost Estimation and Metrics
  15. DO-178C and its Impact
  16. DO-297 Integrated Modular Avionics
  17. DO-330 Software Tool Qualification
   Appendix: FAA Advisory Circular    20-115C

Avionics Certification
A Complete Guide to DO-178 (Software),
DO-178C (Update), DO-254 (Hardware)

  • Cat. No. 178-02E
  • Pages: 274
  • Price: $75.00