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We describe requirements, architectures and technologies for flexible, scalable and upgradeable broad-bandwidth avionics networks with reduced size, weight, power and cost. The approaches support collection, processing, storage and transmission of large amounts of data from surveillance, communication, navigation, identification and other systems. Despite the maturity and widespread deployment of commercial optical networks, deployed optical systems on aircraft are largely point-to-point multimode fiber links using 850 nm wavelength and Fiber Channel protocols. This is due to many challenges and concerns in deploying state-of-the-art optical networks on avionics platforms. Here, we discuss those challenges and propose novel ways to address them by taking advantage of recent innovations in commercial industry.