CMC Electronics has secured Saudi Arabian Airlines, Corsair and Dragonair as customers for the Boeing 747 Classic cockpit upgrade it pioneered with KLM.

The Dutch airline became the first carrier to commit to a major cockpit upgrade of 747 Classics in 1997 when it launched the ambitious programme with CMC, formerly BAE Systems Canada.

The upgrade, which received supplemental type certification in 1999, extends the life of 747 Classics through the addition of communications, navigation and surveillance/air traffic management (CNS/ATM).

Saudi Arabia Airlines is upgrading 12 of its Classics - 747-200s, -300s and -SPs - while Corsair is equipping four 747-200s. Dragonair will upgrade three -300s. All of the aircraft will use CMC's CMA-900 flight management system (FMS), which features a colour liquid crystal multifunction display and a 12-channel global positioning system (¼) sensor, to provide GPS-based navigation and oceanic and remote area operations capability. Saudi Arabian aircraft will include a triple CMA-900 installation. The configuration for French carrier Corsair features a multi-sensor system based on the CMA-900 FMS integrated with the Carousel IV inertial system. Dragonair of Hong Kong will use a multi-sensor system based on the CMA-900 FMS integrated with the Litton LTN-92 and new distance measuring equipment.

Meanwhile, CMC has launched flight trials of its new infrared-based enhanced vision system (EVS) as the first stage in a modular approach to EVS development. CMC plans to develop EVS for aircraft equipped with head-up displays in the air transport, general aviation and military markets.

The Infrared EVS (IR-EVS) features a CMC-developed infrared sensor that, installed under the aircraft's radome, can detect subtle thermal gradients of the terrain ahead. The system is designed to improve vision during poor visibility approaches, take-off, taxiing and parking. The manufacturer is in discussions with airlines on the system and has letters of intent from unidentified corporate aircraft operators.

CMC's second response to the EVS market will be the Electronics Millimeter Wave Imaging Radar (MWIR). Flight trials of this are planned next year.

Source: Flight International