Virgin Atlantic is the launch customer for a new Rockwell Collins digital radio altimeter, to be fitted to its 10 ordered Airbus A330s that are due to begin delivery in spring 2011.

Also to be fitted in the aircraft are Rockwell Collins' multiscan hazard detection system, an advanced weather radar, and a multi-mode receiver that can manage approaches using either satellite navigation or instrument landing systems to a required navigation performance standard of 0.1nm.

The contract for the avionics order was signed at the Rockwell Collins Farnborough chalet by Virgin's supply chain manager Sean Swain and Rockwell's Jeff Standerski, vice-president and general manager air transport systems.

Standerski says the new digital altimeter, the LRA-2100, is more accurate and responsive than its analogue forbears, making it an asset during approaches and departures in variable terrain or where there are obstacles. It can be "dropped in" to replace Rockwell's LRA-900, he says.

Source: Flight Daily News