AMERICAN AIRLINES HAS selected the Honeywell/ Trimble HT9100 satellite-based navigation system for a fleetwide retrofit of 340 Boeing 727s and McDonnell Douglas DC-10s and MD-80s.

The contract, is the first major fleet satellite-navigation avionics contract awarded, since the introduction of the Boeing/Honeywell FANS 1 system and is the first large-project deal for the new Honeywell/Trimble alliance.

The first retrofits will begin in mid-1996 on the 727 and DC-10 fleets which American uses for overseas routes. "These will be the immediate replacement priority with the 'Omega sunset' [the closing of the Omega-based navigation service] coming so quickly," says Trimble director Darrell Davis.

More than 400 systems are planned, to be delivered to American, which is also to equip its 260-strong MD-80 fleet between 1996 and 2000. Some aircraft will be fitted with dual systems.

The team is also competing for work with "several other" airlines and "...expects to announce more sales in the next few months", says Honeywell marketing manager, Mike Lyndon.

The HT9100 upgrades previously non FMS-equipped aircraft to use GPS for en route, terminal and approach procedures and as the sole navigation means for oceanic and remote operations. The system will implement required navigation performance (RNP) and actual navigation performance (ANP) in a manner similar to that of the FANS 1 software. RNP is the required performance accuracy of a particular segment of airspace, while ANP measures the uncertainty in the position estimate of the system.

Each shipset system consists of a navigation processor, containing a multi-function control and display system, an antenna coupler and a navigation processor housing the GPS receiver, central processor and FMS database.

Source: Flight International