Canada's Kelowna Flightcraft is in teaming discussions with Embraer on a cockpit upgrade for the Brazilian manufacturer's Tucano turboprop trainer.

Flightcraft believes that Latin American interest in a cockpit upgrade that the Kelowna, British Columbia-based company is developing for Bolivia's Lockheed T-33 jet trainers has prompted the approach by Embraer.

The first Bolivian T-33 is scheduled to arrive at Kelowna in November. Two prototypes are planned, representing the ex-Canadian and ex-French aircraft operated by Bolivia, says director of engineering Michael Sizeland.

After delays in arranging financing for the $16 million programme, Bolivia now wants to accelerate the upgrade, with all 18 aircraft to be redelivered by December 1999.

Kelowna Flightcraft's upgrade is based on all-digital avionics, including Honeywell laser inertial navigation unit, micro air-data computer and Primus 2 integrated radios, plus the Universal UNS-1K flight management system.

Conventional flight instruments are replaced by a large-format liquid crystal display supplied by Barco and a BFGoodrich flat-panel standby instrument.

Essentially the same equipment is being offered by Flightcraft to upgrade the long-range navigation system in later Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules.

The inertial navigation, air data and flight management systems are mounted on a single pallet which replaces the C-130's existing LTN-72 inertial navigator.

Sizeland says the upgrade kit can be installed overnight, and the company is building a demonstration unit to support its claims.

He also says that proposals have been made to upgrade C-130s operated by Far Eastern, as well as South American, air forces. Dassault Falcon 20s, Grumman OV-1s and Lockheed P-3s are other potential applications for the upgrade, which costs less than $500,000, he adds.

Source: Flight International