KLM Engineering & Maintenance and Canadian Marconi have completed flight tests of a Boeing 747 Classic cockpit upgrade, and have achieved supplemental type certification. The upgrade will extend the life of KLM's fleet of 13 747-200/300s beyond 2010.

The cockpit upgrade is built around three Canadian Marconi CMA-900 flight management systems, which incorporate the company's 12-channel global positioning system receivers.


The CMA-900s are fully integrated with new inertial reference systems and interfaces to the autopilot, airline datalink and other systems.

Digital electronic flight and engine instruments will be added in a second phase of the KLM programme. Canadian Marconi air transport marketing manager Eric Ford says several other operators of older widebody fleets have expressed an interest in a similar upgrade. These include All Nippon Cargo, Atlas Air, Japan Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, El Al and Virgin Atlantic Airways.

· KLM has confirmed its fleet expansion plans with orders for further Boeing Next Generation 737s and 747s, as it introduces its first 737-800. The airline has placed orders for four additional 747-400 Combis for delivery in 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2005, which will boost its 747-400 fleet to 24.

KLM has also ordered five more 737-800s for delivery in 2000 to replace five smaller 737-400s on European routes. The airline has also arranged to lease a 12th Boeing 767-300ER from International Lease Finance.

Source: Flight International