Airbus has begun flight-tests of the Honeywell avionics upgrade for the A300-600 Freighter fleet of UPS.
A modified A300-600F (MSN 868) made its first flight from Airbus's Toulouse plant on 12 September. "We have started testing cockpit equipment and functionality," says Airbus.
Airbus expects the cockpit upgrade to be certificated next year to allow UPS to take delivery of the first aircraft in mid to late 2020. It features an advanced electronic flight instrumentation system based on Honeywell's Primus Epic flightdeck.
The contract for the upgrade was signed in May 2017 by UPS, Airbus and Honeywell. The deal covers cockpit refurbishment of UPS's 52 A300-600Fs to improve fleet flexibility and efficiency.
UPS's A300-600F fleet was originally delivered between 2000 and 2006, according to Cirium fleets data. The modification will allow UPS to operate the widebody freighters until 2030 or beyond, says Airbus.
The upgrade provides the ability to process much larger quantities of data and meet requirements of the FAA's NextGen air traffic control modernisation project, adds Airbus.