Flight testing of a Chilean air force Lockheed Martin C-130 with an upgraded cockpit from Quebec-based Esterline CMC Electronics (hall 5, stand B242) has been completed, with all planned test points achieved.

The formal flight test was successfully carried out in late March with a flight to Antarctica from Santiago, said CMC, which installed its cockpit upgrade configuration, the Cockpit 9000 suite, on the C-130.

The all-digital Cockpit 9000 suite is built around CMC's latest generation flight management system (FMS), the CMA-9000, and its global positioning with wide area augmentation system receiver.

Cockpit 9000 also incorporates six large-format, high-resolution multifunction displays, as well as new navigation sensors, radios, autopilot, weather radar, auxiliary power unit and other subsystems.

The night vision-compatible Cockpit 9000 "will extend the operational life of the aircraft for at least 20 years", allowing the Chilean air force's aircraft to meet all current precision area navigation requirements and providing a growth path to meet future air navigation capabilities, said CMC.

Two C-130s are covered in CMC's cockpit upgrade contract with the service.

To date, CMC has successfully completed more than 100 upgrades for the C-130 for a variety of international customers, including defence organisations in Austria, Brazil, Dubai, France, the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia, and the company continues to attract new customers.

"There are a lot of very able suppliers out there that do C-130 modernisations, so why did we choose to go there, you might ask.

"It had to do with our expertise in flight management systems, which we have been integrating for commercial airlines and other upgrades we've done. What differentiates us from our competitors? Clearly we are competitively priced with our Cockpit 9000 suite. That's a given," said Jean-Michel Comtois, CMC vice-president, marketing and sales, government and public affairs.

"The second thing is we give the customer what the customer wants. Nobody on the planet is faster than we are from contract award to first flight. We can take the C-130 model, install the suite, and go all the way to first flight in about 18 months."

CMC provides similar avionics modernisation solutions on commercial air transport aircraft such as classic Boeing 747, McDonnell Douglas DC-10, Boeing MD-80 and Airbus A300 aircraft; on military trainers such as the Beechcraft T-6B, the Korea Aerospace Industries KT-1C and the BAE Systems Hawk Mk51 and Mk66; and on helicopters such as the Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk.

Meanwhile, the company's CMA-9000 FMS has been CAN-TSO certificated by Transport Canada with fully coupled vertical navigation capability for the Sukhoi Superjet 100.

The Superjet 100 is equipped with dual installation CMA-9000 flight management systems providing multi-sensor-based navigation and enhanced operational capability.

Source: Flight Daily News