ROCKWELL-COLLINS has produced its 200,000th Pro Line general-aviation radio and unveiled the next stage in development of its Pro Line integrated avionics for business and regional aircraft.

Collins Commercial Avionics' General Aviation division says that it already has an application, yet to be announced, for the new Pro Line system, which features large 200 x 250mm liquid-crystal displays (LCDs). Collins says that the latest addition to its Pro Line range is the first all-LCD system for corporate and regional aircraft.

Compared with cathode-ray-tube (CRT) displays, the LCDs offer increased reliability and lower weight. The LCDs have a 40% larger display area than the largest CRTs available, allowing four LCDs to replace six CRTs, for a 65% weight reduction, the company says. Collins plans to use the LCD's increased graphics capability to offer new display formats.

The LCD's compactness, allows large displays to be installed in space-limited cockpits and Collins plans to use space available within the displays, to house functions such as flight control and management, which in the present Pro Line 4, are performed by an integrated avionics processing system usually located in the aircraft's nose.

The new system will operate with Collins' AVSAT family of satellite-based avionics introduced in 1994. The first in the series, the GPS-4000 global-positioning-system receiver, is in flight-test on the Pro Line 4-equipped Bombardier Canadair Challenger 604 business jet and will be certificated in October.

Introduced in 1970, Collins' Pro Line radios were the first to be developed specifically for business aircraft and were half the size and cost of airline-standard radios then available. Digital Pro Line II radios were introduced in 1986 followed in 1986 by Series 400 radios using the ARINC 429 databus. Pro Line equipment is produced at Collins' Melbourne, Florida, Manufacturing Plant.

Source: Flight International