McDONNELL DOUGLAS (MDC) has begun flight-testing a re-usable navigation-software module hosted on a commercial Power PC processor. The software and hardware were flown for the first time on 29 March in an AV-8B Harrier II technology-demonstrator.

The same MDC-developed software module will be flight-tested in an F-15 equipped with a MIPS R4400 processor and in an F-18 equipped with a Power PC processor. The F-15 and F-18 flights are due this month.

The aim of the demonstrations is to prove that the navigation-software module is compatible with different computer processors and does not alter the operation of the cockpit controls and displays. MDC test pilot Jackie Jackson says that the head-up display symbology and responsiveness are "identical to that of the production AV-8B".

Source: Flight International