Air France is starting a fleet-wide retrofit of the Smiths Aerospace "New FM" Flight Management System (FMS) on its A320 family aircraft. The move comes after Airbus confirmed the unit could be brought into service evaluation, and authorised the break-in for fit on its A320 family production lines.

Retrofits at America West and Northwest are also scheduled for 2003.

The in-service evaluation campaign took place at Alitalia and Frontier Airlines from October 2002 to February 2003, with on-site support from Airbus, Smiths and Thales.

The evaluation was completed with the final version, fully certified for revenue service by the JAA and the FAA. More than 15,000 flight hours were monitored during the evaluation period with the REV 1 New FM software.

Smiths Aerospace (Hall 2, H12-13) says the New FM is attractive for Airbus operators. It introduces a new LCD Multipurpose Control Display Unit (MCDU), at 5Mb the largest navigation database capacity available on Airbus aircraft, superior flight planning flexibility and upgraded display functionality.


Thales Avionics and Smiths Aerospace say they have developed the New FM by building on the strengths of each team partner. Smiths Aerospace is known for its flight management expertise, including the 737 FMS.

Thales Avionics drew on its experience of aircraft systems, architecture, and man-machine interfaces, gained on Airbus aircraft.

Source: Flight Daily News