WESTINGHOUSE expects next month to receive a supplemental type certificate (STC) from the US Federal Aviation Administration which will allow the use of its MR-3000 weather radar as a predictive windshear system for civil aircraft.

Initially, the windshear predictor will be installed aboard Westinghouse's British Aerospace One-Eleven testbed for trials. Westinghouse received a technical standard order from the FAA for the MR-3000 weather radar last December. This cleared the way for the system to be used on commercial aircraft. The APN-241, the military version of the MR-3000, was fielded with a predictive- windshear capability in 1993, says the company.

Westinghouse draws from technology it developed for military radars for the MR-3000, including advanced, full-spectrum pulse-Doppler processing technology. The APN-241 is installed on Lockheed C-130Hs and will be installed on new C-130Js destined for the US Air Force and Royal Air Force.

A prototype MR-3000 was flight tested on an Airbus Industrie A300 in revenue passenger service several years ago in support of a Continental Airlines predictive-windshear feasibility-study programme. On earlier One-Eleven flights over Florida, the system was used to detect successfully microburst-related windshear.

Westinghouse is seeking commercial customers for the MR-3000, and negotiations are under way with two unidentified airlines. In 1993, Arrow Air agreed to buy 20 MR-3000 systems for McDonnell Douglas DC-8s and Boeing 727s. A contract option called for 100 systems for International Air Leases, a sister company. The contract was later cancelled because of scheduling issues.

In April 1990, the FAA amended rules for windshear-detector installations to include predictive airborne-detection systems as alternatives to the existing reactive systems. Exemptions were permitted to several air carriers who participated in the development and operational testing of the predictive-windshear equipment.

Source: Flight International