The veteran A300, Airbus’ first commercial jet, had its first revitalized unit delivered to UPS. The U.S. cargo airline has reached an agreement with the European manufacturer to update the 52 A300-600F cockpit, which will receive by 2022 a new avionics suite from Honeywell, based on the Primus Epic platform.
The most visible part of the project is in the cockpit, which now has four main LCD screens with 10×8 inches in addition to a multifunction MCDU unit that, together, replace several analog instruments.
The modification also includes new flight management system (FMS), support for a worldwide navigation database, a new multi-mode receiver (MMR) incorporating the latest GPS-based satellite navigation systems, a digital datalink for communications with air traffic control (ATC), the central maintenance computer, a digital weather radar system with turbulence detection and windshear prediction – among numerous other capabilities.
The revitalization of the A300‘s avionics will increase the safety of the jet, which now includes EGPWS (ground proximity alert), TCAS (capable of preventing aerial collisions) and a GPS approach feature for airports without an ILS system.
“Our modern FMS with FANS capability will help give UPS aircraft priority with ATC controllers. And with the integrated MMR – which includes GPS and SBAS capabilities – UPS can fly into either ILS or non-ILS airports, and it also helps them to land in inclement weather,” said Allen Fenske, Honeywell’s Senior Platform Director.
With an average age of 18 years, the 52 A300-600F are expected to remain in service at UPS until 2035. They are the only Airbus jets in the numerous fleet of the cargo company, whose main aircraft are the 767 and 757, in addition to widebodies 747 and MD-11.