Farnborough Air Show

Russian Regional Jet selects CMC for flight management

 - November 16, 2006, 10:43 AM

CMC Electronics (Hall 4 Stand C16a) signed a contract to supply its latest flight management system, the CMA-9000, for the Thales cockpit in the Russian Regional Jet. Designed to carry between 63 and 98 passengers (depending on the version), the RRJ is under development at Sukhoi. The cockpit is said to be similar to that of the Airbus A380, which will be delivered with an FMS from Honeywell.

The CMA-9000 is a family of compact flight management systems that CMC said is well suited for modern digital cockpits in fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, both military and civil. It is the next-generation FMS derived from the company’s CMA-900 FMS/GPS and CMA-3000 helicopter FMS. The single unit CMA-9000 has civil certified multi-sensor (GPS, INS, DME and EGI) navigation capabilities. It conforms to the Arinc-739 multifunction control display unit standard, making it suitable as a display and control unit for other systems such as Acars and satcom. It also has the capability to act as a radio management unit.

FMS upgrade programs for aging C-130 Hercules tactical transports, meanwhile, continue to reap rewards for CMC, which is here this week with news of freshly signed contracts to supply its systems for airplanes operated by the United Arab Emirates and Dutch air forces.

CMC’s contract with the Dubai Air Wing for dual CMA-900 flight management systems in a number of C-130Hs is actually the avionics maker’s second such contract. It announced its first deal with the UAE three years ago and completed the integration of the cockpit upgrade late last year.

Liquid-crystal MFD

The CMA-900 features a color liquid-crystal multifunction display and includes CMC Electronics’ GPS sensor. Prime contractor Gulf Aircraft Maintenance Co. is responsible for all program depot maintenance inspection requirements, a new cargo handling system, aircraft painting and the installation of the cockpit systems. It performed in the same capacity for the earlier upgrade program.

CMC Electronics has also been contracted by Marshall Aerospace to supply its latest generation FMS, the CMA-9000, for four C-130 military transports that Marshall is upgrading for the Dutch air force. The CMA-9000 is a compact unit, also with a color screen, that CMC Electronics touts as being well suited to modern digital cockpits.

The C-130 contracts represent a continuation of what has become a lucrative market for the Canadian company, which is among the world’s leading suppliers of FMS and other avi-onics upgrades for aging airplanes. CMC has become heavily involved in similar upgrade programs for Boeing 747 classics. In fact, according to CMC, the CMA-900 in the 747 has received more U.S. and other national civil aviation authority approvals than any competing product.

Airline Market

The CMA-900 has also been installed and integrated in large numbers in McDonnell Douglas DC-10s. Including recent orders, the CMA-900 is now in service with more than 60 airlines and military operators.

Jean-Pierre Mortreux, CMC president and CEO, said the company is the FMS supplier of choice for these airplanes, which despite being decades old are capable of continuing operations in airspace that increasingly requires modern equipment. Other recent contracts have seen the company’s CMA-2082F avionics management system supplied for the German air force’s Tornado mid-life improvement program and its CMA-2082MH aircraft management system installed in Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone helicopters for the Canadian Forces.

CMC is also promoting its newest FMS, the CMA-4000, for the first time here at Farnborough. A derivative of this next-generation system was recently selected for the Canadian CH-148 helicopter. The CMA-4000 employs open system architecture with more powerful processing, memory and bus interface capabilities. In addition to operating as a traditional FMS, it can drive two external multifunction displays.

From a single box, FMS/ global air traffic management, centralized radio management, digital map generation, terrain awareness and warning, symbol generation for MFDs and video formatting and switching can be accomplished, according to the manufacturer’s literature on the product.