Thales Tests New ATR Avionics
French-based Thales today announced the success of the first power-on ground test of its new avionics suite for the ATR -600 series, after 14 months of collaboration with the regional turboprop manufacturer. Under an integrated modular avionics architecture, the new flight deck uses AFDX (avionics full duplex switched ethernet) communication networks. The suite has five vertical 6- by 8-inch displays and includes an autopilot with Cat 3A approach capability. The flight management system has new functions, enabling required navigation precision (RNP) 0.3 performance and thus allowing more direct routes and reducing fuel burn. Thales was selected as Tier 1 systems integrator and is responsible for integrating systems provided by other suppliers. The ATR -600 series will be upgraded variants of the current ATR 42/72-500 regional turboprops, which have so far used Honeywell avionics. The first flight of the test aircraft, an ATR 72-600, is pegged for the summer of 2009. The first delivery of an ATR -600 has been postponed from 2010 to 2011.