CMC Investing $150M in Next Avionics FronTier
Montreal-based CMC Electronics announced plans on Tuesday to invest nearly $150 million in research and development for a new integrated avionics suite called FronTier. Canada’s Innovation & Technology Office will kick in another $52.3 million over the five-year R&D period in support of the project. “We will be aiming at reducing the cost of aircraft ownership, improving safety, increasing capacity and reducing the environmental impact of aircraft operations,” noted CMC president and CEO Jean-Pierre Mortreux. The system, which is scheduled to enter service in 2013, is intended for turbine helicopters, midsize to ultra-long-range business jets and airliners, a spokesman told AIN, adding that discussions are already under way with several OEMs that are interested in FronTier. A typical configuration will be four 14-inch or larger displays, consisting of two PFDs and two MFDs. Cursor control devices are currently planned, although the spokesman said voice recognition “will be evaluated during the development phase.” FronTier will also be NextGen ready, he said, and an advanced vision system–meaning head-up displays, as well as enhanced and synthetic vision systems–and electronic flight bags “will be an integral part of the cockpit.” A retrofit version of FronTier is also in the works, CMC said.