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IS&S announces cockpit upgrade for Boeing 767

 - December 14, 2006, 11:19 AM

Through an agreement with cargo airline ABX Air of Wilmington, Ohio, avionics maker Innovative Solutions & Support announced an upgrade program for replacement of Boeing 767 cockpit screens with flat-panel liquid-crystal displays.

ABX Air will perform the installations of the displays using a turnkey solution the operator has developed that includes upgrade kits, labor, pilot training and technical manual updates. Roman Ptakowski, IS&S president, said the low cost and quick turnaround time of the installation are the key attributes of the program.

“The installation can be performed at ABX Air facilities with minimum downtime,” he said, adding that pilot training can take place at the same time the aircraft goes in for the retrofit.

IS&S and ABX Air are working jointly toward a supplemental type certificate for the 767 upgrade and will offer the display package to operators when the certification is approved. The cockpit retrofit will include four displays measuring 8 by 10 inches each.

Based in Exton, Pennsylvania, IS&S is a company that made a lot of money selling avionics to allow operators to upgrade for reduced vertical separation minimums (RVSM) rules. Now that much of the world has adopted RVSM standards, the publicly traded company is seeking additional revenue sources. In other news, IS&S reported that its flat-panel engine instrument displays have been selected by Spar Aerospace for the Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 life-extension program. The system will include two displays per aircraft, one engine data concentrator and one control panel.

IS&S is interested in developing flat-panel cockpit upgrades for business aviation, recognizing that many thousands of older airplanes could benefit from new glass displays. The company this week is introducing an air-data unit that officials said would support such programs. The product, called the air-data module, will provide digital air-data computer capability with encoded altitude output. Several of the company’s displays have recently been awarded technical standard orders from the Federal Aviation Administration, one of the first steps in certifying a retrofit cockpit for business airplanes.

While the RVSM market has lost steam since the January 20 implementation of the rules in North America (it has been in effect in Europe since 2002), IS&S continues to receive orders. Most recently, AeroMech of Everett, Washington, became the launch customer for an integrated air-data display unit designed to support group and one-off RVSM certifications.