Be sure to glance left the next time you step aboard an American Airlines Boeing 757 or 767. The airline has awarded a contract to avionics maker Innovative Solutions & Support for flat-panel cockpit display upgrades in nearly 200 airplanes in its fleet that will dramatically alter the flight decks’ look.
Four LCD displays will replace an array of CRT and electromechanical equipment originally installed in American’s 757s and 767s, encompassing 22 instruments in all, including flight displays, engine indicators and controllers. Hardware deliveries to American are scheduled to start in the fourth quarter. Once components start arriving, airplanes can be modified in as little as four days thanks to their modular design, the manufacturer said.
IS&S’s Cockpit/IP display retrofit has been gaining traction with airlines and business jet OEMs, beating out competing cockpit systems based on price, reliability and capability, according to Ray Wilson, the company’s recently appointed CEO. “Our system has been well received by customers, starting with our military programs and cargo airline ABX Air and continuing right into air transport and general aviation,” he said.
ABX Air last year upgraded its fleet of 757s and 767s with the IS&S displays, which turned out to be a major factor in American’s decision to choose the Cockpit/IP product, he said. The company has also partnered with Cessna on a retrofit program for Citation business jets and earlier this year was named as the lead avionics supplier for the Eclipse 500 very light jet.
A British citizen, Wilson isn’t yet an official IS&S employee as he awaits his visa, he said. But there’s nothing preventing him from waving the company flag here at the Paris Air Show, where IS&S is exhibiting in Hall 3, Stand D11. Wilson previously was executive vice president for procurement at Airbus.