LCDs coming for Bombardier Globals

 - June 9, 2008, 6:26 AM

It looks as though LCD flight displays will be coming to the cockpit of Bombardier’s Global Express sooner than many thought. Honeywell announced that the Canadian business jet builder has selected its DU-875 liquid crystal display upgrade as an aftermarket replacement for the Global’s original Primus 2000XP CRT screens. The switch will allow Global Express and Global 5000 operators who purchase the upgrade to add electronic charts, XM graphical weather and video to the displays.
Because the DU-875 installation involves a display swap and not a complete cockpit retrofit, aircraft downtime will be relatively short compared with a complete cockpit makeover and additional pilot training won’t be needed, Honeywell noted.

Bombardier announced last year that new Global Express XRSes and Glo-bal 5000s will receive a suite of Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion avionics featuring 15-inch-diagonal LCD flight displays, but the changeover won’t happen until 2011. Global Express operators have been asking for a display change for years to give them the advanced capabilities that pilots flying many competitors’ jets take for granted.

Honeywell announced the DU-875 LCD upgrade program for Primus 1000 and 2000 cockpits at last fall’s NBAA Convention, where interest from Global Express operators was said to be particularly strong.

Current Global Express operators aren’t the only ones yearning for a modern glass avionics suite on the flight deck of the ultra-long-range business jets. Midcoast Aviation, based at Spirit of St. Louis Airport, performs completions of new Global Express XRSes and Global 5000s on behalf of Bombardier. The company said a handful of buyers have asked whether the Honeywell LCDs can be fitted in their brand-new airplanes at the time they’re having their interiors installed and paint applied. The answer for now is no, said a Midcoast spokesman. But with Bombardier’s blessing of the DU-875 display upgrade, that could be about to change.