Regional Express’ (Rex) is installing new cockpit flight displays across its Saab 340 fleet from Thomas Global Systems.
In a sign Rex intends to maintain its 34-seat Saab 340s for at least the next decade, the airline is rolling out the LCD TFD-8601 avionics display units as a replacement for the current Rockwell Collins EFD-86 CRT display.
The regional carrier operates about 40 Saab 340s for its regular public transport services across NSW, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria, while a further dozen or so of the 34-seater aircraft are used for freight and charter services.
Rex general manager of engineering Dale Hall said the Thomas Global Systems displays had met all the airline’s requirements during nine months of testing both on the aircraft and in the simulator.
“The system has been designed to allow integration with ADS-B output which enables our fleet to be fully compliant with impending regulations effective in February 2017,” Hall said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We are confident that with the architecture we have specified, this system could also be easily upgraded to meet regulatory requirements that may be enforced over the next 10 years, thereby future-proofing our fleet.
“We will replace all our units over the next three years.”
Hall said the crew did not have to undertake additional training for the new systems and the implementation of the TFD-8601 would be phased in according to operational needs.
Thomas Global Systems chief executive Angus Hutchinson said the TFD-8601, which received its supplemental type certificate for the Saab 340 in April 2015, would help airlines lower maintenance costs and extend cockpit life.
“It is 50 per cent lighter than the comparable CRT display, with significantly higher reliability and lower power consumption,” Hutchinson said in a statement.
Although Rex was fitting the TFD-8601 only on its Saab 340 fleet, Hutchinson said the system could also be installed in the cockpit of Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia, Beechcraft King Air, Dassault Falcon, Gulfstream, Hawker aircraft, given they also used the Rockwell Collins EFD-86 CRT unit.
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