Airbus has handed over the first completed cockpit upgrade for UPS Airlines’ fleet of 52 A300-600 Freighters. The aircraft (MSN868), revitalized with state-of-the-art Honeywell cockpit avionics, was redelivered to UPS on February 3, at Airbus’ U.S. facility in Mobile Alabama following the certification by the EASA on December 22, 2020 and by the FAA on January 5, 2021. This is the first time that such a complex upgrade has been performed on the A300. UPS expects to have the entire fleet converted by peak season of 2022.
The enhancements transform the A300-600 cockpit to confer the maximum operational flexibility and capabilities – bringing it close to current-generation of aircraft. Key to achieving this is the advanced new integrated avionics system supplied by Honeywell, which is based on its Primus Epic suite.
The four large 10×8-inch LCD main displays and the new color multi-function control and display unit (MCDU), which replace several analog instruments, are the most immediately visible changes to grace the A300-600’s upgraded instrument panel. Other new ‘under the hood’ items include: a new flight management system (FMS); support for a worldwide navigation database; a new multi-mode receiver (MMR) incorporating the latest GPS-based satellite navigation systems; a digital datalink for communications with air traffic control (ATC); a central maintenance computer; and a digital weather radar system with turbulence detection and windshear prediction – among numerous other capabilities.