The first UPS A300-600F (868) to receive modernized cockpit avionics from Airbus has started flight tests with the manufacturer. After having operated several test flights around Toulouse (TLS) since Sept. 12, 2019, Airbus took the aircraft on a test flight away from mainland France for the first time today, operating a round trip between TLS and Ajaccio (AJA), Corsica.
Unit 868 was originally delivered to UPS in 2006. It was ferried from Louisville (SDF) to TLS for the upgrades in February 2019. UPS announced the project in May 2017, in partnership with Airbus and Honeywell, which will see all fifty-two of UPS’ A300Fs receiving new LCD displays, updated flight management systems and other modern avionics.
UPS told Cargo Facts that, after unit 868 is redelivered in the second half of 2020, the whole upgrade project is anticipated to last through 2022. At the same time, under a separate project also announced in May 2017, UPS is upgrading the cockpits of its 757Fs and 767Fs to feature a large-format display system from Collins Aerospace. That project covers all seventy-five of UPS’ 757-200Fs, three 767-300BCFs and fifty-nine 767-300Fs. UPS said that thirty-five 757s and nine 767s have already received the modifications.
UPS declined to give details on how much of an investment the A300 upgrade entails, but noted that it is significantly more complex than the 757/767 project, replacing both displays and many cockpit components, while the 757s and 767s are only receiving new displays.
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