An approval has been granted to GE Aviation from the Boeing KC-46 tanker programme for its flight management system.
The development follows after an amended type certification was awarded by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the 767-2C aircraft configuration of the KC-46 aircraft.
The flight management system has been integrated with GE Aviation’s communications management applications (CMA), replacing the traditional communication management unit (CMU) on the aircraft.
Both the systems provide a more integrated user interface and form part of the KC-46 mission control system to manage the aircraft mission.
According to GE, the FMS assists in aircraft guidance, to provide aircraft performance advisory information and to conduct tactical refuelling operations.
The full aircraft communications addressing and reporting system (ACARS) and aeronautical telecommunications network (ATN) data link communications between the aircraft, Air Traffic Control, and the mission control centre are provided by the CMA.
For the certification, a series of analyses and lab, ground and flight tests were carried out by Boeing’s team, which included Commercial Airplanes and Defense, Space and Security personnel.
Data from the tests and analyses validated that all systems such as avionics, auto-flight, and environmental control systems, new fuel system operated as intended.
GE’s flight management system is also deployed on aircraft such as the US Navy P-8A, E-6B, USAF E-4, and C-130J international variants, including UK MOD, RCAF, RAAF and IAF C-130J, Airbus A320/330/340, EADS A330 MRTT, Indian Navy P-8I, and Japanese Navy C-2/P-1.