The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today announced the successful first flight of the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) aircraft. The flight took place on Sept. 19 as part of the most comprehensive C-130 avionics modification ever conducted.
The first C-130 AMP aircraft, designated H2, successfully completed its maiden flight from Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Boeing test pilot Mike Leone and U.S. Air Force pilot Maj. Frank Delsing conducted the flight, which lasted approximately three hours.
The aircraft is the first C-130 to undergo trial installations. Boeing inducted the aircraft in January 2005, after accepting it from Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala. Boeing also has inducted the second aircraft, H2.5, and has initiated the modification process.
The aircraft's new avionics system features digital displays and the 737 commercial airliner's proven flight management system, which provide navigation, safety and communication improvements to meet Communication Navigation Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) requirements. The CNS/ATM upgrade will allow the C-130 fleet to be deployed worldwide.
The C-130 AMP provides enhanced digital avionics that increase situational awareness for the warfighter tenfold over old analog cockpits, dramatically increasing information available to aircrews at a glance, simplifying tasks and decreasing workload. Upgrade commonality brought by the AMP offers additional flexibility in assigning aircrews regardless of the model design type.
The Air Force initiated the C-130 AMP program to reduce the number of C-130 configurations in the fleet, including highly specialized versions in service with the Air Force Special Operations Command. U.S. Navy, Marines and international customers will be able to leverage work accomplished on the Air Force program to ensure their C-130 crews have the most capable C-130 aircraft available.
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