Boeing Defense, Space & Security2007-03-07 16:26:38

The Boeing Company [NYSE:BA] has begun training U.S. Air Force flight crews and maintenance personnel in a key step in preparation for the fielding of C-130 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) aircraft in 2010.

Flight crew training consists of more than 50 hours of classroom instruction and 12 hours in Boeing's System Integration Lab (SIL), an engineering test device that closely resembles a flight simulator. Maintenance training includes academic and SIL training as well as hands-on instruction on actual aircraft.

Boeing instructors leading the training are former U.S. Air Force and Navy flight and maintenance instructors, including some with several thousand flying hours in the C-130. The training focuses on the aircraft's new avionics systems and their accompanying procedures.

"Boeing will conduct C-130 AMP training over the next several years as the AMP modification is integrated into each of the various models of C-130 aircraft that the U.S. Air Force flies," said Mike Harris, C-130 vice president and program manager for Boeing.

More than 100 Air Force personnel have received the intensive two-week training program, which was developed by the Boeing Training Support Center in Universal City, Texas. Also expected to participate in the training are flight test personnel, instructors and initial cadre from C-130 operational units.

Boeing is currently conducting ground and flight testing on its first modernized aircraft, a C-130 H2 model, and expects to fly the second modernized aircraft, an H2.5 model, for the first time this month.

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 the operation commander additional flexibility in assigning aircrews regardless of the model design type.

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.

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