Jet Aviation has developed a supplemental type certificate (STC) through the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to update aging cockpit displays with Honeywell DU-875 liquid crystal display (LCD) units. The STC covers the replacement of the units on Dassault Falcon and Cessna Citation business jets. Honeywell describes the unit as “a plug-and-play, one-for-one upgrade option for operators wanting a lower-cost, building-block approach to future growth.”
According to a recent news release, “the older CRT cockpit display units face obsolescence soon because repairs will not be possible after the end of the year.” The DU-875 LCD upgrade secures the future of the aircraft for 10 to 15 years and increases resale value if general aviation aircraft owners plan to sell their aircraft on the open market. The upgrade does not require additional pilot training or other cockpit modifications.
This STC comes five years after the first Honeywell-partnered DU-875 upgrade at Jet Aviation’s maintenance, repair, and operations facility in Geneva.
DU-875 units are said to be more reliable and weigh approximately 7 lb less than their legacy counterparts, and can display geo-referenced electronic charts and approach plates, moving maps, video display capability for onboard cameras, and XM weather. The LCD screens offer high resolution, upgraded visibility in all cockpit lighting conditions, and wide-angle viewing. Beside the Citation and Falcon, the DU-875 has been certified for use on Bombardier Global Express, Dornier 328, and Embraer Legacy 600 aircraft; whereas Honeywell’s DU-885 is designed for use on Gulfstream IV- and V-series aircraft.
The DU-875 units can be installed "quickly and easily" in the DU-870 tray without having to make any wiring changes. The LCD units also permit replacement of flight-deck displays one at a time or many displays at the same time to limit downtime.
Nearly half of the global business jet fleet approaching a 15-years or older mark, according to a recent market research study by Amstat. However, business jet deliveries are at a relative low. Industry analysts are currently pointing to the cost disparity between purchasing larger used aircraft and smaller, newer jets. Pre-owned aircraft retrofitted with updated cockpit displays have been selling for substantially more than non-updated counterparts, which also may drive operators to commit to upgrading.