Farnborough, England - AlliedSignal was another winner in the large aircraft order from three Latin American airlines placed with Airbus several months ago according to an announcement made at Farnborough. LanChile, TACA and TAM have selected AlliedSignal EGPWS (enhanced ground proximity warning systems), auxiliary power units (APU) and flight data and cockpit voice recorders for their new fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft.
The $100 million deal includes the avionics and APUs for the 88 aircraft on firm order as
well as additional options. AlliedSignal states this is the largest order of the company's 131-9[A] APU by any airline or group to date.
The three airlines fly in some of the most rugged terrain in the world putting a heavy requirement on both EGPWS systems and APUs.
An American Airlines crash several years ago in Cali, Colombia was attributed to controlled flight into terrain, a condition that the EGPWS systems are designed to prevent. The computerized systems overlay terrain data on a conventional radar display to show potential hazards based on priority. Terrain data is provided from a computerized database, only made practical in recent years when sensitive terrain details were made public by most governments.
APUs are generally judged by airlines on several key capabilities, among those being cold starts and starts at altitude. Latin America has some of the highest altitude airports in the world, along with the cold temperatures attendant with those conditions.