Thomas Global Systems has received FAA technical standard order authorization and supplemental type certification approval for its TFD-7000-series plug-and-play liquid crystal flight displays (LCDs) for Boeing 757s and 767s equipped with cathode ray tubes (CRTs).
These approvals let Thomas deliver the TFD-7000 series to 757 and 767 operators, beginning with Delta Air Lines, which has selected the solution for retrofit.
Thomas CEO Angus Hutchinson says TFD-7000 displays offer a lighter, more reliable and lower life-cycle cost replacement for legacy CRTs and added functions and capacity for emerging airspace requirements. Plug-and-play design enables installation on overnights or at the gate, with no retraining of pilots or mechanics. “Installations can be accomplished very quickly,” says Andrew Hutchinson, Thomas VP engineering. “A single-unit swap takes approximately 30 minutes for complete installation and test. A shipset swap takes approximately two hours for installation and test.”
TFD-7000 displays use the same architecture as Thomas’s TFD8601 and the EFI-650, a Thomas joint venture with L3 Harris.
The TFD-7076 and 7066 displays can replace Rockwell Collins EDU-776 and 766 CRT displays now installed on 757s, 767s and 737 Classics. They are fully compatible with the EFIP-701 and EAP-701/3 Boeing symbol generators.
Thomas will begin TFD-7000 deliveries this month to Delta. A Delta spokesperson says the airline plans to replace its display with the new LCD displays over the next two to three years, “on an attrition basis.”
Thomas is now moving forward with an STC for 737-300s, -400s and -500s, and Andrew Hutchinson expects to get this STC in August. Delta notes that it does not fly these types, so the 7000 series would not be applicable to its fleet beyond 757s and 767s.
But Andrew Hutchinson says Thomas is talking to other operators that are seeking to sustain their current electronic flight instrument system, and these operators are very interested. He says the market for the TFD-7000 series is large enough to justify investment in developing the product. “The unit is suitable for both commercial and freight operators.” About 660 757s and more than 700 767s are still operating.