UPS Announces Successful Test Flight of A300 with Flight Deck Upgrades

A UPS A300 aircraft (Photo: Little Flight Photography [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)])

UPS Airlines has announced that Airbus recently conducted a successful test flight of its first A300 with a robust set of flight deck upgrades. The shipping giant currently operates 52 Airbus A300-600 freighters and plans to complete the flight deck upgrades on its entire A300 fleet.  The A300 represents approximately 20 percent of the UPS Airlines fleet.

The decision by UPS to upgrade its A300 fleet makes sense.  It is a versatile aircraft, and the upgrades will improve efficiency and safety. The A300-600 has a maximum payload of 121, 730 pounds, with 22 container positions on the main deck and 7 on the lower cargo compartment. At maximum payload, it has a range of 2,000 nautical miles.

Via the UPS Airlines Instagram page, UPS Avionics/Systems Engineering Division Manager Kevin O’Hara was quoted as describing the upgrade as an industry first and stated “we are taking aircraft designed in the 1970s and bringing the instruments and systems into the 21st century.”

The upgrades will indeed bring the instruments and systems of the UPS A300 fleet into the 21st century. The upgrades are extensive and include replacing almost all of the instruments in the flight deck. The current displays will be replaced by new LCD flat panels and will include an improved vertical situation display.

In addition to new LCD displays, the upgraded A300 flight decks will have a new flight management system, a new GPS navigation system, new weather radar, and a new Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) system. Also included are the latest Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System, new standby instruments, and a new central maintenance system.

According to UPS, the first upgraded A300 is scheduled to return to service next year, with flight testing scheduled until February 2020.

Jordan Green

Jordan joined the AG team in 2018 after attending AAviationDay in Philadelphia.He is actively pursuing his private pilot certificate and has been an aviation enthusiast since childhood.An attorney by trade, Jordan jokingly refers to himself as a “recovering litigator” and now focuses on subcontracts management.

Jordan focuses his writing on innovations in commercial aviation, aviation history, and other interesting topics he feels are worthy of discussion in the community.
Jordan Green