Better Avionics Functionality For America's Biggest Military
Lockheed Martin and the
Air Force have started flight testing the latest block of software
developed for the C-5 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP). Testing
began on Dec. 12 with a 4.8-hour flight from the company's facility
here in an upgraded C-5B. Called Block 2.1, this is the third of
four major software builds in the modernization program. It alone
represents one third of the total amount of software code to be
developed for AMP. More than 90 percent of the code to be developed
for AMP is now in flight test.
"Block 2.1 brings a significant increase in functionality to the
C-5's new digital avionics suite," said June Shrewsbury, Lockheed
Martin's vice president of Strategic Airlift. "We have a structured
plan in place where each new software block builds on what was
accomplished previously. When we are done, the combination of
hardware and software in AMP will allow Air Force crews to fly
unrestricted anywhere in the world."
AMP replaces the analog cockpit instruments and systems in the
C-5 with digital displays and equipment. It also provides the
necessary communications and navigational avionics to comply with
Global Air Traffic Management (GATM) requirements, the new set of
international standards for aircraft movement and reduced
separation in flight.
The Block 2.1 software, in addition to providing additional
capability to the C-5's digital automatic flight control and flight
management systems, adds the communications and navigation software
necessary for basic GATM compliance.
A combined US Air Force and Lockheed Martin crew is scheduled to
make a total of 19 flights from Dobbins ARB for Block 2.1 testing.
The C-5B test aircraft is the same used for both the Block 1.1 and
1.2 test programs that concluded earlier this year. A modified C-5A
that was first flown in the Block 1.2 test program also will be
used during Block 2.1 testing.
The test program for
Block 1.1, which was specifically limited in capability and
provided the crew with the basic ability to aviate, navigate and
communicate, was completed on March 7 after 10 flights and 44.8
flight hours. Block 1.1 accounted for 55 percent of the required
AMP source lines of code. Flight testing of the Block 1.2 software,
which provided additional capability, was completed on Sept. 10.
Fifteen flights totaling 71 hours were made with 11 flights
totaling 46.9 hours coming in the C-5B test aircraft, and four
flights for 24.1 hours coming in the modified C-5A.
To handle software and hardware integration issues, Lockheed
Martin has built a system integration laboratory that contains a
hot mockup unit with the cockpit electronic boxes, the avionics
interface units and the cockpit displays. Company and Air Force
pilots are using a simulator with a 200- degree visual system as a
development tool, helping engineers to find and potentially solve
anomalies in the software as it is developed.
A number of developmental items overlap AMP and the second half
of the C-5 modernization effort, the Reliability Enhancement and
Re-engining Program (RERP). Capabilities that will be needed later
specifically for RERP, such as an interface with the full-authority
digital engine controller on the General Electric CF6 engine that
will be installed on the C-5, are being included as part of the AMP
software development effort now to lower total development
Block 2.2 is the final block of AMP software to be developed.
Containing roughly nine percent of the necessary source code, Block
2.2 is now in bench test and should be ready for flight by early
2004. Air Force operational test and evaluation of AMP is scheduled
to begin in the third quarter of next year.
Earlier this year, Lockheed Martin was awarded a $20.3 million
contract for the first eight AMP production kits. Once in
production, it will take approximately two months to modify each
aircraft. Fleet-wide AMP installation is expected to be complete in