Avionics displays and processing units for Zeppelin NT airships to be provided by Barco

BY John Keller

KORTRIJK, Belgium—Airship designers at Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik GmbH (ZLT) in Friedrichshafen, Germany, needed engine indicating and crew alerting system (EICAS) displays and processing units for three Zeppelin NT lighter-than-air, inflatable airships. They found their solution from Barco NV in Kortrijk, Belgium. Barco engineers will provide ZLT with the Barco CHDD-268 cockpit head-down display with sunlight-readable AMLCD and LED backlight technology, as well as the PU-2000 multi-capability processing unit.

The Zeppelin NT is a class of semi-rigid airships for passenger pleasure rides, aerial advertising, photography and television at major events, and research missions for environmental observations and troposphere research. The Zeppelin NT can stay aloft for as long as 24 hours. ZLT will deliver the three Barco avionics-equipped Zeppelin NT airships to the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Barco officials say.

Barco will provide the color avionics displays for three Zeppelin NT lighter-than-air, inflatable airships.
Barco will provide the color avionics displays for three Zeppelin NT lighter-than-air, inflatable airships.

Executives of ZLT and Goodyear together are funding and developing a new cockpit display system to be installed in the instrument panel of the new Zeppelin NTs, which will replace nearly all the hardware items of the 10-year old display system. The redesign of the Zeppelin NT’s instrument display panel will upgrade the existing I-Panel to a modern glass cockpit with two off-the-shelf EICAS display units and two dual EFIS displays for primary flight display.

The Barco EICAS display will indicate airship data, such as fuel status, water ballast, and parameter limits. The display can add and remove information indicated on the screen, and make adjustments to key parameters like fuel quantity and water ballast.

“The open MOSArt software platform allows a perfect integration with our custom-made avionics suites, and minimizes the certification effort and risk,” explains Thomas Brandt, general manager at ZLT.

Goodyear will use the three airships for marketing and for VIP passenger flights for local and national charities. ZLT will deliver the three airships over the next six years, with the first airship entering service in January 2014.

FOR MORE INFORMATION visit Barco online at www.barco.com, ZLT at www.zeppelinflug.de, and the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. at www.goodyearblimp.com.

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