Continental Airlines chooses Miltope printers for ground-air data link

Leaders of Continental Airlines in Houston are joining a growing number of commercial and military aircraft operators in digitizing the message traffic between the ground and the air. Instead of relying on voice communications, Continental officials are installing flight deck printers for use with the Airborne Communication Addressing and Reporting System on their new Boeing 737 series aircraft and their upgraded DC-10s and MD-80s.

Mar 1st, 1998
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Leaders of Continental Airlines in Houston are joining a growing number of commercial and military aircraft operators in digitizing the message traffic between the ground and the air. Instead of relying on voice communications, Continental officials are installing flight deck printers for use with the Airborne Communication Addressing and Reporting System on their new Boeing 737 series aircraft and their upgraded DC-10s and MD-80s.

Cindy Harris, program manager at the airline, explains that the new data link will efficiently relay traffic information to the pilots and enable flight attendants to inform passengers of conditions en route, including gate changes when they land. This had all been done by voice before.

The printers the airline selected are the TP line of thermal printers from Miltope Corp. in Montgomery, Ala., which are designed specifically for use in commercial aircraft. Andy Bruno, senior product manager at Miltope, says company designers have installed more than 3,500 to date, selling to avionics systems integrators, airframe manufacturers such as Boeing, and such other airlines as United, Alitalia, KLM, and American. They have also been installed in the U.S. Air Force AWACS and Joint STARS aircraft, which have a similar environment to commercial aircraft.

In a typical commercial aircraft installation, Bruno adds, there is a single printer in the forward cabin, and the price runs about $12,000. The thermal printer/plotter, which has a solid-state multiple-junction print head, meets ARINC-744 specifications. - J.R.

For more information on the TP thermal printers, contact Andy Bruno, senior product manager at Miltope Corp., by phone at 1-800-MILTOPE (645-8673) or on the World Wide Web at http://www.miltope.com.

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TP thermal flight deck printers from Miltope Corp. in Montgomery, Ala., are digitizing Continental Airlines message traffic between aircraft and ground personnel

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