Thomas Global Systems Wins Excellence in Innovation Award

Published on : Monday, April 18, 2016

Thomas Global SystemsThomas Global Systems, a leader in the design, production and support of innovative electronics solutions for aerospace and defense applications, has received the Excellence in Innovation Award at the 2016 Aviation/Aerospace Australia Airspace Awards.


Sponsored by Boeing Aerostructures, this award highlights the unique factors that make Australian industry a leader in aviation and aerospace innovation. Thomas Global was recognised for its Adaptive Display Architecture™, and the associated development of a cost-effective upgrade for Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Electronic Flight Information Systems (EFIS), which utilises a “plug and play” LCD display to substitute aging cockpit CRT displays that were first introduced in the early 1980s.

CEO of Thomas Global, Angus Hutchinson said: “We are delighted to receive the Excellence in Innovation award, which highlights the real depth of innovation within the Australian aerospace sector.” Hutchinson paid special tribute to the important contributions of Regional Express (Rex) and the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) in supporting the company’s innovation agenda: “The TFD-8601 LCD display was developed in partnership with Regional Express, one of the world’s leading regional airlines and the world’s largest operator of Saab 340 aircraft, with specific objectives to be cost effective, truly plug-and-play and with very high standards of fidelity to the existing CRT display. Thomas Global’s engineers developed a product that completely satisfied Rex’s requirements, working closely with the airline’s engineers to ensure that the solution was workable and practical. The TFD-8601 was first flown in the Saab 340 fleet of Rex on 11 August 2015 and replaces Rockwell Collins Proline II CRT displays.”

Hutchinson added “Regional Express, as launch customer for the TFD-8601 display – the first product to include Adaptive Display Architecture™ – has provided us with tremendous support and encouragement. Rex is a model, forward thinking regional operator. Also working closely with CASA, this is a great example of what Australian industry can deliver, working together.”

Until the development of the TFD-8601, there was no ability to specifically target CRT obsolescence without replacing the full EFIS – a very costly exercise, in addition to the significant equipment downtime and pilot retraining required.

David Barnes, COO of Thomas Global Systems added “Our Adaptive Display Architecture™ is a game changer. It allows CRT cockpit displays to be replaced instantly without disturbing the rest of the EFIS and cockpit wiring. CRT obsolescence is eliminated while also allowing for a NextGen growth path. Perhaps most importantly, our plug-and-play CRT-to-LCD products also mean reduced maintenance costs for operators.”

Thomas Global Systems is now leveraging the innovation embedded in in the TFD-8601 to address CRT obsolescence in an increasing range of narrow and wide bodied aircraft, including with alliance partners such as L-3 Aviation Products.


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