FAA Approves ToughWriter Flight Deck Printer On The Boeing 767 Aircraft


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FAA Approves ToughWriter Flight Deck Printer On The Boeing 767 Aircraft

By Steve Hall

January 4, 2011 - The Test & Measurement Product Group of Astro-Med, Inc. has announced the award of a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to retrofit its ToughWriter 4 Flight Deck Printer into Boeing 767-200, -300 and -300F Series aircraft. The required modifications and approval flights were completed by Delta Engineering, headquartered in New Castle, Delaware, which obtained the STC. 

The ToughWriter 4 flight deck printer includes both ARINC-429 and 10/100BaseT Ethernet ports to connect to Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting Systems (ACARS) and Electronic Flight Bags.  

It offers 300 x 600 dot-per-inch printing resolution, the highest resolution available in a flight deck printer, providing pilots with crisp, clear printouts of weather maps, approach plates, electronic charts and other graphical information. With print speeds up to 5 seconds per page in text mode, the ToughWriter 4 gives Boeing 767 pilots immediate access to critical ACARS messages.  

Tom Carll, Vice President & Worldwide Sales Director, noted, "The ToughWriter 4 flight deck printer gives B767 operators the safety, convenience, and added capabilities that are associated with modern cockpit printers, including high resolution, graphical printing."

ToughWriter 5 - The ToughWriter 5 is the latest airborne printer from Astro-Med. Designed specifically for business and regional jets, the ToughWriter 5 is the world's smallest ARINC 744A flight deck printer.

Commenting further on the award, Carll said, "This is the first of what we hope will be many Supplemental Type Certifications for the ToughWriter 4 flight deck printer as older aircraft are retrofitted with glass displays, electronic flight bags, and updated CNS/ATM systems." 

Mike Natalizia, Astro-Med's Director of Engineering for Ruggedized Products, added, "The ToughWriter 4 replaces outdated, legacy flight deck printers, saving airlines a significant amount of weight. For new printer installations, the ToughWriter 4 gives pilots the ability to print text messages as well as graphics, and replaces the heavy flight bags that they used to carry on the aircraft." 


Astro-Med is currently furnishing airborne printers for the Airbus A380 and A400M, the Boeing C-17, B-787, B-777, B-747, and the Lockheed C-130 in addition to the Boeing 767 aircraft announced in this news release. Astro-Med's Test & Measurement Product Group has been designing and manufacturing ruggedized products for more than a decade. These products are used in the most demanding military and commercial environments, including airborne, shipboard and ground vehicle applications. Astro-Med is certified to AS9100, the quality management system specifically designed for manufacturers of aerospace industry products.  

Originally founded in 1983, Delta Engineering has worked closely with the FAA to obtain or issue over 500 FAA Supplemental Type Certificates and various other FAA approvals. Delta Engineering has obtained or issued FAA Supplemental Type Certificates for nearly every system that is typically installed into an airplane's cockpit, including a multi-channel digital autopilots, air data systems and communications systems. Delta Engineering has obtained or issued FAA Supplemental Type Certificates for many cabin interior installations whether a corporate operated aircraft or an air carrier Boeing 747-400.

Astro-Med, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of specialty high tech specialty printing systems, electronic medical instrumentation, and test and measurement instruments. Astro-Med, Inc. products are sold under the brand names Astro-Med, Grass Technologies, and QuickLabel Systems, and are employed around the world in a wide range of aerospace, medical, military, industrial, and packaging applications. Astro-Med Inc is a member of the Russell Microcap Index.

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