Rockwell Collins executive sees big market in Boeing 777 retrofits

Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:33pm EST
 
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By Alwyn Scott

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rockwell Collins Inc (COL.N: Quote) sees a large opportunity to retrofit current-generation Boeing Co (BA.N: Quote) 777 aircraft with heads-up cockpit displays it is developing for the next-generation 777X, a senior executive told Reuters on Tuesday.

"We are seeing tremendous acceleration in desire for heads-up displays" for the 777, Kent Statler, executive vice president and chief operating officer of commercial systems at Rockwell, said in an interview after the company announced it had won an exclusive contract to supply flight displays and other cockpit systems to the 777X. [ID:nWNAB05IFV]

As part of that program, the Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based aerospace manufacturer will develop heads-up displays for the 777X similar to those now supplied on Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The displays allow pilots to see instrument readings while looking out the cockpit window.

The 777X is a refresh of Boeing's wide-body 777 jetliner, which is due to enter service in 2020.

In tandem, Rockwell Collins will develop and certify heads-up displays for the 777, Boeing's current production mini-jumbo jetliner.

Rockwell wouldn't disclose the value of the 777X contract, but Statler said it will provide a "very material" benefit to the company's earnings as it begins product deliveries around 2019. Boeing has sold 286 777X aircraft through November.

The 777 entered service in 1995, and Boeing has sold more than 1,500 of the aircraft.

Rockwell shares rose 1.8 percent to $82.90 in mid-afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Alwyn Scott; Editing by Diane Craft and Paul Simao)