This is an extremely difficult piece of hardware to obtain — most likely because it houses complex electronics. Any faults are fixed by the airline company, and the unit is quickly put back into service.
I was fortunate to come across this rare FCU — rare, because it is an older type and has a slightly different face plate now seen on an A320, but completely functional with the same features as our modern day FCU. If you look back at older photos of Airbus cockpits (before 2000) you will find they have a similar faceplate with no speed mach, HDG/TRK, V/S FPA or Metric Alt labeling.
The FCU is dated from 1993 and surprisingly in excellent working order. Backlighting is impressive, and the switches and knobs are tactile — you feel a click of each small turn.
There is a Sextant Avionics label at the backend of the FCU. You may not be familiar with Sextant but instead with Thales Avionics. Sextant was a predecessor company and merged to form Thomson-CSF Sextant, and eventually renamed to Thales in the year 2000, after an ancient Greek mathematician.
The next step will be attempting to interface the FCU with Avionics suites in the market with the help of some very smart people.
This FCU is the most complex part of the bus and you have found an excellent one !
It looks like a brand new part without any scratch…
Good luck with the interfacing and keep us updated 🙂
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