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    Thales, SAF Group Team Up For Helicopter Training Centre

    Thales announced today that will join SAF Group at a shared training centre, which features two state-of-the-art Reality H Simulators, in Albertville in the French Alps. SAF, who have operated a Reality H in Albertville since 2012, providing training and simulation for the EC135, will be joined by Thales, who will operate a further brand new Reality H to be ready for training by mid- 2014.

    The Thales simulator will fill a much needed gap in this market by being the very first in Europe to provide full flight training and simulation for the AS350 helicopter. The choice of providing training and simulation for these two platforms in the same facility is crucial to better serve clients’ future needs.

    The AS350 and EC135 form the bulk of the European SAR and emergency response fleet for mountain areas, and the centre is therefore strategically located to service clients across the Alpine regions of France, Italy and Switzerland as well as being easily accessible to all operators across Europe.

  • #2
    CAE sets new record for full-flight simulator sales with 43 sold year to date

    MONTREAL, CANADA--(Marketwired - Jan 21, 2014) - (NYSE:CAE)(TSX:CAE) - CAE today announced that it has set a new record for the sale of full-flight simulators (FFS) with 43 FFS already sold year to date in fiscal 2014. The latest contracts include the sale of five full-flight simulators -- one B787 simulator to Air Canada, one B737NG simulator to an undisclosed customer in North America as well as two A320 simulators and one B737NG simulator to an undisclosed customer in Asia.

    The contracts are worth more than C$70 million at list prices, and bring the total number of FFS sales announced to date for fiscal year 2014 to 43. List prices include the value of OEM aircraft-specific data, parts and equipment (DP&E), normally procured by CAE in the manufacture of its simulators. In the case of these contracts, some customers are providing part of the OEM content. Two of the five simulators sold were recorded in CAE's third quarter and three in its fourth quarter.

    "We are seeing unprecedented demand for simulation equipment, including from Asia's high growth market, and we are proud to maintain our leadership position in this robust market. We are pleased to have already exceeded our record in the sale of full-flight simulators with the year not yet complete," said Nick Leontidis, CAE Group President, Civil Simulation Products, Training and Services. "CAE has been a partner with Air Canada for over 20 years and we are proud to continue to support its training needs as it embarks upon its fleet renewal and growth strategy."


    • #3
      Fives simulators equipped with Flight Safety's new Vital 1100 visual system qualified to Level D

      FlightSafety International announces that five of its simulators equipped with the recently introduced VITAL 1100 visual system have been qualified to Level D by EASA and the FAA. Three additional VITAL 1100 equipped simulators are scheduled to receive Level D qualification in the next few months.

      “The VITAL 1100 is leading the industry with unprecedented fidelity and training effectiveness,” said John Van Maren, vice president, simulation.

      The first VITAL 1100 visual system equipped simulator to receive Level D qualification from EASA was FlightSafety’s Sikorsky S-92 located in Stavanger, Norway. The first simulators that feature the VITAL 1100 to be qualified to Level D and approved by the FAA include FlightSafety’s AgustaWestland AW139 and Sikorsky S-92 simulators in Lafayette, Louisiana, an Embraer 190 simulator in St. Louis, Missouri, and a Night Vision Goggle qualified Eurocopter EC135 simulator in Dallas, Texas.

      The next three VITAL 1100 equipped simulators to be qualified to Level D include an Embraer 170 in St. Louis, a second Eurocopter EC135 in Dallas, and the company’s third Gulfstream G650 simulator that will be installed in Long Beach, California.

      “Customer feedback as well as the EASA and FAA simulator qualifications with this new generation visual system confirm we are exceeding our goals to provide exceptional realism and the most effective visual training environment,” said Jon Hester, general manager, visual systems.


      • #4
        Simulators key to maintaining readiness when flying hours are cut

        Brig. Gen. Michael D. Lundy, deputy commanding general, United States Army Combined Arms Center, said the Army's integrated training environment -- fielded now at five Army installations and eventually at 17 -- plays a part in that.

        "It ties together a lot of our legacy training aids devices simulators and simulations, specifically for aviation's Aviation Combined Arms Tactical Trainer and the non-rated crew member module, but also the close combat tactical trainer on the ground side, all of our constructive simulations, and our live capabilities that are out there -- home-station instrumentation systems, and MILES," he said.

        Systems at Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Campbell, Ky.; Fort Stewart, Ga.; and in Korea allow units at home station to "replicate very closely what our fidelity is out at the combat training centers with the instrumentation and the integration of these different enablers."

        By 2022, he wants to move into something called the "Future Holistic Training Environment - Live Synthetic" to get "away from multiple environments, virtual, gaming, constructive, and go to one synthetic environment, make it lower overhead, and integrate the full operations process so a commander can holistically ... sit down and go through plan, prepare, execute and access. And do everything with respect to training in a common operating picture," he said.

        With the Army's Aviation Combined Arms Tactical Trainer, or AVCATT, which is a multi-user simulator for training helicopter crews, efforts are underway to upgrade the systems to account for advances in current Army aviation assets. Lundy said AVCATT is the premier virtual trainer on the virtual side for the Army, but that the system has currency issues now in that it is not concurrent with the CH-47F model Chinook, the UH-60M Black Hawk or the AH-64 Block III.

        They have a plan with a way ahead on upgrading the training capability of the AVCATT system to include CH-47F, and also with the UH-60M Black Hawk. Lundy said they are still working upgrades to bring it current with AH-64 Block III capabilities.


        • #5
          Bristow simulator evening focused on pilot training and safety appreciated by clients

          Bristow’s European Business Unit (EBU) received a note of appreciation from a client in response to a simulator evening held on Jan. 14.

          The client commented that they “genuinely enjoyed every minute: the presentations, the numerous informal chats with several of the Bristow team throughout the event, and the star of the show, time in the simulator – which was to say the least… extraordinary.”

          They went on to say that they left with “a much better understanding of Bristow, the people, and the spirit of the company. From a procurement/sourcing point of view, this evening was pure gold.”

          Jill Florence, commercial administrator, explained that the simulator evening came about after discussions with clients, in which she and others learned that most of the clients had not seen the simulators and did not realize the extensive training that Bristow conducts.

          She explained the focus of the simulator evening.

          “We take them ‘behind the scenes’ to gain insight on what goes on at Bristow,” she explains. “We’ve organized two evenings; the first for politicians and the second for our clients. During each evening, the guests heard presentations on pilot recruitment and training by Matt Rhodes, our offshore flight operations manager, and on engineer training by Paul Richardson, our training manager. Our intent is to give the guests an idea of how we select candidates and once selected, how we prepare them.”

          After the presentations, the guests were able to experience the simulators and meet Bristow pilots. Jill adds, “The guests were very impressed and we’ve received amazing feedback on the evening.

          “Many of the guests didn’t realize how much work goes into flying a helicopter,” she says. “We are holding another evening in May and we already have clients asking to put other members of their team down for this one.”


          • #6
            Global Helicopter Simulators Market 2014-2018: Market Size and CAGR

            DUBLIN — Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of the "Global Helicopter Simulators Market 2014-2018" report to their offering.

            The analysts forecast the Global Helicopter Simulators market to grow at a CAGR of 2.80 percent over the period 2013-2018. One of the key factors contributing to this market growth is the growing demand for commercial aircrafts. The Global Helicopter Simulators market has also been witnessing the increasing demand for full flight simulators. However, the high initial cost of simulators could pose a challenge to the growth of this market.

            Key vendors dominating this space are CAE Inc., FlightSafety International Inc., L-3 Communications, and Thales Group.
            Other vendors mentioned in the report are Computer Sciences Corp, Cuesim, Elbit Systems, Frasca International Inc., Lockheed Martin Corp., MFS PAX River, Mitsubishi Group, and Rockwell Collins.

            Commenting on the report, an analyst from the team said: Helicopter pilot training institutes around the world generate the majority of the revenue in the Global Helicopter Simulators market. There is also increasing interest in full flight simulators rather than in certain types of simulation software that have limited features as they are cost-effective. Full flight simulators are available in four levels, Levels A-D, with Level D being the most sophisticated with all the latest features such as flight simulator, acceleration onset cueing, latency (engineering), Stewart platform, and collimation.

            The most attractive feature of a full flight simulator is the ability to provide training within an original helicopter shell and with advanced cockpit features. Hence, this increase in demand for full flight simulation products is due to their advanced features and the ability to use them in training programs for various aircraft including jets, helicopters, and fighter planes. This rising demand is also favorable for vendors due to the high profit margin and high maintenance cost involved. Therefore, the increasing demand for full flight simulators is expected to have a high, positive impact on the Global Helicopter Simulators market during the forecast period.

            For more information visit


            • #7
              Growing simulation market opens timely window for Helitech International 2014

              In light of growth forecasts for the civil rotary simulation market, Helitech International 2014 will provide a timely platform for this important sector to be showcased at Europe's largest helicopter show, which takes place 14-16 October in Amsterdam. Leading simulation and training companies such as Bell Helicopter, FlightSafety International and Frasca International have secured their places at the 2014 event, which is fully supported by the European Helicopter Association. The Amsterdam RAI is a world-class venue and is ideally situated within Europe to attract international audiences by way of its excellent transport links.

              AgustaWestland's advanced simulators at Flight Safety's academy

              "As in many areas of the rotary industry, the fast-changing nature of technology is certainly impacting the simulation and training market and with the predicted growth of this sector, Helitech International 2014 will offer unique networking opportunities to discuss the latest developments," said Vittorio Morassi, President of European Helicopter Association.

              The increasing sales of helicopters globally and the demand for simulators from the civil segment of the international rotary market have combined to increase the need for trained pilots across the world. According to a recent report from TechNavio, the global helicopter simulator market was valued at over US$70m in 2013 and is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 2.8 percent during the period 2013-2018.

              "The Training and simulation market has witnessed growth in recent years due to technological advancements in helicopter platforms and a shortage of trained aviation professionals to operate them. In addition, increasing focus on improving the safety of passengers is another factor contributing to this growth. Many government and private organisations across the globe have already made simulation-based training mandatory and some of them are in the process of making simulation-based pilot certification a necessary part of training," said Sriram Mohan, Senior Analyst at TechNavio.

              Despite the high costs of simulators and flight training simulation, the international rotary simulator market shows immense potential to grow steadily in the near future, mainly because of the emergence of various trends that are expected to exert a growing influence on the market. One such trend is the increasing demand for Full Flight Simulators (FFS).

              A FFS complies with the rules and regulations of a particular national civil aviation regulatory authority; it is a comprehensive aerodynamic model of an aircraft's systems. The latter are fully simulated to mimic real-world visual systems, and there is also a motion platform. In addition, increasing features and configurations of helicopter simulators is expected to exercise their influence on the market during the forecast period.

              Frasca International has over 50 years of experience manufacturing flight training equipment and its product range includes Flight Training Devices (FTD), Synthetic Training Devices (STD), Cockpit Procedure Trainers (CPT) and FFS for both fixed-wing and rotary aircraft. Over 2,400 of the company's devices have been installed worldwide and at Helitech International 2014, Frasca will demonstrate its ability as an industry leader in rotary simulation to provide value-added solutions for a wide range of demanding environments.

              "The helicopter industry has seen steady growth in the past year in both the FFS and FTD market. There is a significant emphasis on safety and training, as well as technological advances that make simulators more cost-effective and useful. We've recently delivered products featuring Forward Looking Infra-Red systems, Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) mapping and Night Vision Goggle (NVG) simulation," confirmed John Frasca, President of Frasca International, Inc.

              In September 2013,the Bundespolizei Fliegergruppe (German Federal Police Air Support Group) announced that it had received FTD 2 Flight Navigation Procedure Training (FNPT) III Multi-Crew Co-operation (MCC) qualification for its Frasca-supplied EC155 helicopter FTD.

              "We are pleased to prepare for the installation and qualification of our second Frasca FTD for the Bundespolizei Fliegergruppe located in Sankt Augustin, Germany. The EC155 FTD will be qualified under European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) regulations to FTD 2 FNPT III MCC and joins our previously delivered and qualified Frasca EC135 FTD, which will later be joined by a third Frasca device for our AS332 training," said Tobias Schoenherr, Head of Aviation School for the Police Service.

              In addition to the Bundespolizei Fliegergruppe, Bristow Helicopters' Aberdeen Academy received dual qualification in May 2013 for its Frasca S-76 FFS, which was the third helicopter device certified under Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) with both Level B FFS and Level III FTD approval. This particular project involved thousands of man hours of intensive research, gathering of aerodynamic system data, programming and manufacturing a high-fidelity replica of the cockpit. The other two devices are Bristow's S-92 FFS and EC225 FFS, also built by Frasca, which received qualification in 2011.

              The S-76, EC225 and S-92 FFS are being used at Bristow's Academy in Scotland to support training requirements for Bristow's global fleet of helicopters. All three units feature six-axis electric motion base, TruVision™ global visual system with custom databases and wrap around display system.

              Another Helitech International 2014 exhibitor, FlightSafetyInternational, provides training for helicopters manufactured by AgustaWestland, Airbus Helicopters, Bell Helicopter and Sikorsky, as well as mission specific training programmes for other aircraft types at its Learning Centres located in the USA as well as Farnborough airport in the United Kingdom.

              In January 2014, the company announced that five of its simulators, equipped with the recently introduced VITAL 1100 visual system, had been qualified to Level D by EASA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Three additional VITAL 1100 equipped simulators are scheduled to receive Level D qualification in the next few months.

              VITAL 1100 can provide system resolutions that are well over 20 million pixels for a typical out the window field of view of 200 degrees horizontally. The system also allows much greater fields of view with a corresponding increase in pixel resolution.
              The first VITAL 1100 visual system equipped simulator to receive Level D qualification from EASA was FlightSafety's Sikorsky S-92 located in Stavanger, Norway. The first simulators that feature the VITAL 1100 to be qualified to Level D and approved by the FAA include the AgustaWestland AW139 and Sikorsky S-92 simulators and a NVG qualified Airbus Helicopters EC135 simulator.
              "Customer feedback, as well as the EASA and FAA simulator qualifications with this new generation visual system, confirm we are exceeding our goals to provide exceptional realism and the most effective visual training environment," said Jon Hester, General Manager, Visual Systems at FlightSafety International.

              For more than 60 years, the Bell Helicopter Training Academy (BTA) has provided certified training to Bell Helicopter pilots and maintainers from around the world. As an FAA Part 141 approved flight school, the BTA offers a complete line of helicopter training for pilots with a current FAA helicopter certificates with appropriate ratings.

              "In 2013, we trained more than 4,200 pilots and maintainers. With the continued growth of our commercial market, we expect we will continue to see demand from customers purchasing new aircraft as well as those fulfilling recurrent training requirements. The BTA utilises five fixed-based FTD to help our customers build a better toolbox of skills should an unexpected situation occur while operating our product. Our FAA and EASA certified model 429 FTD had the most usage for the year, and we expect the tempo to increase as customer demand increases," said Scott Westbrook, Senior Simulation Training Specialist at the BTA.

              "To date, we are delighted with the industry's interest and participation at the Amsterdam event which will be the premier European helicopter gathering this year," said John Hyde, Event Director for Helitech International.


              • #8
                Gulf Helicopters orders AW189 EASA Level-C Full Flight Simulator

                Gulf International Services (“GIS” or “the group”; QE: GISS), the largest service group in Qatar, with interests in a broad cross-section of industries, ranging from insurance, re-insurance, fund management, onshore and offshore drilling, accommodation barge, helicopter transportation, and catering services, is pleased to announce an order for an AW189 EASA CS-FSTD(H) FFS Level C Simulator by Gulf Helicopters from AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, supporting the company’s pilot development training needs for the recently announced purchase of 15 AW189 medium twin-engine helicopters.

                The simulator, growing the AW189 global training reach across the Middle Eastern region, is to be delivered in Offshore Oil and Gas configuration and is set to expand Gulf Helicopters’ training capability as an AgustaWestland Authorised Training Centre (ATC) and regional hub. Doha-based Gulf Helicopters provides training services using an AW139 Level B Full Flight Simulator (FFS) certified by the UK’s CAA as a FFS as per JAR-FSTD H to Level B which incorporates the latest technical advancements in flight simulation and “state-of-the-art” graphic displays. This planned continued growth of Gulf Helicopters as an AgustaWestland ATC further cements the strong relationship between the two companies, who will now jointly offer AW139 and AW189 pilot training services to the market, strengthening the growing global support and training footprint for AgustaWestland aircraft.

                John Ponsonby, Senior Vice President Global Customer Support and Training, AgustaWestland said “We are delighted to sign this contract and look forward to growing our partnership with Gulf Helicopters in the region, extending the scope of services offered by our global network of Authorised Training Centres. Delivering high quality training services, Gulf Helicopters is already a highly respected provider of training in the Middle East region, which is an important market for AgustaWestland and the AW189.”


                • #9
                  Airbus Helicopters to locate EC175 full-flight simulator in the US

                  Airbus Helicopters today announced its plans to provide a new level of support for the EC175 rotorcraft in North America, with a Level D full-flight simulator located in the United States as part of a commitment to operators serving the offshore oil and gas industry.

                  The Level D full-flight simulator will be operational in 2016 at a location to be identified, providing pilot training at the highest standards. To recreate the most realistic flight conditions, the simulator is to utilize a motion system, computer-generated visual scenes and accurate representations of cockpit instrumentation – allowing specific mission scenarios to be “flown,” including landings on off-shore platforms.

                  In addition to the flight simulator, Airbus Helicopters has committed to expanding and tailoring its customer support operations for helicopter transport providers serving the growing oil and gas production and exploration sector – for which the company is the leading rotorcraft supplier. This will involve new resources for the EC175’s introduction in the Gulf of Mexico – the world’s busiest area for offshore helicopter activity – including parts and spare supplies available at the Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas depot of the company’s U.S. subsidiary, Airbus Helicopters, Inc.

                  Also in Texas, the headquarters of Airbus Helicopters, Inc. at Grand Prairie will provide Gulf of Mexico operators with 24/7 technical support, AOG (aircraft on ground) service response, rapid spare parts distribution and other services for the EC175 and the complete Airbus Helicopters product line.

                  “We are making a major commitment, backed by significant investments, to provide industry-leading support and services in the U.S. for the offshore oil and gas industry,” said Marc Paganini, President and Chief Executive of Airbus Helicopters, Inc. “Our goal is to provide a mature helicopter from the EC175’s service entry, supported by a dedicated task force and tools that include validated support and services deliverables, along with established training capabilities. We will be there to support our customers when they need it, where they need it, at any time of the day.”

                  Deliveries of the EC175 will begin later this year, following its certification in January. As part of its investment in support and services resources, Airbus Helicopters is to install an EC175 Level D full-flight simulator at its Marignane, France headquarters location for operation beginning this summer. This enables pilot training to begin prior to the start-up of EC175 deliveries later in the year.

                  Designed in close consultation with operators, this medium twin-engine helicopter is suited for a wide range of missions, including offshore crew transport, search and rescue, VIP, utility and medical evacuation operations. It features Airbus Helicopters’ new Helionix® avionics suite and a digital 4-axis autopilot, providing increased safety through reduced pilot workload, enhanced situational awareness, improved flight envelope protection and system redundancy.

                  When configured for offshore oil and gas operations, the EC175’s range enables 16 passengers to be transported up to distances of 140 naut. mi., with the range approaching 200 naut. mi. when 12 passengers are carried. Contributing to the EC175’s competitive edge is its recommended cruise speed of 150 kts., while the maximum cruise speed exceeds 165 kts. – all achieved at extremely low vibration levels. These capabilities provide unmatched cost effectiveness for the EC175 on the majority of missions off-shore oil and gas installations.


                  • #10
                    Rotorsim to launch first AW169 full-flight simulator and add AW189 simulator in UK

                    Today at the Helicopter Association International Heli-Expo show, Rotorsim, owned equally by CAE (NYSE: CAE; TSX: CAE) and AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, announced that it is continuing to expand with the purchase of two CAE 3000 Series Level D helicopter simulators.

                    Rotorsim will add the world’s first-ever AW169 full-flight simulator to the Rotorsim Training Centre, which is part of the AgustaWestland ‘A. Marchetti’ Training Academy in Sesto Calende, Italy. The CAE 3000 Series AW169 simulator will be ready-for-training in mid-2015.

                    Rotorsim is also acquiring its second AW189 full-flight simulator and will deploy this simulator to a training centre in Aberdeen, Scotland. This CAE 3000 Series AW189 simulator, designed specifically to support training for search and rescue operations, will be ready-for-training in mid-2015 and be used to support Bristow Helicopters and other North Sea operators.

                    “We look forward to bringing the new AW169 simulator online in 2015 to support training for our new 4.5 tonne class helicopter,” said John Ponsonby, AgustaWestland’s Senior VP Customer Support & Training. “We are also excited to introduce AW189 simulator training in the United Kingdom to support search and rescue operations. Simulation-based training is a safe and effective method for training the challenging and demanding tasks associated with the SAR mission.”

                    “Helicopter operators continue to recognize the value of simulation-based training for improving safety, operational efficiency and mission readiness,” said Ian Bell, CAE’s Vice President and Regional Business Leader – Europe. “CAE is proud to be AgustaWestland’s partner of choice in developing high fidelity training systems for operators of AgustaWestland helicopters.”

                    Both the AW169 and AW189 full-flight simulators will be developed jointly by CAE and AgustaWestland and qualified to Level D, the highest qualification for flight simulators. The CAE 3000 Series helicopter mission simulator features unprecedented realism for helicopter-specific mission training, including offshore oil and gas producer (OGP), search and rescue (SAR), law enforcement and other types of operations. The simulators enable pilots to practice -- without risk -- challenging procedures such as low-level flight, confined area operations, autorotation and landing on platforms at sea.

                    Both the AW169 and AW189 simulators for Rotorsim will feature AgustaWestland-certified avionics and aircraft software combined with CAE core simulation technologies, including: CAE True six degree-of-freedom (DOF) electric motion system and high-performance vibration platform to replicate vibration cues critical to helicopter pilots; a high-fidelity CAE Medallion-6000 visual system; and a direct projection 210 degree by 80 degree extreme field-of-view dome display system.

                    Rotorsim was established in 2003 as a joint venture of AgustaWestland and CAE to provide synthetic training solutions for AgustaWestland AW109 and AW139 helicopter operators, and has now expanded to include AW169 and AW189 training. The Rotorsim training centre in Italy is located within the AgustaWestland ‘A. Marchetti’ Training Academy in Sesto Calende. Rotorsim also offers training on a CAE-built AW139 simulator located at CAE’s North East Training Centre near New York City, and provide training in Sesto Calende, Italy, on the NH90 NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH)/ Tactical Troop Transport (TTH) reconfigurable simulator.


                    • #11
                      X-Copter Unveiled at Heli-Expo

                      Called "X-Copter", it is an eighth generation helicopter flight simulator that has been in development since 2006 and the core component of the nationally recognized “Flight Cost Reduction Training” program at Guidance Aviation. Engineered for the primary flight training market, the X-Copter simulates the Robinson R22 and R44 models.

                      X-Copter's full-scale cockpit includes two high resolution touch screen monitors displaying instrumentation, realistic controls with tactile vibration cues, and an outside view delivered by three 60" high definition screens providing incredibly crisp visuals.

                      The touch screen technology in the cockpit delivers advanced avionics simulations for Glass Cockpit applications with accurate representations of Garmin G500H, Garmin GNS 530/430 WAAS, and Aspen EFD1000H using SimAVIO2 from FTS. X-Copter is fully integrated to enable seamless integration with ForeFlight Mobile providing geo-referencing data via Wifi.

                      “Guidance Aviation uses the X-Copter in its collegiate training programs to improve student pilot proficiency and accelerate the training progress. Our goal is to produce the best pilot possible using only the appropriate amount of aircraft flight time to achieve this objective. In doing so, the X-Copter saves the student time and money which is the core principle of our “Flight Cost Reduction Training Program” at Guidance Aviation. We have acquired fourteen advanced versions of the "X-Copter" helicopter flight simulators with an additional seven units on order for our training operations in Prescott, Arizona and Baton Rouge, Louisiana,” states Dave Roy, Director of Flight Operations.

                      Brandon Frett, Director of Simulation Training at X-Copter states, “After working extensively with the flight instructors and staff at Guidance Aviation, it became apparent that our work would benefit other pilot schools. X-Copter's mission is to make better, safer pilots while simultaneously reducing flight cost for students.”

                      "I've attempted to hover in several other helicopter simulators, but found it was unrealistic due to lack of detail and insufficient visual cues. The X-Copter provides a level of detail I have never experienced before in a helicopter flight sim. It's the most realistic helicopter flight sim I've ever flown. In fact, this aircraft can teach the fundamentals of autorotation," states John O'Neil, Designated Pilot Examiner - R22, R44, Schweizer, and Rotorway Test Pilot.

                      According to Chris Horton, CFI-I, Recipient of the 2014 HAI AgustaWestland Safety Excellence Award, “This device has been instrumental in Guidance Aviation's SMS program by introducing emergency procedures, including autorotations in a laboratory environment.”

                      With R22 and R44 models already in production, X-Copter is developing an R66 model and has plans to create the popular Schweizer, Bell, and Eurocopter models.


                      • #12
                        Airbus Installs Japan's First Full-Flight Helicopter Simulator

                        Airbus Helicopters Japan today inaugurated Japan’s first full-flight simulator (FFS) for helicopters. The high-fidelity training system is now ready for service at its facilities located in at Kobe Airport. The simulator is configured to represent Airbus Helicopters’ light twin-engine EC135 P2+ rotorcraft and has received Level C certification from the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB). With this approval, training hours accumulated by pilots in the full-flight simulator are now authorized to log their simulator time as actual flight hours.

                        “Flight safety is our first priority at Airbus Helicopters,” said Stephane Ginoux, President of Airbus Helicopters Japan. “By introducing the first full-flight simulator in Japan we are contributing to enhancing the safety of helicopter operations. With this system now operational, a higher standard in training is available for the country.” This full-flight simulator accurately represents the helicopter’s cockpit, instruments and systems, enabling aircrews to experience operations in all conditions, including emergency situations and flight in bad weather. With the simulator capable of reproducing various circumstances, pilots and maintenance technicians are able to refine their skills more efficiently and safely at lower costs, reducing training time on the actual aircraft.

                        EC135 FFS

                        Incorporating a standard EC135 flight data package developed by Airbus Helicopters, the simulator allows a full representation of the rotorcraft’s functionality, including its engines, autopilot, and all other systems by using real software and components. It is capable of simulating up to 195 malfunction situations, greatly enhancing the crews’ emergency handling abilities.

                        The EC135 is a twin-engine rotorcraft used worldwide for rescue, emergency medical transport, fire-fighting, coastal patrol, law enforcement, electronic news gathering and other missions. Also highly popular in Japan, there are about 77 EC135s operating in the country today.

                        Airbus Helicopters Japan’s training center, which is the first of its kind in the country, was officially established in 2012 at Kobe Airport. With qualified Japanese instructors, this facility provides such courses as emergency procedures training, recurrent training, type rating training and mission training through a wide variety of solutions. In 2013, 30 pilots and 185 maintenance technicians attended its training courses.

                        Airbus Helicopters has 25 training centers around the world, providing a complete range of services for civil and military pilots, maintenance technicians and other industry personnel. In order to improve flight safety, Airbus Helicopters continues to enhance the quantity, quality and cost efficiency of its training solutions offered to customers by placing full flight simulators closer to their operational bases. A total of 21 such simulators are operated around the globe by Airbus Helicopters.


                        • #13
                          FlightSafety S-92 Simulator for Saudi Arabia

                          FlightSafety International continued its non-US expansion in the helicopter training market, signing an agreement at EBACE on Wednesday with Infinity Support Services (ISS). The contract calls for FlightSafety to deliver a Level D flight simulation training device (FSTD) for the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter to the new ISS Aviation Academy at Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. This will be FlightSafety’s first helicopter FSTD in the Middle East and follows recent announcements of S-92 devices for Stavanger, Norway and São Paulo, Brazil.

                          FlightSafety International will deliver its first Level D helicopter simulator to the Middle East by year-end, a Sikorsky S-92 model for the new Infinity Aviation Academy in Riyadh

                          The Riyadh simulator and other lower-level training devices are expected to be shipped to ISS’s new two-bay facility in November and ready for training by February 2015. The facility will provide training for both civil and military pilots, and the primary customer will be the Saudi Ministry of Interior.

                          “This new relationship with FlightSafety will offer a higher level of training to meet the needs of the Saudi Arabian market and for other clients in the Middle East,” said Salem Abaid Al Muzeini, COO of ISS. ISS is an aviation-focused business of Alpha Star Aviation Services.

                          David Davenport, senior vice president, FlightSafety International, with Salem Abaid Al Muzeini, COO of ISS after signing the agreement

                          Shafie Sabry, FlightSafety’s Middle East regional sales manager said, “This is an example of our approach to come closer to the customer.” Sabry noted that FlightSafety has previously provided training for Saudi Arabian Airlines, Aramco and other Saudi clients.

                          FlightSafety will operate the $267-million ISS facility for the first two years.


                          • #14
                            CAE To Provide AW139 Simulators for Caverton Nigeria

                            Caverton Helicopters Limited, a subsidiary of Caverton Offshore Support Group PLC has announced that it will operate the first advanced simulator-based training centre in the African region.

                            According to the announcement, the purpose-built facility to be located at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport will feature six simulator bays equipped with a CAE 3000 Series AW 139 full-flight helicopter simulator (FFS), a CAE 7000XR Series Boeing 737 NG full-flight fixed-wing simulator (FFS) and two Simfinity Integrated Procedures Trainers (IPTs).

                            CAE full-motion AW139 simulator

                            The collaborative effort will have CAE providing a turnkey solution that will include the start-up, maintenance and operation of the centre for a specified period pending the full transfer of knowledge and skill-sets.

                            This new development is poised to strengthen Caverton’s position as a leading provider of aviation logistics and training services in the sub region.

                            Caverton’s foray into this segment of the industry in collaboration with the number one provider of advanced simulation training solutions will allow Caverton to diversify its income base, while improving its efficiency and also the efficiency of third party users such as airlines and other helicopter operators in the region.

                            The centre will eliminate the challenges experienced by many pilots in the region striving to obtain their re-currency training and type ratings and it is expected to boost local capacity development, while curbing capital flight and improving overall safety in the Nigerian and regional aviation sector.


                            • #15
                              Surge in Simulation

                              The commercial helicopter industry is experiencing a global flight-simulator boom, which is expected to improve safety and dramatically enhance business for companies that provide the training devices.

                              Unlike airline pilots who have long relied on sophisticated ground-based technology to practice their flying and decision-making, helicopter aviators traditionally have done much of their training in the air—limiting chances to test their skills in the most dangerous situations. Now, full-motion simulators with high-fidelity visuals are expanding rapidly across major rotorcraft fleets with the biggest helicopters, and are showing up at smaller operators with lighter choppers.

                              The result, according to industry officials, is an updraft in contracts for the companies that manufacture or provide training on the latest technology, such as FlightSafety International Inc. and Canada's CAE Inc. CAE +0.08% They are leaders in a burgeoning, multibillion-dollar market to prepare and drill chopper crews to handle in-flight emergencies.

                              Such next-generation training systems will be showcased at the Farnborough International Airshow, which begins Monday.

                              "We are seeing more and more operators move to simulators," said Nick Leontidis, head of civilian simulation and training at Montreal-based CAE. The company has "put a lot of focus on growing this part of the business," Mr. Leontidis said, by developing a new family of simulators and making all of its training hardware more readily available from Europe to South America to China.

                              For both CAE and FlightSafety, the helicopter segment has been growing at nearly 15% annually over the past couple of years. CAE's total revenue last year rose 4% in its latest fiscal year to 2.1 billion Canadian dollars, while net profit rose 36% to C$191 million. CAE doesn't break out results of its helicopter business. FlightSafety is a unit of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., BRKB -0.26% which doesn't break out its financials but said earnings improved last year.

                              "Almost across the board, we're definitely seeing a marked increase," said David Davenport, FlightSafety's senior vice president. The company has installed eight new helicopter simulators since 2012 and plans to set up a half-dozen more around the globe. Mr. Davenport said most of those new ones are headed for Asia.

                              Despite various safety initiatives, the industry still averages more than one major civilian helicopter accident a day somewhere around the globe—and those numbers have trended upward. By some measures, training accidents using actual helicopters account for roughly a quarter of all commercial chopper crashes.

                              Since 2004, in just the U.S., some 1,600 helicopter crashes have resulted in about 260 fatalities.

                              Some simulator customers shuttle workers to and from offshore petroleum platforms, others provide emergency medical transport and still others fly smaller choppers for a variety of civilian applications.

                              Barely a decade ago, "there simply weren't any simulators available" even for operators itching to use them, said Tim Glasspool, head of European flight operations for Bristow Helicopters Ltd., which operates more than 60 large offshore and search-and-rescue helicopters in the region. Now, the unit of Bristow Group Inc. BRS -1.70% has its own suite of simulators in Aberdeen, Scotland.

                              By the time the company starts flying its latest aircraft, the AugustaWestland 189 model, all of its crews will have finished simulator sessions.

                              Simulators ensure "training consistency and the ability to focus on key (safety) issues" including "emergency procedures that you just can't replicate in the actual aircraft," said Mike Allen, president of domestic medical operations at Air Methods Corp. AIRM +1.17% The Englewood, Colo.-based emergency medical transport company is currently seeking bids to ensure access to simulators for 75% of its fleet, he said.

                              Buying or leasing a simulator is a multimillion-dollar decision, and contracting for training can run between $1,000 and $1,500 per hour for a top-of-the-line helicopter. But that is significantly less than the hourly cost of the alternative: taking operational choppers off the flight line to teach pilots, some of whom require two recurrent training sessions annually. Moreover, simulators aren't sidelined by weather or maintenance difficulties.

                              European safety regulators and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board have been pushing for greater reliance on full-motion simulators. The Federal Aviation Administration has mandated a long list of safety enhancements, particularly for emergency medical helicopters, but it has stopped short of imposing across-the-board use of simulators.

                              For small fleets comprising fewer than two dozen helicopters, industry officials see simulators as economically challenging. "A lot of the smaller players will have to be driven to use them," either by regulations or industry pressure, according to Mr. Allen.

                              Regardless, some veteran executives believe that is the only way to begin moving toward a safety level like that achieved by U.S. passenger airlines, which haven't had a fatal crash since early 2008.

                              Helicopter operators "should be standing up right now and saying" the current situation "is not acceptable any longer," Scott Tish, chief pilot for Air Methods, told an industry conference earlier this year. Describing choppers as "step children left in the closet" while airlines have steadily improve their safety record, Mr. Tish said chopper advocates should tell the FAA to clear the way for simulators by arguing "this is the standard we need to see."


                              • #16

                                Rockwell Collins Selected for VH-92 Simulator

                                Rockwell Collins has been selected by Sikorsky Aircraft to design and supply simulators for the new VH-92 Marine helicopter that will carry the US President.

                                Lockheed Martin has already been announced as the designer and producer of all of the helicoptrr's on-board electronic control systems.

                                Rockwell Collins spokesman Bob Wuestner sais the simulators will be made at Rockwell's Choconut Center facility.

                                "It's a huge accomplishment for this operation, for this location. To be able to work directly with Sikorsky Aircraft and Lockheed Martin is going to be a huge benefit to this region and area," said Wuestner.

                                Wuestner says the Rockwell plant's proximity to the Lockheed facility in Owego will make collaborating on the project easier.


                                • #17
                                  Finland's Coptersafety Receives EASA Certification for AW139 FFS

                                  Coptersafety has obtained Level D certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Finnish CAA (Trafi) for its AW139 full flight simulator (FFS).

                                  CAE and AgustaWestland jointly developed the new Series 3000 AW139 FFS based on the OEM data package. The device is installed at Finnair Flight Academy next to Helsinki Airport in Finland. Both wet and dry lease is available to customers starting Oct. 1.

                                  Coptersafety is a Finnish helicopter training company with key personnel having a long experience and competence in the area of advanced helicopter training. Coptersafety’s training center is open 24/7. In addition to AW139 FFS training, Coptersafety’s team is focused on other cutting-edge courses such as night vision goggle (NVG) training.


                                  • #18
                                    Australia to Have First Civilian Simulator by 2016

                                    Australia's first civil helicopter simulator is being built at Brisbane International Airport.

                                    It will start operating in early 2016 and will be used to help train rescue crews for CareFlight Queensland through high-risk drills.

                                    The training centre will use a Thales Reality H Full Flight simulator to train pilots in tailor-made courses.

                                    Construction has begun on the simulator, which will also be made available to anyone training for a civil helicopter licence.

                                    ​The Thales Reality H Full Flight Simulator which will be operational at Brisbane Airport from 2016

                                    Jeremy Ovens from CareFlight Group Queensland said aircrews and pilots would be able to simulate a range of dangerous scenarios. "It makes our training more realistic for the real world," he said. "It lets us really push the pilots to get the best out of them so that when they actually are out there doing the missions, hopefully they're armed with much more specific and better training then we would have if we do it in a real helicopter."

                                    CareFlight Group chief executive Ashley van de Velde said it was a major milestone for helicopter training. "Up until now this level of sophisticated helicopter mission training has only been available to military pilots," she said.

                                    The simulation is a replica of the AW139 helicopter, which CareFlight will use from 2015.

                                    Jean Jacques Guittard from Thales said the training centre would offer a unique training experience. "Helicopter aviators will soon be able to train for their missions in an environment unrivalled for its realism," he said.