CAE extends footprint, adds training options

NBAA Convention News » 2010
October 13, 2010, 8:07 AM

CAE’s expansion ­strategy is paying off. The Saint-Laurent, Quebec-based company (Booth No. 6903) has grown rapidly since it was founded in 1947 and now operates training facilities on six continents. It also offers enhanced services using technology tools to deliver training not only to aviation customers but also to the healthcare, mining/heavy equipment and energy industries.

With 75,000 employees, the company reports annual revenues of more than $1.5 billion, split almost evenly between civil and military sectors. On the civil side, two thirds of its business is focused on business aviation, while airline customers account for the remainder. In total, CAE has more than 1,000 civil and military simulators and training devices installed around the world, with 29 training centers and more than 100 sites in over 20 countries.

CAE’s 24 training centers for civil aviation are equipped with 150 full flight simulators–98 for airline customers and 52 for business aviation. The company also trains pilots at its Global Academy bases, which ­comprise 11 locations on five continents operating more than 240 aircraft that can train more than 1,800 new pilots per year.

Much of CAE’s growth in the training market is the result of alliances formed with partners in all segments of aviation. In the business aviation arena, partnerships include the Honeywell Aerospace Academy for maintenance training on Honeywell engines, APUs, avionics and environmental control systems. The Embraer CAE Training Services organization is a joint venture formed for Phenom 100 and 300 pilot and mechanic ­training. For rotorcraft, AgustaWestland  and CAE are involved in the joint venture Rotorsim, with facilities in Sesto Calende, Italy (A109 and AW139), and Morristown, N.J. (AW139).

International Training Options
In the past five years, CAE has deployed training facilities to China, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Dubai. “We’re bringing business aviation programs to areas where they were largely nonexistent five years ago,” said Glenn Frederick, vice president for the Americas region, civil products training and services.

Defense departments’ incre-ased spending on simulation and rehearsal, he said, has opened opportunities for the company to serve the military market, where it has enjoyed much success with military helicopter simulators. And the growing field of unmanned aerial vehicles, he added, “is a big initiative for our military group.” Another military initiative is a validation study that CAE is conducting for the U.S. Department of Defense to analyze simulator effectiveness via a simulator operations quality assurance (SOQA) program.

SOQA is similar to CAE’s corporate flight operational quality assurance (C-FOQA) program, which uses real-world flight operations data for accident ­analysis and training. The company is offering C-FOQA services through its Flightscape and SimuFlite divisions. Flightscape experts can take FOQA data downloaded from aircraft data recorders and generate animations that show the flight in deep detail for debriefings, or use the data to power a simulator training session.

CAE’s training tools have evolved and span a range from e-learning tools like Simfinity on personal computers and Simfinity integrated procedures trainers and flight training devices to sophisticated full-motion simulators. The latest simulators are the CAE 3000 helicopter mission simulator (without motion), the 5000 full-motion (business aircraft) and 7000 full-motion (airliners) series.

CAE ­demonstrated the 3000 series, a Eurocopter AS 350B2 including the new ­Tropos-6000 visual display, at this year’s Heli-Expo in February. The 3000 series AS 350B2 is based in Phoenix and was qualified for level-7 flight training device credits in early September. It can be used for training on offshore operations, EMS, law enforcement, long-line, high-altitude and corporate operations.

The first 5000 series simulator is an Embraer Phenom 300 installed at CAE’s SimuFlite facility at Dallas Fort Worth Airport in Texas. Looking much sleeker than previous simulator models, the 5000 series is powered by an electronic control loading system instead of the messy and maintenance-intensive hydraulic actuators used on earlier simulators.

The Tropos-6000 high-definition visual system projects an unbroken 220-degree horizontal and 80-degree vertical field of view onto a mylar screen so pilots don’t suffer any disorientation when moving eyes from side-window views to looking out the forward windshield. It gives simulator instructors comprehensive new tools such as the ability to place unique weather phenomena in precise locations.

During a flight in the simulator, instructor Dave Newell showed how easy it was to generate a thunderstorm squall line in front of our flight path, and visibilities and clouds looked far more realistic than in older sims. The electronic control loading is precise and replicates the Phenom 300’s heavy ailerons with great accuracy, he said.

In partnership with APS Emergency Maneuvers Training of Phoenix, CAE also offers training to help pilots prevent loss of control accidents. The company is hosting an online course developed by APS on its learning management system, and pilots who want to take the CAE SimuFlite simulator-based upset training or the APS aircraft-only training (or both) must first complete the online course.

The APS online course is designed around the FAA’s Airplane Upset Recovery Training Aid document and focuses on the loss of control threat, causes of upsets, aerodynamics and an overview of recovery techniques. APS designed the online course, according to president BJ Ransbury, because the FAA document “is intimidating. It’s written like an engineer’s manual.”

The $299 APS course is part of a graduated training ­strategy that begins with the online course then progresses to in-aircraft training in an aerobatic Extra 300L (and soon an L-39 jet) and simulator training in a CAE Embraer ERJ 145 level-D simulator. APS invites pilots to try out the online course; the preview is free (see www.apstraining.com/cbt).

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