Marignane, France-based Helisim has started operating the first EC 225 Super Puma flight simulator, which was to be EASA certified as a level-D simulator late last month. The company, a joint venture among Eurocopter, Thales and DCI, is positioning itself to meet demand for simulator training as the world’s helicopter fleet grows. Some 80 percent of Helisim’s civil customers are offshore-oil transport operators.
A pioneer in the simulation industry turned 50 this year. Frasca International has manufactured more than 2,000 flight training devices throughout its history that have been put in service in more than 70 countries.
The economy may be struggling, but as SimCom approaches its 20th anniversary the company continues to gain strength and grow. Once derided by some for touting the value of “cost-effective” flight training devices (FTD) over expensive full-flight simulation, this year alone SimCom will have trained about 7,500 pilots who apparently agree with that philosophy.
“Aircraft insurance is a fairly pragmatic business,” stressed Jim Harris, executive vice president of AIG Aviation, Atlanta. “We put very high liability limits on our clients–$100 to $300 million and even higher on some Fortune 500 companies. Considering we’re insuring $20 million aircraft flying near the speed of sound with millionaire executives on board, training is paramount in our book.”
FlightSafety Boeing Training International (FSB) opened its UK training center at London Luton Airport on July 27. The 35,000-sq-ft facility is equipped with a pair of Boeing 737-300 flight simulators, a 737-700/800 unit and a 757 device.
The change in ownership of the annual Aircraft Interiors Expo barely rated a blink as the 2008 event went off seamlessly from March 31 through April 2 in Hamburg, Germany.
Ownership of the show changed last year when long-time owner/organizer UKIP Media & Events sold the expo to Reed Exhibitions.
With the opening of its new 67,000-sq-ft training center in Orlando, Fla. last October, Pan Am International Flight Academy underscored its intention to further expand into the business of simulator training for business aviation.
With the opening of its new northern Virginia regional airline training center last fall, Pan Am International Flight Academy served notice of its commitment as “a dependable, credible and trustworthy training partner,” said Ralph Leach, director of regional aircraft training.
“We’re going after FlightSafety,” Nick Leontidis, CAE’s executive vice president of civil aviation training and equipment, told AIN. “They may have created the business aviation simulation market, but we believe we have a better product.” He said current customer expectations are “far behind what the commercial airline market has enjoyed for many years in terms of quality of service.”
The FlightSafety International Gulfstream G150 simulator has received European level-D simulator qualification, the first such approval for a G150 simulator, according to the companies.
In addition, the European Aviation Safety Agency has approved FlightSafety’s G150 maintenance training program, located at the Dallas/Fort Worth Learning Center. A second device is slated to enter service in next year’s first quarter.