Just when we might have thought that flight simulators are about as “leading edge” as they can get, it turns out that the engineers have been busy developing new concepts.
Thales Training & Simulation
A new simulator designed with the latest training approaches in mind is the physical manifestation of a new customer-oriented business approach at Thales’s UK-based simulation and training arm.
Eurocopter (Booth No. 7010) and Thales will design and build the first-ever simulator for the medium-weight, twin-engine Dauphin AS 365 N3 helicopter for Héli-Union of France. Expected to be operational beginning in 2011 at Héli-Union’s training center in Angoulême, the simulator has the support of Angoulême’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI).
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.
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.
Simulators and other training aids from Thales are set to help carriers in India and the Asia Pacific region meet the demand for pilots to fly the large numbers of new aircraft they have ordered as well as supporting the introduction of the newest airliner models.
Boeing’s Alteon Training subsidiary has awarded a contract to Thales for 787 Dreamliner training equipment. The contracts call for Thales to install six suites of training equipment at key locations in the Alteon network of training centers, with first delivery scheduled for 2007.
The Thales Formation Systems Trainer (TFST) being demonstrated here by the French group’s UK-based Thales Training & Simulation division (Hall 3 Stand C5) is part of a complete line of flight crew training equipment that embraces everything from PC-based desktop trainers to full flight simulators.
Thales UK, part of the Thales Group (Hall 3 Stand C5; Hall 4 Stand C16c), delivered a rear crew synthetic trainer (RCST) to the Sea King Mk 3/3A helicopter training service operated by the company at the Royal Air Force’s St. Mawgan base.