L-3’s acquisition last year of UK-based Thales Training & Simulation has broadened its Link subsidiary’s capabilities and truly put it back in the civil aircraft training business. Since the announcement last year, L-3 Link Simulation & Training, an 85-year-old flight training specialist, has won significant new airliner training system business in key new markets.
Under a memorandum of agreement signed on June 4, Rockwell Collins and Avic subsidiary Beijing Bluesky Aviation Technology will form a joint venture to design, manufacture and market commercial flight simulators. The joint venture should begin operating by the end of the year, pending a final agreement and regulatory approvals. Products offered by the venture will serve training needs for regional, narrow- and widebody airliners in China and around the world, including training devices and full-flight simulators.
FlightSafety International broke ground yesterday on an expansion and renovation project at its Teterboro, N.J. learning center slated for completion early next year. According to the company, the center will increase in size by 50 percent, allowing it to accommodate up to eight full-motion flight simulators and offer facilities for flight crew emergency training, including a pool and other specialized equipment. It will also feature “advanced technology” classrooms, aircraft cabin training facilities and enhanced office areas.
Solid recurrent training is at the core of any safety management system and the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA, Booth 827) and its members know this. The organization has chosen EBACE 2013 as the venue to announce a new member benefit: MEBAA Total Training Service, a package designed specifically for MEBAA by Emirates-CAE (Booth 372).
In parallel with global business jet sales, pilot training activity is, for the most part, stable and growing somewhat, particularly in new markets. At the same time, flight-training providers are reporting unprecedented growth in the civil helicopter sector, with much of this being driven by a surge in demand for rotorcraft support in the booming offshore oil and gas industries, plus the deployment of new-generation helicopter simulator technology.
Flight operations specialist Francois Lassale brings up a good point in a recent issue of AINSafety, that “the unit’s simplicity means training on the iPad and its use in the cockpit is seldom given much thought.” Lassale is absolutely right, and his views should extend to the use of any device or product that pilots bring into cockpits to help with their flying tasks.
With the number of business jets in China steadily increasing, the country is facing a shortage of qualified pilots, with virtually all of those attending its flight academies and training schools destined for the commercial aviation sector. Operators in China use a ratio of five pilots for every business jet in operation, according to Christopher Jackson, co-founder and executive director of China-based aviation consultancy Jackson Rosenberg, who sees a need for hundreds of additional business jet pilots in the short to medium term.
Tabletop flight training devices have come a long way in the last decade, and Redbird Flight Simulations, in partnership with AOPA, EAA, Flying Magazine, King Schools, The Pilot Workshops, Sennheiser and more has come onto the scene with a device that could be disruptive in the industry.
The hardware includes a 27-inch screen integrated into a dedicated PC computer; yoke, switches and power quadrant, which costs $2,490. Rudder pedals and a Cygnus connector (for using iPad flight mapping software during flights) are available as options.
Why all the growing interest in low-cost flight simulators?
Some announcements at this week’s Sun ‘n Fun show in Lakeland, Fla., for example, underscore wannabe and regular pilots’ fascination with these devices. Redbird Flight Simulations introduced its new low-cost Jay device, which, while it can’t be used to log time, promises to help pilots stay proficient. And Pilot Mall today unveiled the Advanced Panel, which is a modular instrument panel with flight and other controls that works with Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX) software.
Pilot Mall’s new user-configurable instrument panel for table-top basic flight training devices is making its public debut this week behind Hangar B at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in in Lakeland, Fla. The Flight Training Cockpit–Advanced Panel, brainchild of Pilot Mall president Neil Glazer and Michael Moore of Coldwater, Ontario-based Redfab, is designed to work with Microsoft Flight Sim on a PC platform. It uses Saitek ProFlite instruments, avionics and flight controls in a 21- by 31-inch metal instrument panel with pop-out cutouts.