HAI Convention News

CAE unveils simulator made for light/med helos

 - February 20, 2010, 6:18 AM

CAE of Saint-Laurent, Quebec, is showing the first example of its newest simulator line, the CAE 3000 series designed specifically for light and medium helicopters at Heli-Expo. Configured for the Eurocopter AS350, the Level 7 flight training device, which can also accommodate motion to qualify it as a simulator, is on display at CAE’s booth (No. 2045).

Claude Lauzon, CAE vice-president of civil aviation services, told AIN, “Our work on the military side with helicopters has spurred us to develop a lot of sophisticated, advanced modeling and simulation technologies, which are now part of our portfolio. We are bringing across these technologies to the civil world with some of our commercial, off-the-shelf advances.”

Over several years CAE has observed that the safety of helicopter operations is not as good as fixed-wing operations, Lauzon said. “The industry has recognized this and has launched initiatives to put a frame around that and reduce the accident rate. For example, the International Helicopter Safety Team has the goal of reducing the rate of accidents by 80 percent over five years and ICAO is developing a regulatory framework for training devices and training tasks. CAE is part of both of these.” CAE also held a series of meetings with customer advisory boards during the last two years, with the goal of finding out what helicopter operators and stakeholders, such as helicopter users in the oil and gas industry, want to see in training devices and procedures.

“This has all converged into the product–the CAE 3000 series–that we are showing at Heli-Expo,” Lauzon said.

Scenario-based training has received more focus in the design of the CAE 3000. “Customers told us it is one thing to seek proficiency in flying skills and responding to emergencies,” he said, “but above and beyond these fundamentals, you need to have scenario-based training that is relevant to the operating segment, such as offshore, EMS, corporate or heli-logging.”

Specific objectives and features of the CAE 3000 FTD here include: a vibration platform that provides the pilot with the right level of cueing for takeoff, landing, autorotation and some in-flight operations; visual fidelity that is the highest approved (CAE’s Tropos-6000, which is Level D-compliant and upgradable); and the ability to inject realistic mission scenarios that allow an interaction of the pilot, the helicopter and the scene for both emergency medical services and offshore operations. CAE chose to configure the first CAE 3000 for the AS350 because of the large number of the model in service. “We have other models under study with customers,” Lauzon added.

CAE builds a wide range of training devices, from its Simfinity-based desktops, procedure trainers and flight training devices to its 5000 and 7000 Series FTDs and full-motion simulators for business airplanes, narrow and widebody airliners and medium and large helicopters.