Flying FlightSafety International Sims
AIN had the opportunity to fly three simulators at FlightSafety International’s Farnborough Center: the Bombardier Challenger 605, into London’s Luton Airport; the Sikorsky S-92, out to an oil platform; and the Gulfstream G550 (with its Honeywell-derived PlaneView cockpit) on the “Canarsie” approach to New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport–once visually and once trying the head-up display and very impressive synthetic-vision system.
David Judge, project manager overseeing the introduction of FSI Farnbrough’s new Challenger 605 simulator, said that, typically, it takes three months to install a simulator and to get it on line. The 605 has a Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics suite, while the older Challenger 604 model has a Pro Line 4 suite; all that is required for a 604 pilot is a differences course, as the aircraft share a common type rating. Judge told AIN that two Farnborough-based operators–GAMA and TAG Aviation–are interested in using the simulator. “The simulator comes on line here in August and we’ll do both EASA and FAA training here. In the corporate world you really do need to offer both. We are also aiming for Saudi GACA approval.”
Despite the fact that they are already Challenger pilots, the team of instructors for the 605 will go through the entire type-rating course, said Judge, “so they know what the clients will go through” well before they teach them. The 605 simulator sports the latest technology, such as a “very quiet and efficient” electric motion system, which has the added advantage of not needing a compressor room, unlike hydraulically actuated systems.
The newest simulators being produced by FlightSafety International include visual systems produced by Glass Mountain, which it acquired in January 2009. Glass mirror displays have many advantages over the traditional Mylar displays–a much wider field of view (310 degrees compared with 220 degrees with Mylar) and virtually no edge distortion. They also provide higher fidelity. FSI plans to install a Sikorsky S-76 simulator equipped with glass mirror technology at its West Palm Beach, Florida facility this year.
Meanwhile, the company has started work on the design and manufacturing of the first full-flight simulator for the new HondaJet.