NBAA Convention News

Virtual trainers on show at Aerosim

 - October 14, 2009, 11:32 AM

Aerosim Technologies might not be a name familiar to most business aircraft pilots who train in full-motion simulators, but pilots who need to learn how to use an FMS have probably used an Aerosim FMS trainer. Now Aerosim (Booth No. 2085) is developing Virtual Procedures Trainers for business aircraft, which enable training in cockpit procedures at a much lower cost than a full simulator or flight-training device.

Aerosim, based in Burnsville, Minn., is developing a Bombardier Challenger 605 Virtual Procedures Trainer with Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics. This trainer consists of nine screens with two seats for trainees and instructors. Although the trainer has no yoke, it can be “flown” on autopilot and is useful for practicing the full operational cycle, including normal and emergency procedures, according to director of sales Joe Hartman. Aerosim has also developed a PC-based procedures trainer called Virtual Flight Deck, using the same software as the Virtual Procedures Trainer but using just the computer’s single screen, which makes the training system portable.

Aerosim’s first product was an FMS simulator developed for the Gulfstream IV for FlightSafety International in 1993. “Since then, Aerosim has provided more FMS training products than any other company,” said Hartman, including systems that replicate Honeywell, Rockwell Collins and Universal Avionics FMSs. Anyone can buy a single-user license from Aerosim and learn on any of its FMS trainers. And flight departments or charter and airline operators can buy multi-user licenses to cover all pilots. FMS trainer licenses start at $500 per seat.

Aerosim also manufactures flight training devices, including a Cirrus Aviator FTD that is used at the Delta Connection Academy in Sanford, Fla. Hartman said that Aerosim is working with other manufacturers to build FTDs through Level 6 qualification, which include electronic control loading to simulate control feedback. For a busy training company like Delta Connection, he said, “It allows training organizations to offer a business model where they can continue to train 365 days a year. That’s a revenue-generating 24-hour machine.” FTDs cost from $75,000 to $150,000. Aerosim can also add flight controls to its Virtual Procedures Trainers, if the customer wants that feature, according to Hartman.

Here at NBAA, Aerosim is offering demos on its Virtual Procedures Trainer, Virtual Flight Deck and FMS trainers.