Flight simulator manufacturer Redbird Flight Simulations held its third annual Migration Flight Training Industry and Design Conference earlier this week at the Redbird SkyPort FBO/flight training lab at San Marcos Airport in Texas. The event offered opportunities to share flight-training best practices, flights in Redbird’s diesel-powered RedHawk trainer and tests of Redbird simulators and training devices, including a prototype full-motion helicopter simulator.
Redbird founder Jerry Gregoire outlined a “conceptual roadmap on where simulation is going” during a session on R&D. He explained that next-generation devices can observe and react to what the student is doing, altering the training scenario to fit the circumstances that unfold. One such Redbird device allows the student to fly formation, with the simulator giving live instruction on how to stay in formation.
“Now that we’ve developed this capability,” Gregoire asked, “what is the best use of it?” The fourth generation, he said, may be mentor-simulators, and this system could even turn into a helper/copilot-type system for single-pilot operations.
Redbird also revealed results from the past year’s training in the SkyPort lab, with 96 percent of private pilot applicants passing their checkrides the first time, after training for fewer than 40 hours in airplanes and 12 to 28 hours in simulators.