Aero Vodochody is showing key elements of its L-159B Advanced Training System making their international debut here at the Farnborough air show (Hall 3 Stand D17). The L-159B aircraft made its first exhibition abroad at Farnborough 2002 but the Czech company has since added a full mission simulator (FMS) with a mission planning and debriefing station featured on its stand, while the advanced training and light combat aircraft is taking part in the display.
Since its first official display abroad, the L-159B aircraft has participated in numerous marketing tours and many of its systems have been significantly improved. Open architecture avionics now feature additional display pages, improved weapon delivery simulations and an integrated system for data transfer and multi-channel digital video recording. The electrical system has more reliable components, while the environmental control system has improved performance in hot conditions.
The new L-159B FMS is the most sophisticated component of the ground-based training system, and is based on the latest commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) computer and image generation technologies in order to save cost and allow for long-term support and upgrades. The FMS is modular and fully transportable, and under normal climatic conditions does not require an air-conditioned environment, features that distinguish it from older generation systems, which typically required special facilities for their operation.
The simulator’s visuals are projected on a spherical dome, which provides 225-degree horizontal field of view (FOV) at zero elevation and 360-degree FOV above 40-degree elevation. The FMS software is also modular and is partitioned into several components enabling the control and monitoring of simulated missions, platform simulation and image generation. The system is capable of simulating a FLIR navigation image on the HUD and also has provision for night vision goggles simulation and integration into a simulator network via DIS/HLA protocol.
“The philosophy of the system is to deliver not only a modern powerful aircraft for advanced and operational training, specifically for combat tasks, but also to fully meet market needs for modern and cost effective training of combat pilots,” commented Aero Vodochody’s project department manager Petr Raska.
On June 26, the manufacturer signed a contract with the Czech Ministry of Defense for the modification of four L-159 aircraft into two-seat versions for delivery to the Czech air force (CzAF) during 2007. “This modification of single-seat aircraft to become trainers for the airforce is the most economical and fastest solution for such a small number of units, as it utilizes existing components and minimizes the purchase of new items. New-built aircraft would be significantly more expensive and their production would take a lot longer,” claimed Petr Klimes, Aero Vodochody president and chairman.
However, in addition to its long-standing reputation for producing jet trainers, Aero Vodochody is partnered with several aerospace manufacturers worldwide including Sikorsky, Boeing, BAE Systems, Vought, EADS, Aircelle and MT Aerospace. The company is keen to grow its aerostructures business.