An acquisitive Textron has assembled a new flight simulator manufacturing and training company–TRU Simulation + Training–that its leaders believe will offer strong competition to entrenched players FlightSafety International and CAE. TRU’s president and CEO is James Takats, one of the founders of Florida-based simulator manufacturer Opinicus, which became a Textron property in November last year.
Simulator specialist CAE has just signed a contract with the NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control program management organization to perform a major upgrade to the flight crew simulators that are used to train crews from the 16-nation joint force that flies the Boeing E-3A Awacs. This upgrade is being performed in parallel with a new flight deck upgrade for the 17-aircraft operational fleet.
Textron has assembled a new flight simulator manufacturing and training company–TRU Simulation + Training–that its leaders believe will offer strong competition to entrenched players FlightSafety International and CAE.
CAE, the Montreal-based training solution provider, announced on the eve of the Farnborough Airshow winning four defense contracts valued together at approximately $110 million. The contracts are for a T-6C ground-based training system for the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF); a visual system upgrade on German air force Eurofighter simulators; an image generator for a T-501Q simulator ordered by Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI); and a KC-135 boom operator weapon systems trainer (BOWST) for an undisclosed international customer.
The new CAE Multi-Purpose Training Center in Brunei is close to going fully operational, following the European Aviation Safety Agency’s level-D certification of its CAE 3000 Series full-flight simulator for the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter last month. The facility is the result of CAE’s efforts to deliver an integrated array of training solutions in a more cost-effective manner.
Irrespective of political turmoil in land-based energy supplier regions, oil and gas exploration and production is rising, especially offshore where drilling technology advances have made extraction more efficient. This is driving demand for helicopters and simulators.
The number of training programs preparing flight crew for the new multi-crew pilot license (MPL) continues to multiply. Before year-end, there will likely be 30 or more active MPL programs around the world with well over 3,000 cadets in the pipeline. The MPL is intended as a competency-based training license focused on preparing new pilots to become airline first officers.
CAE signed an agreement with African-based Caverton Helicopters to provide training center operation services over a six-year period. The facility will be located in Lagos, Nigeria, and is scheduled to open in the middle of next year. CAE will provide “turnkey solutions” that include the start-up, maintenance and operation of the six-simulator-bay training center. When opened, the center will have AgustaWestland AW139 and Boeing 737NG full-motion simulators and two CAE Simfinity Integrated Procedures Trainers (IPTs).
CAE is preparing to open a fourth training center for Embraer’s Phenom light jets later this year. According to Carlos Mallaco, vice president for Customer Support & Services with Embraer Executive Jets, the additional training capacity will likely be added in the U.S. through the long-established Embraer CAE Training Services (ECTS) joint venture. Phenom pilots already have three ECTS facilities at their disposal in Dallas, Texas; Burgess Hill in the UK; and São Paulo in Brazil.
Special ATC procedures for next month’s U.S. Open golf tournament at Southern Pines, N.C., take effect beginning June 7 for Moore County (SOP) Airport, Raleigh Executive Jetport at Sanford-Lee County (TTA) Airport, Richmond County (RCZ) Airport, Laurinburg-Maxton (MEB) Airport and Fayetteville Regional (FAY) Airport.
Procedures will be in effect from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily to maintain safety and minimize ATC delays.
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