Construction of the new FlightSafety International (FSI) Learning Center at Farnborough Airport in the UK neared completion last month. The first of up to 14 flight simulators have arrived and are due to be installed over the next few weeks, with a view toward seating students for the first training sessions in May and June.
It is surprising how many different vendors exist in the flight department training arena–companies that offer diverse, high-quality programs unknown to the majority of corporate flight department managers.
Hydraulic-powered motion systems will be replaced by electromechanical systems in new simulators from FlightSafety International starting late next year. A Gulfstream V simulator at FSI’s Long Beach, Calif. facility, slated for FAA approval in early 2006, will be one of the first devices to be equipped with the electric motion system.
Traditionally, air traffic controller training has been a dry-as-dust classroom learning process, with piles of documents to study, rules to absorb and procedures to learn, interspersed with occasional breaks to watch the professionals at work in Centers, Tracons and towers.
Frasca International, the Urbana, Ill. company well known for its flight-training devices, is branching out into full-flight simulation. The Japanese Civil Aviation Promotion Foundation recently took delivery of a King Air B200 simulator, the first FAA level-C training system built by Frasca. The company also recently delivered a level-C Caravan simulator to the University of Alaska.
FlightSafety International achieved a first recently when it put a Citation Sovereign simulator into service at its Orlando Learning Center. It is the first device with electric motion and control loading approved by the FAA as level-D.
NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia is addressing runway and taxiway incursion threats by testing a variety of new technologies, one of the most interesting of which is a miniature head-up display that the pilot wears on his head and positions in front of the eye.
Boeing’s Alteon Training subsidiary has awarded a contract to Thales for 787 Dreamliner training equipment. The contracts call for Thales to install six suites of training equipment at key locations in the Alteon network of training centers, with first delivery scheduled for 2007.
Believe it or not, there’s a pilot shortage out there, not in the U.S. or Europe, but in Asia, where a flourishing airline business needs first officers, and lots of them.
Canada’s CAE expects to place another three flight simulators next year at the Emirates-CAE Flight Training Center near Dubai International Airport to support the explosive growth in demand for flight training among the region’s airlines and business aircraft operators.