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Airbus Helicopters has cut the ribbon on a new full-motion H145 simulator at its Grand Prairie, Texas, facility so that operators of the popular twin-engine aircraft from North and South America can train without having to travel to Europe.
The brand-new Thales Reality H full-motion flight simulator was inaugurated Monday at the Helisim Simulation Center, a $22 million facility offering pilots initial and recurrent training on the H145.
“With this brand-new, state-of-the-art H145 Level-D full flight simulator, our North American customers can experience the highest levels of H145 training in their own backyard,” said Romain Trapp, president of Airbus Helicopters and head of the North America region.
Developed by Thales, the Level D H145 full-flight simulator is one of the most advanced simulators available, thanks to the integration of Airbus Helicopters’ avionics and software suite, a larger field of view, 4K projection technology, Thales’ electric Hexaline motion, and a new intuitive touchscreen instructor station. Considered a “zero-time” simulator, the experience replicates exactly the experience of flying the H145, allowing pilots to train right up to their initial check-out flight, Trapp said.
Airbus has sold 40 H145s and plans to sell up to 50 of the twin-engine helicopters a year for the foreseeable future. Because of the popularity of the aircraft, Airbus has “seen a significant increase in demand for simulation,” Trapp said.
More than 1,200 hours already are booked on the simulator by various operators in the helicopter EMS, oil-and-gas and law enforcement sectors, according to Trapp. Most of those customers are based in the U.S. and Canada. Others are from Mexico, Chile, Peru and Brazil, Jean-Charles de Troy, managing director of Helisim, told Vertical. The first trainee is scheduled to being in June.
“With this new training center, Helisim is able to offer the best simulator-based training to H145 operators,” de Troy said. “With outstanding equipment and software implemented, including an OEM simulator data package, along with integrating Airbus helicopter flight instructors, our goal is to offer a reliable and true-to-mission training experience to H145 pilots.”