The Singapore Flightglobal team finally had the opportunityto check out the new full motion Eurocopter Dauphin simulator at SeletarAerospace Park yesterday. The simulator is the first AS365 N3/N3+ simulator in the Asia Pacific.
I visited the simulator during the Singapore Airshow but atthat time the full motion capability was deactivated. Yesterday it wasdefinitely on. Among the operations we executed were landing on a warshiprolling in heavy swells, landing atop an oil rig – perhaps recognizing thenumber helicopters employed in the offshore business, there was a cluster ofthree oil platforms right next to each other, all of which seemed to havedifferent configurations – and then landing on a tall building.
There was all sorts of weather, from hot and arid to coldand snowbound – day and night. As for graphics, improvements in processingpower in recent years mean that details such as the foam on waves and blowingdust (important cues for helicopter pilots) were faithfully recreated. The images accompanying his blog post were taken with @FHavg’s camera phone.
When handling the controls my colleague @tohmavis and Ifound the auto-trim switch on the control column to be very useful inmaintaining a straight heading. Certainly the most ambitious manoeuvre Iexecuted was taking off from a skyscraper. Not being used to helicopters, Imanaged to get it off the landing pad well enough, but I don’t think theinstructors were terribly impressed when I rammed the stick forward, thusforcing the nose well down and pushing the ship too rapidly out over the city.
That said, the instructors were not about to allow me to getinto an accident. One of them explained that for all practical purposes theytreat the simulator like a real, authentic helicopter. Though the simulator isnot open for customers until next month, Eurocopter sees a big opportunity inproviding simulator training for Dauphin operators both in the Asia Pacific andthe Middle East.