French technology group Thales is promising more cost-effective simulator training by selecting representational fidelity of equipment more carefully around customer requirements.
The simulator manufacturer has established a new training service, named "Directed Fidelity", through which it aims to match "technology and training" better to individual clients needs.
Chris Borrill, vice-president of capability and training solutions for the group's UK arm, says that military customers, in particular, have come under increasing cost pressure while their operational environment is changing at a fast pace, which in turn requires training.
Analysing the customer's individual needs and thus, determining the best mix of live and simulated training, is central to the service, the company says.
The conversion training for UK pilots of Boeing CH-47 Chinooks, which have analogue instrumentation, to the Mark 4 variant with glass cockpits is a recent example. Thales supplied a flat panel trainer, which employs a series of touch screens to represent the main instrument and overhead panels, centre pedestal as well as forward pilot's view through the windscreen.
The manufacturer says the stationary setup provides up to 70% of the training value of a full-flight simulator at "significantly lower cost". The equipment can also easily be dismantled to be transported to sites close to the crews' deployment location.
The "Directed Fidelity" service is offered for a range of training areas, including air force, navy and army personnel.