Trimble, the California-based global-positioning-system (GPS)-navigation specialist, has developed a comprehensive instrument-flight-rules GPS training system for general-aviation use.
The system combines a CD-ROM-based, multi-media tuition programme with a free-flight simulator developed for Trimble by Initiative Computing, an international software-development company specialising in aviation "teachware" products.
The CD-ROMs, packaged into programmes called the 2000 Approach NavTutor, provide background and training on the GPS, beginning with simple features and building up to flying complete flight plans, including non-precision approaches. The simulator, dubbed the Trimble Trainer, integrates a full-size functioning 2000 Approach into the simulated cockpit of a single-engined aircraft, allowing the student to "fly" the simulator on the personal computer. Trimble says: "The simulator and 2000 Approach respond together precisely as a real aircraft with the receiver would in the cockpit. The student can create and fly an entire flightplan, practise GPS instrument approaches, or simply sharpen instrument-scanning skills."
The company reports brisk sales of the package, which is priced at around $100.