Graham Warwick/WASHINGTON DC

Boeing Reports that an F-18C flight simulator installed on the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Independence is "performing well" in the first test of a carrier-based weapon system trainer (CV WST).

The simulator supplied by Boeing has been in operation since mid-January and may be transferred to another carrier or to a shore base when the Independence proof of concept trial ends.

Keith Hertzenberg, general manager of training and support systems at Boeing's aerospace support unit, admits that the installation of the CVWST in a ready room on the carrier was a "challenge". The device had to be broken down, fitted through the ready room door, and re-assembled, but has operated "nearly flawlessly" since being installed, he says.

The availability of a simulator has allowed crews to perform weapon tactics training "-which there is no other way to do while under way", Hertzenberg says. The CV WST includes a simulated F-18 cockpit and compact Boeing developed visual system. The device is less than 2.4m tall and occupies only 6.1 x 4.6m of floor space, running off normal power.

The concept demonstration was intended to show "-we could install a device in a compact area, provide the weapons training and rehearsal necessary and prove that the device was hardy enough [for shipboard use]", says Hertzenberg.

Source: Flight International