FlightSafety International (FSI) has received the first Level D certification for a helicopter simulator to be awarded by the US Federal Aviation Administration. Approval was won for the FlightSafety-built Bell 412EP simulator installed at the training company's Bell centre, adjacent to the helicopter manufacturer's Fort Worth, Texas, plant.

Level D approval, which allows all training to be conducted in the simulator, has been common for fixed wing types for several years, but certification of helicopter devices has awaited development of the necessary high-fidelity aerodynamic models, noise and vibration simulations and wide-angle visual systems. The 412EP simulator is equipped with a FlightSafety-produced CromaView Plus visual providing an extended, 60í, vertical field of view.

The machine is the first to be approved under new FAA Advisory Circular 120-63, which sets out the requirements for qualification of helicopter simulators. Flight-Safety says that this document will provide the basis for certification of the Bell Boeing V-22 tiltrotor simulator the company is building for the US Marine Corps.

The second Gulfstream V simulator to be installed at Flight-Safety's Savannah, Georgia, training centre has gained Level D approval from the FAA.

Source: Flight International