The helicopter emergency medical services wing of ADAC, Germany's largest motoring organisation has ordered two full flight simulators from CueSim, a subsidiary of UK-based Qinetiq.
To be delivered next year, they will be used to train and check pilots for two Eurocopter types, the EC135 and the EC145, at ADAC-Luftrettung's own HEMS-Academy, says the organisation.
The simulators will be designated FFS level B, the latest European Joint Aviation Authorities standards for helicopter flight simulators, but precisely what training or testing needs to be done in addition to the simulator time will be a matter for the German civil aviation authority, the LBA.
It will, however, reduce significantly the amount of expensive airborne training time required, according to ADAC-Luftrettung's managing director Friedrich Rehkopf. ADAC operates 44 helicopters from 33 bases covering the whole of Germany.
CueSim says the FFS-B simulator for the EC135 will be equipped with analogue instruments, an electronic central panel display system (CPDS) and have a full synthetic visual display.
It will be reconfigurable between EC135 P2 (Pratt & Whitney-powered) and EC135 T2 (Turbomeca-powered), and facilitate future reconfiguration to the upgraded T2i and P2i variants.
The FFS-B simulator for the EC145 incorporates a full electronic flight instrument system and will be reconfigurable to the P2i and T2i variants of the EC135.
The simulators will be based at the training centre at Bonn-Hangelar airfield, near Cologne-Bonn International airport, and the visual systems will present the local terrain database.
Simulation, not much used in the helicopter world until recently except for heavylift, instrument flight rules operations, offers a realistic mission environment and enables pilots to practice emergencies that would be too risky in the actual aircraft.
The simulator for the EC135 will be delivered in June 2008, and for the EC145 in September 2008.Related story