Graham Warwick/WASHINGTON DC

Northwest Aerospace Training (NATCO) is to upgrade and standardise up to 24 full flight simulators to reduce maintenance costs under a $28 million contract awarded to Opinicus.

Clearwater, Florida-based Opinicus believes that the NATCO standardisation programme is the largest ever undertaken and could lead to other deals. "Everybody is watching this programme. We see a huge market for standardisation," says president Jim Takats.

The five-year contract covers 18 simulators, with an option for six more. All will receive new Intel-based host computers, flat-panel touchscreen instructor stations, and new input/output, sound and audio systems. Eleven of the 24 will get new electric control loading systems, while two will receive new motion bases.

The simulation software load for each aircraft type involved will be standardised and the simulators will be networked to a software centre at NATCO.

Opinicus is building a testbed at Clearwater, which will be used to integrate each upgrade before it is shipped to NATCO's training centre at Eagan, Minnesota, for installation.

Source: Flight International