The boom in business aircraft deliveries is fuelling a surge in flight simulator installations as training providers gear up to meet demand.

SimuFlite Training International has ordered seven new Level D simulators and begun construction of a new training centre, while continuing to upgrade its Level C machines. FlightSafety International is also expanding its business aircraft simulator fleet.

Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas-based SimuFlite has ordered Raytheon Hawker 800/800XP and Sikorsky S-76 helicopter simulators from CAE; Cessna CitationJet and Raytheon Beechjet 400A and King Air 350 simulators from NLX; and Dassault Falcon 900B/C/EX and 2000 machines from Thomson Training & Simulation. The devices will debut between late next year and early 2002. The company has four business jet simulators already on order from CAE for delivery next year.


Six of the additional machines will be installed at SimuFlite's new training centre in the northeast USA. The location for the site will be selected by mid-January.

FlightSafety is adding Level D business jet simulators at its newest training centres. Its Atlanta, Georgia, base will become a Bombardier Learjet centre. A Learjet 45 simulator is operational, a Learjet 60 will be installed next month and a Learjet 31A is to follow in June.

Falcon 900EX and 2000 devices are being installed in the company's new D/FW centre, which will also host the first Galaxy business jet simulator under an agreement to provide training for Fort Worth-based GalaxyAerospace.

Under similar agreements, FlightSafety will provide training for the Envoy 7 business jet version of Fairchild Dornier's 728JET regional airliner and the Legacy corporate variant of Embraer's ERJ-135 regional jet.

CAE says business aircraft simulators now account for 30% of its order book, despite the fact that FlightSafety, the largest provider of business aviation training, builds its simulators in-house. "Regional and business sectors are very strong, especially business jets," says Ash Sarin, director commercial flight simulation marketing and sales.

CAE has started to develop a lower-cost flight simulator, scaled to the smaller cockpit size of business and regional jets. The Ultra Sim will feature an electric motion system and a new visual system with PC-based image generator and smaller-diameter panoramic display. A working prototype is set to be available early in 2002.

Source: Flight International