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News > American Eurocopter’s Flight Simulator is Operational; Army aviators first to train in EC145 flight training device

American Eurocopter’s Flight Simulator is Operational; Army aviators first to train in EC145 flight training device

December 16, 2008

American Eurocopter announced today that the first full motion EC135/EC145 flight training device (FTD) is operational at the company’s training facility in Grand Prairie, TX. The first operation of the simulator occurred during the first week of December with the training of U.S. Army Aviators on the EC145.

EC135 cockpitThe FTD has the OEM simulation data package on a full-scale replica of the EC135. The cockpit utilizes interchangeable panels to achieve a high degree of similarity between the FTD and the actual aircrafts.

“This is a tremendous milestone for our company and for our training department,” said Marc Paganini, President and CEO of American Eurocopter. “Our customers operating EC135s and EC145s now have an economical, high-tech alternative to train their pilots. This demonstrates the strategy and commitment of the Eurocopter Group to provide its customers with state-of-the-art training worldwide.”

American Eurocopter’s EC135/EC145 FTD is a full-motion system with six degrees of freedom with a visual system field of view of 170 degrees horizontal and 80 degrees of vertical. The FTD has day, night, IFR and NVG capabilities and offers customers a safe and effective way to achieve a variety of training including advanced mission-based training scenarios.

As part of the Light Utility Helicopter contract that was awarded to EADS North America in 2006, U.S. Army aviator training for the UH-72A is augmented by additional hours on the FTD at American Eurocopter’s training center in Grand Prairie.

The company plans to achieve certification of the EC135 FTD in February 2009 and this will open up the simulator to Eurocopter’s EC135 and EC145 customers. According to Del Livingston, American Eurocopter Vice President of Flight Operations, “We have already received terrific interest for simulator training from our U.S. customers who perform a variety of missions including law enforcement, air medical services, oil and gas, corporate transport and utility work.”

American Eurocopter is in the process of becoming an FAA Part 142 training facility which will further serve its customers by allowing them to incorporate simulator training as an integral part of their operational programs. Paganini explains that this is part of a global strategy for the Eurocopter Group. “Eurocopter is deploying more and more training capabilities worldwide, close to its customers, in order to improve safety as well as reduce operational and training costs,” he says.

In addition to the EC135/EC145 FTD at American Eurocopter’s Training Center, another will be EASA certified at Eurocopter’s Donauwörth facility in Germany in the beginning of 2009. This worldwide deployment strategy of localizing simulator training is extended to other aircraft programs, such as EC225 simulators in France, in the UK, in South-East Asia and in America.

About American Eurocopter 
American Eurocopter is the U.S. subsidiary of Eurocopter, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and EADS North America Holdings, the North American operations of EADS, the second largest aerospace and defense company in the world. American Eurocopter is a helicopter manufacturer and the company markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and para-public helicopters offered by any manufacturer. The product line represents the most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, ranging from light single to heavy twin, serving all markets and missions. American Eurocopter's headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, TX, with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, MS and its West Coast Regional Support Facility in Long Beach, CA.

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