I/ITSEC 2016: US Army about to embark on new era of fixed-wing training
Construction has been completed on the US Army’s new fixed-wing training centre at Dothan, Alabama. Over the next two months, CAE and its subcontractors will transition from interim facilities to a new purpose-built facility on the other side of the airfield.
CAE has also announced that the first training device in the Dothan Training Center – a Frasca Grob G120TP flight training device (FTD)– has been installed and is ready-for-training. The first two CAE-built C-12 King Air full-flight simulators (FFS) will begin arriving at the training centre in early 2017.
The company has taken over the fixed-wing training contract from incumbents, FlightSafety International. This contract award has been plagued by protests and legal hearings.
‘The completion of our new Dothan Training Center ahead of schedule and less than nine months after groundbreaking is a major milestone,’ said Ray Duquette, president and general manager, CAE USA.
‘We are now in the final stages of preparing to welcome our first class of army students when we will begin providing the army with a modern, flexible and cost-effective training programme specifically designed for fixed-wing aviators.’
In addition to the two C-12 FFS, the company is also developing two other CAE 7000XR Series FFS, referred to as motherships, featuring the company’s roll-on/roll-off (RORO) cockpit design. This design will enable cockpits representing various aircraft types to be used in the full-flight simulator.
Four RORO cockpits representing various configurations of the C-12 King Air aircraft used by the US Army and US Air Force, and potentially, foreign users are currently in build. When two of the cockpits are installed on the FFS mothership, the other two can be connected to a docking station and be used as Level 6-equivalent FTDs. CAE is also developing three CAE Simfinity C-12 King Air integrated procedures trainers (IPTs).
As well as the synthetic training, CAE is providing six new Grob 120TP and using a fleet of 10 C-12U King Air aircraft that are owned and maintained by the US Army but operated by CAE instructors to deliver live flying C-12 training.
The Army Fixed-Wing Flight Training programme is responsible for providing all the training required for experienced army rotary-wing aviators transitioning to fly the army’s fleet of more than 350 fixed-wing aircraft.
In addition, the Army Fixed-Wing Flight Training programme serves as the formal training unit for army C-12/RC-12 King Air recurrent training, as well as providing annual training to US Air Force C-12 King Air pilots. In total, more than 600 US Army and US Air Force pilots are expected to train annually in Dothan.
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