The Costs of Flight Training in a Dynamic and Flexible Environment
In the last decade, advancements in flight simulation training technologies have come a long way, particularly for the FSTDs that can replicate type-specific aircraft cockpits, systems, and flight dynamics to a high degree of fidelity. These technologies, however, do come with a high price tag. They also restrict the operator from making any technical modifications that could alter the aircraft’s characteristics or other type-specific hardware. Those wishing to train their aircrew for specific mission training and rehearsals may not see the benefits from purchasing and maintaining a fully qualified FSTD.
In the last decade, advancements in flight simulation training technologies have come a long way, particularly for the FSTDs
So how can the operator train their pilots in a flexible scenario-based environment while mitigating the impact on the quality of the simulated aircraft model?
Well, it all comes down to what you are intending to accomplish with the flight training solution. Some operators prefer to have a representative aircraft simulation model and focus more of their resources to design, execute, and debrief customized training scenarios for the mission. It is important to realize that having a representative aircraft model will allow the pilot to focus on the mission in progress, without being distracted by a low quality aircraft model.
There are several strategies involved with creating a representative aircraft model, but the most effective solution is subjective validation of the simulated aircraft with an experienced pilot. This iterative method can be particularly effective to highlight type-specific aircraft behaviors and phenomenons that pilots can learn to recognize and anticipate. For example, in the case of a conventional rotorcraft, pilots will expect a decrease of power needed to hover in the proximity to the ground; or how flying through the effective translational lift speed range produces a particular dynamic response. All these cues can be modeled, tuned, and simulated to represent any type-specific aircraft, thus allowing the pilots to focus more on developing their situational awareness skills.