Eurocopter’s EC225 FFS logs 1000 hours in first six months

Eurocopter’s EC225 FFS logs 1000 hours in first six months

29-Sep-2011 Source: Eurocopter

Eurocopter’s latest high-fidelity helicopter training device, the EC225 simulator at its new North Sea Service Centre in Aberdeen, Scotland offers unmatched training opportunities for helicopter pilots who fly in the challenging off-shore environment for the oil and gas industry, as well as for crews performing search and rescue missions.

This simulator which has demonstrated more than 98% availability over the first six months of operation has already delivered instructor, conversion and recurrent training to more than 200 pilots. Following UK Civil Aviation Authority, Brazilian and Malaysian authority’s certification, Transport of Canada certification was received on September 15.

This state of the art simulator has a dual certification (FFS B and FTD3), taking the highest constraints of both meeting a full range of training requirements set by national airworthiness authorities – including night landings on oil-rigs and vessel heli-decks for the off-shore market.

“Safety is a top priority for Eurocopter, and providing the best training for our global operators with highly capable devices such as the Aberdeen EC225 simulator is central to our strategy”, said Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling. “It represents the company’s major investments in a global network of simulators, which will be further expanded in the months and years to come at other locations worldwide.”

Its high-fidelity reproduction of EC225 flight operations is secured with an extensive EC225 data package from Eurocopter (including real software and real parts) and suppliers that ensures full simulated functionality for the helicopter, its engines, autopilot and other systems.

This full flight simulator has been tuned and validated for more than 3 months by Eurocopter’s test pilots, flight test engineers and other design office experts that have contributed to the helicopter development itself. This specific validating process is the only way to ensure a complete and exact reproduction of real helicopter behaviour.

This simulator benefits from a full replica of the helicopter’s cockpit with real equipment; SAR capability and NVG compatible; along with features such as its unique visual system and a six-degree-of-freedom motion capability with vibration platform and sound.

Eurocopter’s EC225 simulator is located in the company’s new purpose-built North Sea Service Centre, which was officially inaugurated seven months ago at Aberdeen Airport, the busiest Heliport operation in the world and key operating hub for helicopters that support the North Sea oil and gas industry.

The EC225 simulator’s visual system has a 210-deg. horizontal field-of-view, along with a vertical field range of +30 deg. above the horizon and -50 deg below the horizon. This allows a highly accurate representation of the landing and takeoff environment at off-shore platforms and ships – whilst also enabling the look-down coverage necessary for search and rescue mission training. Extensive photography of key off-shore helicopter operating locations such as the North Sea’s Andrew and Miller platforms, along with the CSSO Wellservicer diving support ship, were taken for integration into the flight simulator’s visual system database.

In addition to the high-fidelity EC225 full flight simulator, Eurocopter’s Aberdeen Centre also has an integrated Part Task Trainer for the FLIR (forward-looking infrared) camera that is used in search and rescue (including 4 axis, specific SAR modes and hoist loads), allowing SAR mission training with front and rear crews fully integrated into the simulation.

Moreover, Eurocopter implemented a high level debriefing station able to replay the training sessions whilst looking at all the instruments.

“Our North Sea Service Center is the incarnation of our customer’s wishes and of our dedication to Life cycle support and consequently has become the worldwide benchmark for Services to the Oil&Gas helicopter industry” says Markus Steinke, Managing Director of Eurocopter UK Ltd.

Eurocopter’s North Sea Service Centre is a 20,000-sq.ft facility featuring Technical Support, Logistical Services, Dynamic Component MRO, customer facilities and simulator training on the door step of the helicopter operators. It has the capacity to add another simulator, such as the company’s new EC175 helicopter, which is also expected to be extensively used by the off-shore energy market.

Additional EC225 full flight simulators are planned for installation by Eurocopter in China, Brazil and Malaysia, whilst for the AS365 Dauphin N3 helicopter are to be located in France and Singapore.

“This is part of our strategy to be present locally in markets around the world, facilitating our customers’ operations through the full availability of Eurocopter services”, said Philippe Crespo, Vice-President Worldwide Training Services. “We are increasing our training footprint from the four simulators operated by Eurocopter four years ago to a total of 20 by the end of 2013, which represents a major commitment by the company.”

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