Growing simulation market opens timely window for Helitech International 2014

Growing simulation market opens timely window for Helitech International 2014

16-Feb-2014 Source: Helitech

In light of growth forecasts for the civil rotary simulation market, Helitech International 2014 will provide a timely platform for this important sector to be showcased at Europe’s largest helicopter show, which takes place 14-16 October in Amsterdam. Leading simulation and training companies such as Bell Helicopter, FlightSafety International and Frasca International have secured their places at the 2014 event, which is fully supported by the European Helicopter Association. The Amsterdam RAI is a world-class venue and is ideally situated within Europe to attract international audiences by way of its excellent transport links.

“As in many areas of the rotary industry, the fast-changing nature of technology is certainly impacting the simulation and training market and with the predicted growth of this sector, Helitech International 2014 will offer unique networking opportunities to discuss the latest developments,” said Vittorio Morassi, President of European Helicopter Association.

The increasing sales of helicopters globally and the demand for simulators from the civil segment of the international rotary market have combined to increase the need for trained pilots across the world. According to a recent report from TechNavio, the global helicopter simulator market was valued at over US$70m in 2013 and is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 2.8 percent during the period 2013-2018.

“The Training and simulation market has witnessed growth in recent years due to technological advancements in helicopter platforms and a shortage of trained aviation professionals to operate them.  In addition, increasing focus on improving the safety of passengers is another factor contributing to this growth. Many government and private organisations across the globe have already made simulation-based training mandatory and some of them are in the process of making simulation-based pilot certification a necessary part of training,” said Sriram Mohan, Senior Analyst at TechNavio.

Despite the high costs of simulators and flight training simulation, the international rotary simulator market shows immense potential to grow steadily in the near future, mainly because of the emergence of various trends that are expected to exert a growing influence on the market. One such trend is the increasing demand for Full Flight Simulators (FFS).

A FFS complies with the rules and regulations of a particular national civil aviation regulatory authority; it is a comprehensive aerodynamic model of an aircraft’s systems. The latter are fully simulated to mimic real-world visual systems, and there is also a motion platform. In addition, increasing features and configurations of helicopter simulators is expected to exercise their influence on the market during the forecast period.

Frasca International has over 50 years of experience manufacturing flight training equipment and its product range includes Flight Training Devices (FTD), Synthetic Training Devices (STD), Cockpit Procedure Trainers (CPT) and FFS for both fixed-wing and rotary aircraft. Over 2,400 of the company’s devices have been installed worldwide and at Helitech International 2014, Frasca will demonstrate its ability as an industry leader in rotary simulation to provide value-added solutions for a wide range of demanding environments.

“The helicopter industry has seen steady growth in the past year in both the FFS and FTD market. There is a significant emphasis on safety and training, as well as technological advances that make simulators more cost-effective and useful. We’ve recently delivered products featuring Forward Looking Infra-Red systems, Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) mapping and Night Vision Goggle (NVG) simulation,” confirmed John Frasca, President of Frasca International, Inc.

In September 2013,the Bundespolizei Fliegergruppe (German Federal Police Air Support Group) announced that it had received FTD 2 Flight Navigation Procedure Training (FNPT) III Multi-Crew Co-operation (MCC) qualification for its Frasca-supplied EC155 helicopter FTD.

“We are pleased to prepare for the installation and qualification of our second Frasca FTD for the Bundespolizei Fliegergruppe located in Sankt Augustin, Germany. The EC155 FTD will be qualified under European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) regulations to FTD 2 FNPT III MCC and joins our previously delivered and qualified Frasca EC135 FTD, which will later be joined by a third Frasca device for our AS332 training,” said Tobias Schoenherr, Head of Aviation School for the Police Service.

In addition to the Bundespolizei Fliegergruppe, Bristow Helicopters’ Aberdeen Academy received dual qualification in May 2013 for its Frasca S-76 FFS, which was the third helicopter device certified under Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) with both Level B FFS and Level III FTD approval. This particular project involved thousands of man hours of intensive research, gathering of aerodynamic system data, programming and manufacturing a high-fidelity replica of the cockpit. The other two devices are Bristow’s S-92 FFS and EC225 FFS, also built by Frasca, which received qualification in 2011.

The S-76, EC225 and S-92 FFS are being used at Bristow’s Academy in Scotland to support training requirements for Bristow’s global fleet of helicopters. All three units feature six-axis electric motion base, TruVision™ global visual system with custom databases and wrap around display system.

Another Helitech International 2014 exhibitor, FlightSafetyInternational, provides training for helicopters manufactured by AgustaWestland, Airbus Helicopters, Bell Helicopter and Sikorsky, as well as mission specific training programmes for other aircraft types at its Learning Centres located in the USA as well as Farnborough airport in the United Kingdom.

In January 2014, the company announced that five of its simulators, equipped with the recently introduced VITAL 1100 visual system, had been qualified to Level D by EASA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Three additional VITAL 1100 equipped simulators are scheduled to receive Level D qualification in the next few months.

VITAL 1100 can provide system resolutions that are well over 20 million pixels for a typical out the window field of view of 200 degrees horizontally. The system also allows much greater fields of view with a corresponding increase in pixel resolution.

The first VITAL 1100 visual system equipped simulator to receive Level D qualification from EASA was FlightSafety’s Sikorsky S-92 located in Stavanger, Norway. The first simulators that feature the VITAL 1100 to be qualified to Level D and approved by the FAA include the AgustaWestland AW139 and Sikorsky S-92 simulators and a NVG qualified Airbus Helicopters EC135 simulator.

“Customer feedback, as well as the EASA and FAA simulator qualifications with this new generation visual system, confirm we are exceeding our goals to provide exceptional realism and the most effective visual training environment,” said Jon Hester, General Manager, Visual Systems at FlightSafety International.

For more than 60 years, the Bell Helicopter Training Academy (BTA) has provided certified training to Bell Helicopter pilots and maintainers from around the world. As an FAA Part 141 approved flight school, the BTA offers a complete line of helicopter training for pilots with a current FAA helicopter certificates with appropriate ratings.

“In 2013, we trained more than 4,200 pilots and maintainers. With the continued growth of our commercial market, we expect we will continue to see demand from customers purchasing new aircraft as well as those fulfilling recurrent training requirements. The BTA utilises five fixed-based FTD to help our customers build a better toolbox of skills should an unexpected situation occur while operating our product. Our FAA and EASA certified model 429 FTD had the most usage for the year, and we expect the tempo to increase as customer demand increases,” said Scott Westbrook, Senior Simulation Training Specialist at the BTA.

“To date, we are delighted with the industry’s interest and participation at the Amsterdam event which will be the premier European helicopter gathering this year,” said John Hyde, Event Director for Helitech International.

For further event information visit  or contact Carol Bowler at CMS Strategic+44 (0)20 8748 9797 or email

Helitech International

Helitech has long been established as the leading show in the rotary wing market outside the USA. The event was launched in 1986 alongside Offshore Europe in Aberdeen before moving to run as a standalone event at Redhill in 1987. Helitech stayed at Redhill until it moved to The Imperial War Museum, Duxford in 2001. In 2011 Helitech proudly celebrated 25 years of supporting the rotary industry. In 2012 Helitech International was established, in association with the European Helicopter Association, to attract a wider international audience and offer exhibitors and visitors alike the opportunity to network on an international level. Helitech International 2014 will take place at the Amsterdam RAI, The Netherlands between 14 – 16 October 2014.

About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organizer, with over 500 events in 41 countries. In 2012 Reed brought together seven million active event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 34 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 44 industry sectors with trade and consumer events and is part of the Reed Elsevier Group, a world leading provider of professional information solutions.

About EHA

The new European Helicopter Association (EHA) is a non-profit Association whose members are the National Helicopter Associations Committee (NHAC) representing 11 countries in Europe and the European Helicopter Operators Committee (EHOC), the Rotorcraft community of specialists within the Off-Shore operators. The Association’s mission is to speak as the voice for the European Rotorcraft industry at the European Institutions and elsewhere, representing and promoting the best interests of all sectors.

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