Military, Training


By Staff Writer | January 1, 2007

In 1958, after years of training U.S. Navy pilots and then studying aviation psychology and flight simulation at the University of Illinois, Rudy Frasca built his first simulator.

That was the beginning of what is now Frasca International, which makes a comprehensive line of flight-training equipment for commercial, military aircraft, law enforcement and EMS helicopter pilots.

Today, Frasca is well known for its expertise in helicopter simulation, manufacturing a wide range of standard and custom helicopter devices from cockpit procedures trainers to full-flight simulators. "Training requirements for rotary aircraft are complex and changing," says Vice President John Frasca. "Frasca provides the equipment needed to train safer helicopter pilots."


A case in point: The Finnish Aviation Academy, in Pori, Finland, has contracted to purchase a Eurocopter EC135 flight-training device (FTD) from Frasca International. The FTD will be dual qualified as JAA FTD 3 and JAA FNPT 3 MCC. It will feature Frasca’s latest technology including a TruVision visual system with an extensive, highly detailed database covering much of Finland. This will allow the students to authentically "fly" in a convincing, realistic environment. All airfields, buildings, roads, and rivers will be depicted, allowing complete free flight throughout the database. Cities will be modeled with correct roads and rivers and forests modeled with trees. All terrain will be 3D with mission-specific elements included, such as heliports, accident scenes, confined landing areas, ships at sea, etc. The database will also include special effects critical to helicopter flying, such as a visible rotor disk, whiteout/brownout conditions, blowing smoke, blowing snow and power lines.

To ensure the FTD’s aerodynamic quality, blade-element modeling techniques will be used to calculate forces acting on the main and tail rotors. This technique analyzes airflow over the rotor by dividing the rotor into small segments. Individual forces of each segment are then summed to determine the net forces that act in the simulation. This offers superior performance to models that treat the entire rotor disk as a single element. "It’s just a better, more accurate form of simulation," says Frasca.

Then there’s the TruFlite H, a trailer-enclosed reconfigurable device designed to allow training in multiple aircraft. Silver State Helicopters of North Las Vegas, Nev. has taken delivery of 22 TruFlite H simulators — six in trailers — since the device was introduced in 2003. The TruFlite H utilizes Frasca’s TruFlite technology, making it reconfigurable among three single-engine piston models: the Robinson R22 and R44 and Schweizer 300, all used as trainers.

These are just some of the advanced flight-training products designed and made by Frasca International. They reflect the Frasca family’s continuing dedication to building the best, most useful and realistic simulators possible.


Frasca International

906 East Airport Road

Urbana, IL 61802-7407


Fax: 217-344-9207

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