By By Katie Kriz, Assistant Managing Editor | July 31, 2014
Bell and TRU Simulation + Training jointly announced at Farnborough that they have signed an agreement for the relatively unknown simulator manufacturer to develop and manufacture the new Bell 525 Full Flight Simulator (FFS), designed for Level D certification from both FAA and EASA/JAA. If you have never heard of TRU Simulation + Training before now, you are not alone. The company was formed in April this year after Bell parent, Textron, acquired Mechtronix Inc. and OPINICUS Corporation last fall, and then merged them with assets of the former AAI Logistics & Technical Services.
Having both the airframe designer and the simulator designer under the roof of the same parent should aid in the concurrent development of the two products so that they can effectively be launched together. “What makes this new Bell 525 Full Flight Simulator device unique is that we are sharing the work between Bell and TRU,” said Scott Westbrook, senior simulation training specialist with Bell Helicopter. “We are using the same approach as was used to develop the V-22 and H1 series of aircraft for the Military. Since the Bell 525 will be the first commercial fly-by-wire aircraft, we’ve taken what we’ve learned from the V-22, with its own complex fly by wire and flight control laws, and will develop the certifiable Bell 525 Full Flight Simulator.”
Bell 525 Relentless Advanced Systems Integration Lab (RASIL). Photo courtesy Bell Helicopter
“We are utilizing Bell’s internal simulation and modeling capabilities to develop the multiple models required to simulate the aircraft,” Westbrook stated. “Essentially, all the tools that engineering simulation uses to design and build the aircraft are being utilized to construct the very accurate models required for the training simulator.”
The simulator, with TRU’s Odyssey H FFS product, will feature an ultra high-definition visual system with 240 degree horizontal by 80 degree vertical field view. Construction of the simulator will take place at TRU’s facility in Tampa, Fla., and is projected to be fully operational in 2016, in line with the expected 2016 certification of the Bell 525 rotorcraft.
Related: Simulator News