Bell Helicopter is reassembling a Model 429 full-flight simulator in Spain and readying it for recertification and use by next January at its new training academy in the eastern coastal city of Valencia.
The OEM said at Helitech International in Amsterdam this week that it is working with fellow Textron company TRU Simulation + Training to gain EASA certification of the simulator in time to offer 429 training at the beginning of next year. EASA’s approval would make the simulator the first to achieve Level D certification from that agency and the FAA, Bell said.
“Our instructors are currently onsite in Spain preparing the training center for our customers,” said Ray Lamas, general manager, global customer training at Bell Helicopter. “We are preparing for completion by year-end with regularly scheduled classes starting in January 2017.”
Bell said the instructors in Valencia — each having more than 5,000 rotorcraft flight hours each — have completed 429 training with it and EASA. The instructor staff also can speak English, French, Spanish and Italian, Bell said.
The simulator uses TRU Sim’s new Odyssey H design, which it said is tailored needs of the helicopter pilot. It has a ultra-high definition visual system with a 240-degree horizontal by 80-degree vertical field of view and 41-megapixel total system resolution visual display and primary and secondary motion systems. A roll-on/roll-off capability allows the simulator to be reconfigured for other helicopter types.
Bell said they are more than 70 429s operating across Europe.