Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) has set up a Helicrew simulator to help replicate the Bell 206B-1 Kiowa helicopter characteristics at the Oakey Army Aviation Training Centre in Queensland.
Designed to simulate a variety of mission training scenarios, the simulator allows the company's qualified flying instructors to sharpen and test their training procedures for the Kiowa helicopter crews.
The Australian Army uses 206B-1 Kiowa as an initial training helicopter to allow smooth transition to operational rotorcraft.
Boeing received the army aviation training and training support (AATTS) contract in 2007 to support the army's Kiowa, Black Hawk and CH-47 Chinook helicopter fleet by providing pilot, aircrew and technician training, operational fleet maintenance and support services.
BDA AATTS project manager Mark Brownsey said that the investment in Helicrew demonstrated the company's ongoing commitment to deliver industry-leading, in-country instruction to align with the future of rotary wing training.
"As we mature this synthetic capability, we will work with our customer on opportunities to use the Helicrew to provide some pilot instruction in a more cost-effective, lower-risk environment than flying real Kiowas," he said.
AATTS chief pilot Charlie Stone added that the simulator would provide instructors with the flexibility to plan training exercises much more quickly.
"It also allows us to better prepare for emergencies in a safe environment, and to assess our performance at any point of the exercise, all of which will ultimately benefit pilots in training,'' he said.
The Bell 206B-1 Kiowa is a modified variant of the US Army's OH-58A Kiowa Warrior, featuring more powerful 298kW Allison 250-C20 turboshaft engine and improved avionics.
A total of 40 helicopters are currently operated by the Australian military for utility, communications or survey missions.
Image: The Helicrew simulator will enable BDA's flight instructors to provide enhanced training to Australian Army's Kiowa crews. Photo: Copyright © 1995 - 2012 Boeing.