CAE has handed over the first UH-72A Lakota flight training device (FTD) system to the US Army.

Delivered under subcontract to Airbus Defence and Space, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) level 6-capable FTD would be located at the Army’s Aviation Center of Excellence (USAACE) at Fort Rucker, Alabama, US.

The device combines an aircraft-specific cockpit with fidelity and performance of a full-flight simulator without the motion.

US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Capability Management, Lift UH-72A acquisition management analyst Dale Alldredge said: "CAE has delivered a training device that will serve new helicopter flight students and instructor pilots much more than we originally anticipated."

CAE US president and general manager Ray Duquette said: "From contract award to acceptance into service, we delivered this simulator in less than six months and almost three months ahead of schedule.

"This will help the army meet a critical training need, and allow the army to efficiently and cost-effectively begin balancing live and synthetic training for its new UH-72A primary helicopter trainer."

"The device combines an aircraft-specific cockpit with fidelity and performance of a full-flight simulator without the motion."

The UH-72A FTD features a motion / vibration seat and a wide 200ºx70º field-of-view display system driven by next-generation CAE Medallion-6000 image generator to immerse pilots in a high-fidelity synthetic training environment.

In addition, the CAE-developed common database (CDB) was integrated to help enhance the army’s ability to leverage existing US government-owned databases to support their helicopter training requirements.

The simulator becomes the first UH-72A Lakota flight simulator to be located at Fort Rucker, which serves as the home of US Army aviation.

CAE is currently manufacturing the second UH-72A FTD, scheduled to be delivered to Fort Rucker, during the summer of 2015.

An unarmed utility militarised version of EC-145 helicopter, the UH-72A Lakota is used for search and rescue, medical evacuations, homeland security, VIP transport, disaster response and relief, as well as combat flight and pilot sustainment training missions.

Image: The US Army has received the first mission-ready UH-72A flight simulator for training at Fort Rucker, Alabama, Photo: Copyright 2012 CAE.

Defence Technology