Leonardo has commenced production of the world's first AW609 tiltrotor Level D full flight simulator and intends to introduce the first US-based AW169 Level D FFS. Both will be installed at a new training academy being developed at the company's Philadelphia facility and are expected to enter service in 2020.
The AW609 simulator has been developed in collaboration with CAE and is based on the CAE 3000 Series FFS that features CAE's roll-on/roll-off cockpit design, enabling cockpits representing various Leonardo helicopter types to be used in the full-motion base simulator. Leonardo and CAE will also develop an AW169 simulator cockpit to be made available and used in the CAE 3000 Series simulator. Both the AW609 and AW169 simulators for the new training academy in Philadelphia will be operated by Rotorsim, the joint venture owned equally by CAE and Leonardo.
Pilots training on the AW609 sim will be able to practice all the required operational tasks and procedures for the AW609 tiltrotor in normal and emergency conditions, both flight and mission related in all phases of flight. The AW609 FFS replicates the unique tiltrotor flight conditions, operating environments and behaviour of the real aircraft with the possibility to also use NVGs for night missions. The FFS will complement a full package of training services dedicated to the tiltrotor and offered to customers trained at the US academy. The AW169 simulator will meet the growing demand for new generation light-intermediate helicopter model training for crews in the US and across North and Latin America.
Cadets will be prepared for a range of missions including VIP/corporate transport, emergency medical service, utility and law enforcement. The supply of training services based on advanced technology and customer proximity is in line with the company's industrial plan.
CAE's roll-on/roll-off cockpit design is already used by Leonardo and CAE for other simulator systems in Italy. Using this design will result in a fully interchangeable FFS training solution with the AW609 and AW169 cockpits in Philadelphia. When not installed into the full-motion base simulator, the cockpit will serve as a fixed-base flight training device, with a similar approach also available in the future for other types, increasing the versatility and range of training services in the US.
Up to US$65 million will be invested in the 60,000 sq ft Philadelphia academy. In 2018 over 10,000 students have been trained by Leonardo worldwide.