The companies continue to meet commitments to bring a regional training solution to Europe
Bell Helicopter and TRU Simulation + Training Inc., both Textron Inc. companies, today announced the official name of their training center in Valencia, Spain: “Bell Helicopter Training Academy (BTA) – Valencia, Powered by TRU Simulation + Training.”
BTA – Valencia is designed to serve the training needs of European customers, beginning with pilot training on the Bell 429. Training will be conducted through a full flight simulator (FFS) designed and produced by TRU Simulation + Training. The initial partnership announced in 2014 is nearing completion of its facility which is on-track to be operational by the end of the year.
“We are extremely pleased with the progress we are making with our training academy in Valencia. We continue to meet significant milestones, and the facility is progressing on-schedule,” said Ray Lamas, general manager, Global Customer Training at Bell Helicopter. “Major facility modifications are complete and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) licensed instructors have been hired.”
BTA-Valencia instructors have more than 5,000 hours of helicopter experience across multiple platforms and are currently undergoing instructor training at the Bell Training Academy in Fort Worth. The instructors additionally bring English, French, Spanish and Italian language capabilities to the facility.
“Valencia will further our capabilities for our customers in the European region.We will be offering Bell Helicopter factory initial flight training courses for the Bell 429, plus refresher training, with regularly scheduled classes starting in January 2017. We are additionally applying for permission to give the EASA initial type ratings under our Authorized Training Organization (ATO) certificate,” added Lamas.
David Smith, Vice President of TRU’s Training Centers, commented that, “We are pleased to provide Bell Training Academy’s customers with a world class device for a true-to-life training experience. TRU’s Odyssey H simulator offers the largest standard visual field of view available and is one of the many aspects that makes this device innovatively and uniquely designed for helicopter pilots.”
The Bell 429 FFS will be the first-ever certified Level D simulator with FAA and EASA/FAA requirements available for pilot training. TRU Simulation + Training will employ its new ODYSSEY™ H FFS design, developed especially for the unique training requirements and needs of the helicopter pilot. The ODYSSEY H utilizes TRU Simulation + Training’s state-of-the-art, 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. The ODYSSEY H also utilizes primary and secondary motion systems, and features a roll-on/roll-off capability, which allows the simulator to be reconfigurable for other helicopters.
The simulator flight compartment is an exact replica of the Bell 429 cockpit, from forward of the pilot’s anti-torque pedals to aft of the pilot seats. All controls, panels, instruments, avionics, equipment and furnishings will be identical in appearance, feel, location and operation to those of the actual aircraft. It will respond exactly like the aircraft in all flight conditions (day, night, VFR, IFR and NVG) as well as accurately simulate malfunctions and emergency procedures.
The simulator will be built at TRU Simulation + Training’s facility in Tampa, Fla., and is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year to coincide with the opening of the training center in Valencia.
Training has been an integral part of Bell Helicopter’s customer support and services program for more than 65 years. The company has trained more than 140,000 customers from every market segment in more than 135 countries throughout the world.
Bell Helicopter provides its customers with local support in every corner of the world and has the largest support network in the industry with more than 100 Authorized Customer Service Facilities in 34 countries. Ranked number one in customer support for 22 consecutive years by Professional Pilot magazine, Bell Helicopter is committed to having resources where customers operate to speed up delivery of service and support, and gives customers access to service professionals that are easy to reach, know the operating environment and understand their needs.