OAKEY, Australia, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- Boeing Defense Australia is leasing a Helimod helicopter simulator from Ryan Aerospace to train Australian army pilots to fly Bell 206B-1 Kiowa helicopters.
Delivery of the simulator from the Texas company is expected before the end of the year.
"Under our Army Aviation Training and Training Support contract, Boeing has traditionally taught students to fly Kiowas using classroom-based instruction and real flight hours," said Mark Brownsey, senior manager of AATTS for Boeing Defense Australia.
"Over the next year, we'll assess the effectiveness of transferring some of this curriculum to the synthetic environment, which has the potential to reduce costly flight hours and improve safety and training outcomes for the Australian army."
Helimod provides significant advances in flight and helicopter simulation by offering affordable, accurate simulation for a wide range of training applications. The simulator is reconfigurable for all types of helicopters through the attachment of different modules.
The Australian army primarily uses the Kiowa as a lead-in trainer to the Boeing CH-47D Chinook, Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter and Multi-Role Helicopter 90.
"The benefit of introducing students to helicopter simulator technology at an earlier stage of their rotary wing training is that we improve their overall readiness for learning to fly more advanced helicopters and, in turn, provide the Australian army with pilots who are more technically proficient, safer and mission-ready," Brownsey said.
Boeing said will continue to deliver the AATTS until the Australian Defense Force's Air 9000 Phase 7-Helicopter Aircrew Training System project is introduced. Boeing is a strong contender for HATS, which will modernize and combine rotary wing training for the Australian army and navy.