Unique in Europe: Simulation technology for first-class training

State-of-the-art training for tomorrow's pilots: in times of change, the security challenges of the German armed forces are shifting, and this is accompanied by increased demands on the training and further education of air force, army and naval helicopter pilots. The introduction of new modern helicopter systems and the use of simulators also recognized in civil aviation, has led to the establishment of the largest simulator centre in Europe located at the Bückeburg air base. In addition, the facility has become a service centre also for external users, such as the Federal Police and the helicopter associations of Spain, Sweden and Belgium, to name but a few.

CAE developed and supplied training systems for four different types of helicopter for the training centre: UH-1D, CH-53, EC-135 and NH90. A total of 16 cockpit units are available, 14 of which can be used at any one time for training purposes. Two NH90 full-mission flight simulators are operated by Helicopter Flight Training Services (HFTS) GmbH. a high-tech simulation technology company founded by an industrial consortium; CAE Elektronik GmbH is a member of the consortium along with Thales, Airbus Helicopters, and Rheinmetall Defence Electronics.

The technology

The infrastructure delivers an efficient and individually devised training environment for the respective pilot, enabling customized training. Each simulator has a modular structure: it consists of a dome with a visual system and the type-specific cockpit module. The motion system, equipped with 6 degrees of freedom, is the most modern of its kind and allows the simulation of all helicopter-typical movements.

Each simulator has two instructor consoles - one in the cockpit and one in the console room - where all training content can be called up at the push of a button. In addition to different flight and emergency situations, various weather scenarios, such as clouds, rain, snow, hail or storms, as well as thunderstorm cells and squalls can be retrieved.

The simulators ensure the complete range of training and further education of all pilots at the highest level in various areas. This includes basic training for helicopter pilots, as well as helicopter model training, instrument flight training and night low flight with image intensification goggles.

Unlike training on the actual helicopter, which is costly, training in a simulated environment allows pilots to repeatedly practice difficult or hazardous situations until the pilots have reliably mastered all prescribed routines and procedures.  This not only safeguards the original equipment, but also the environment and the local inhabitants from noise

Thanks to the highly qualified on-site support provided by CAE personnel Bückeburg has become an international helicopter training centre with a first-rate service reputation.