Cybicom Atlas Defence (CAD) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have integrated a fire-fighting training module into their Helicopter Flight Trainer (HFT) simulator, which allows for cost-effective training for helicopter pilots with respect to fire-fighting skills and procedures.
The integration of the fire-fighting module was funded by the Aerospace Industry Support Initiative (AISI) of the Department of Trade and Industry.
According to CAD, the project included a review of internet-based material on fire-fighting using helicopters, as well as a literature review into the current state of underslung load modelling. A workshop was held with Working on Fire during which it was confirmed that no simulation-based aerial fire-fighting training facilities exist in South Africa.
CAD said an initial training exercise was designed around the Camp Pendleton CBD simulation, allowing for fires near the airport involving buildings and vegetation.
The simulator utilises Presagis Vega Prime visualisation software to generate visual cues for fire and smoke effects on the ground and in the air. This provides high levels of realism using dynamic shadows, high-resolution detail, sophisticated atmospheric models, 3D clouds, natural vegetation, and realistic night scenes. Presagis HeliSIM flight simulation software is used to provide hi-fidelity helicopter flight dynamics.
At the core of HeliSIM’s performance lies a real-time flexible blades and gearbox physics simulation system. HeliSIM allows for accurate simulation of engine performance, blade tilt, atmospheric conditions, environmental conditions, and ground interactions.
The CSIR has updated the existing HeliSIM custom model for the Bell 206 to incorporate the requirements for under-slung load modelling.
CAD’s Helicopter Flight Trainer (HFT) provides a safe, cost effective solution to train helicopter pilots in a realistic and controlled environment. Cybicom (together with the CSIR) was primarily responsible for the development of the simulation system using PRESAGIS modelling and simulation software and VAPS XT interactive graphical interfaces.
CAD and the CSIR have also developed a helicopter simulator primarily to help the South African Navy with helicopter flight deck training. The helicopter flight deck trainer is designed to provide training for flight deck controllers and marine helicopter pilots.
The flight deck trainer is a flexible, modular system that can be supplied in various levels, from a simple, portable, desktop trainer, to a multichannel, high-performance tracking system that can accommodate multiple trainees and provide a 360-degree, high fidelity simulation with full-environment simulation.
The distributed simulation environment integrates three man-in-the-loop simulator stations, namely; a helicopter flight simulator with pilot interface that models the helicopter, the airflow over the deck and the ship interaction dynamics complete with an image-generation system that displays the external world view to the pilot; a ship bridge simulator that includes sea-state, rain, and cloud-cover models with a bridge interface for the captain; as well as a deck landing officer station.
CAD provides other simulation tools, including a submarine periscope simulator.