Eagle Air, a flight school located at Wonderboom Airport unveiled their new simulator at a function held in their hangar on Thursday 25 October.
The Simulator sports a 270° field of vision, this allows students to fly circuits and have visual on the runway at all times even when on downwind just before turning base. The simulator is installed in an air-conditioned room purpose built room, with a large cylindrical screen on which the scenery is projected at a resolution of 1920 x 1080, from three HD overhead projectors. With the flight deck placed in the centre of the screen in a fully enclosed cockpit.
Cylindrical Screen with Central Cockpit
The interior of the cockpit has three seats one for the pilot, one for the co-pilot and an instructors station behind the pilots. Eagle Air opted for dual analogue instruments rather than a digital “glass” cockpit, the cockpit is based on a Piper layout very similar to the Piper Seneca.
Eagle Air has chosen four flight models:
Piper PA34-220T Seneca III Piston Twin
Piper PA28R Cherokee Arrow for advanced single piston training
Piper PA28 Warrior basic single piston training
Generic Turboprop based on the Cessna C425 Conquest
The Simulator is configured for Basic FNTP II (Flight Navigational Procedural Trainer) and MCC (Multi Crew Coordination) training, with full co-pilot instruments, King KAP2000 simulated autopilot and a Garmin 430 GPS.
I was fortunate enough to take it for a short “flight” the realism is amazing even when the sim is set to night mode it looks almost lifelike, cars can be seen traveling along the roads. The graphics used are from X-Plane 11 which arguable the best simulator graphics available currently.
The rudders did seem a bit sensitive on the ground, that may well be a product of my limited flying skill, other than that it is really a pleasure to fly but at a cost of approximately R4 Million I won’t be installing one in garage just yet.
The Simulator was manufactured and installed by SimuFlight based at Gran Central Airport in Midrand South Africa. SimuFlight was launched in 2003 and is now an Internationally Approved Training Organization.
After a short address by Percy Rudman, welcoming everyone and thanking the shareholders of Eagle Air for taking this major step it was time to officially open the new Simulator, Francois Naude’, a SAA Training Captain on Boeing 737-800 cut the ribbon and declared the Simulator open. Everyone present raised a glass to toast the opening.
Alfredo Schultz, co-owner of SimuFlight briefly explained the capabilities of the simulator and also explained the training that can be offered on this machine.
Athough the SACAA have approved and certified the simulator training can only commence once the physical paperwork is onsite, this should all be finalised in the next week or two.