Frasca International will be providing four additional Instrument Flight Trainer devices to the Air Force Academy in Colorado. The academy, which has operated eight of the devices since 2002, will use the devices to expand cadet aviation programs.
Frasca International, based in Urbana, IL, is one of the leading manufacturers of flight training devices. Their products are currently used by airlines, flight schools, universities, and military organizations. They offer a full range of devices from simple procedure trainers to full-motion flight simulators for all types of aircraft. With more than 2,200 devices in service worldwide, they have created some of the most advanced flight training devices.
The Air Force Academy intends to use the devices to bring combat situations into their flight training programs. In order to accomplish this, the Frasca trainers will be networked together to represent a group of aircraft in one simulation. The IFTs, which include full flight and navigation instrumentation and controls modeled after the T-6A training aircraft, also feature a Frasca visual system. The controls and instruments will all be function the same as in the aircraft.
The devices, only lacking full-motion simulation, are like being in the cockpit of the real aircraft. They feature a high end sound systems for ultra-realistic radio communications via integrated intercom equipment. Additionally, the visual system features the same scenery pilots would see outside a real cockpit, but their instructors can utilize the instructor stations to position these aircraft in a particular place or simply to keep tabs on the student’s performance.
Arguably, one of the best features of these types of devices is their ability to simulate only portions of flights. If a pilot is having a particularly difficult time with one aspect of flight, landing or stall recovery for example, it is really simple to jump to that portion of flight. This would allow a pilot to make 30 landings in an hour versus the 5 landings that could be accomplished in the real aircraft. Additionally, the safety factor of practicing in a simulator on the ground allows pilots inexperienced with certain advanced maneuvers, such as formation aerobatics, to receive training in a safe manner.