USAF orders SD flight trainers from Aircrew Training Systems
Environmental Tectonics Corporation's (ETC) division Aircrew Training Systems has been awarded a contract to supply spatial disorientation flight simulators to the US Air Force (USAF).
Awarded by the US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC), the competitively awarded contract covers delivery of four GYRO Integrated Physiological Trainer Generation II (IPT II) to fulfil the requirements of USAF's new SD training system programme.
The simulators are expected to support the SD training requirements in the Air Education and Training Command's (AETC) Student Undergraduate Pilot Training syllabus.
Specifically, the simulator will expose undergraduate pilots and aircrew to typical vestibular and visual illusions encountered in flight, helping them to recognise, confirm, prevent and recover from SD.
ATS vice-president Alper Kus said spatial disorientation is still a major contributor to aircraft mishaps.
"This system will help pilots to better handle the effects of SD and ultimately lead to a safer flight environment for all aircrew," Kus said.
GYRO IPT II is an advanced simulator designed for a wide range of training applications, including SD, situational awareness, night flight procedures and goggle use, partial panel and instrument failure procedures.
The simulator provides pilots with a hands-on, realistic, full motion, spatial disorientation flight training experience, by provinding them with a fully closed loop control of the simulation before, during and after the illusion, unlike simple disorientation demonstrators.
In addition to this, the simulator is offered with an optional medical monitoring and data acquisition system that allows usage by researchers while performing various quantitative studies on human physiology.
Installation of the simuators at Sheppard Air Force Base (AFB) in Texas, Laughlin AFB Texas, Columbus AFB, Mississippi, and Vance AFB Oklahoma, is expected to start in the spring of 2015.
Image: GYRO IPT II simulator provides pilots with a hands-on, realistic, full motion, spatial disorientation flight training experience. Photo: © 2014 Environmental Tectonics Corporation.