L-3 Communications recently announced that two OH-58D Operational Flight Trainers (OFTs) it delivered to the US Army’s Flight School XXI program have entered service. Use of these simulators marks the first time ever that Kiowa Warrior aircrews have been able to hone their skills on a full motion, high fidelity flight trainer.

“The Flight School XXI program has been designed from the outset to improve the readiness of operational units by developing US Army aviators that are highly skilled in their go-to-war aircraft,” said Lenny Genna, vice president of Army Programs at L-3 Link Simulation and Training. “The ability for OH-58D aircrews to now be able to conduct individual or networked training within modern operational flight trainers supports this Flight School XXI objective.”

Each OH-58D OFT high fidelity cockpit moves on a six degree-of-freedom electric motion system. A supplemental secondary motion system simulates vibration associated with helicopter flight. Kiowa Warrior aircrews view out-the-window computer generated imagery, produced by a personal computer-based image generation system, through both wide field-of-view and chin window displays.

High fidelity software accurately simulates the OH-58D’s engine, electrical, hydraulic, navigation and communication systems, in addition to weapons, sensors and aircraft survivability equipment. A physics-blade element model, electrically-driven servo flight control system and sticks and grips that replicate OH-58D hardware combine to provide high fidelity aircrew training under either normal or emergency conditions.

Under subcontract to Computer Sciences Corporation, Flight School XXI’s prime contractor, L-3 has delivered 29 training devices. This includes operational flight trainers, instrument flight trainers and reconfigurable collective training devices that are supporting instruction on the OH-58D, AH-64D Longbow, UH-60A/L Black Hawk and CH-47D Chinook platforms.

Flight School XXI, managed by the US Army’s Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation, is based in and around the US Army Aviation Center at Fort Rucker, Flight School XXI produces aircrews that are ready to enter combat in their assigned aircraft shortly after graduation.