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Wed, Jan 08, 2003

ETC to Send RAAF Advanced Spatial Disorientation Trainer

ANN Sponsor Environmental Tectonics Corporation has announced receipt of a contract from the Royal Australian Air Force for its Advanced Spatial Disorientation Trainer, the GYRO Integrated Physiological Trainer, Generation II (GYRO-IPT-II).

Following delivery in June of this year, ETC will install and commission the revolutionary trainer in the RAAF Aeromedical Center. The GYRO-IPT-II will be used by the RAAF to train its high performance aircraft pilots and other aircrew to successfully deal with the problem of spatial disorientation.

The GYRO-IPT-II combines the latest available simulation technology, including real world out-the-window visual effects, realistic engine and flight sounds, detailed aircraft cockpit with closed-loop flight controls and high fidelity aeromodels for a single engine turboprop aircraft and a generic, turbine powered helicopter. The trainer incorporates ETC's patented technology in sub-threshold motion science. Conversion of the GYRO-IPT-II from a fixed-wing configuration to a helicopter configuration can be done in less than two minutes. Also, force feedback control loading is included to provide the pilot trainee with the most realistic flight experience short of actually flying an actual aircraft.

The high fidelity cockpit is mounted on an electromechanical motion system that exceeds the capability of conventional six-degrees-of-freedom motion systems, while quietly and economically delivering high reliability. This motion system, developed by ETC specifically to support spatial disorientation training, stimulates the pilot with simultaneous continuous and transient motions. Accordingly, the GYRO-IPT-II accurately reproduces the motion and visual cue combinations that cause pilots to mistake their aircraft position and motion with respect to the earth's surface. This type of pilot error is called "Spatial Disorientation (SD)."

Spatial Disorientation: a Persistently Lethal Problem; also Big Cause of Motion Sickness

Spatial Disorientation remains a largely unsolved problem for military air forces and commercial airlines worldwide, and results in many lost pilot lives and hundreds of millions of dollars in aircraft losses. Possible reasons for the lack of a reduction in mishaps caused by SD include increasingly complicated flight activities, increased night and IMC flight operations, night vision goggle flight operations, and more complex and capable aircraft. However, the primary reason may lie in the approaches traditionally taken to train aircrews to recognize and manage SD, since they typically place the pilot in a passive learning role. ETC is pleased to offer its latest technology, a fully interactive solution, to remedy this problem with the GYRO-IPT-II.

The GYRO-IPT-II features 14 fixed-wing training profiles and eight helicopter profiles that are flight-realistic and fully automated to ensure that each trainee receives the same high quality learning experience. These training profiles provide pilots with the means to both recognize and avoid, or successfully recover from, Spatial Disorientation. Additionally, ETC's proprietary Interactive Profile Editor allows instructors to create their own training profiles, thereby making the GYRO-IPT-II a trainer that can keep pace with changing training requirements throughout its life cycle.

In addition to Spatial Disorientation training, the GYRO-IPT-II can train pilots in high risk flight maneuvers, including aircraft upset recovery, spins, and stalls -- all in a safe, controlled learning environment. The Instrument and Navigation system uses real-world navigation data that is synchronized with its real-world visual database to provide the most effective training for instrument pilots. Finally, the GYRO-IPT-II can be equipped to support research activities, and also to conduct motion sickness desensitization.

"ETC is proud to provide the very latest in training and simulation technology to the RAAF. The GYRO-IPT-II's many capabilities and realism certainly will help provide RAAF pilots with the tools for effective and safe flight operations," said Mr. William F. Mitchell, President, ETC.



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