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Wed, Apr 26, 2006

Frasca To Supply EC135 FTD To Finnish Aviation Academy

Aero-News has learned the Finnish Aviation Academy located in Pori, Finland, has contracted to purchase a Eurocopter EC135 helicopter Flight Training Device (FTD) from Frasca International. The FTD will be dual qualified as JAA FTD 3 and JAA FNPT 3 MCC -- the highest levels of JAA qualification available for each class of device.

Frasca representatives say that level of qualification will allow considerable flight time credit on the new device -- reducing training time spent in actual helicopters.

The device will feature Frasca’s latest technology, including a TruVision visual system with an extensive, highly detailed database covering much of Finland, simulated EFIS and VEMD displays, flight test validation data, blade element modeling, automatic certification testing, exact cockpit replication, electric control loading, multi-channel sound simulation and NVG compatibility.

Frasca’s scalable TruVision visual system will be configured in a multi-channel configuration in order to provide a 200-degree horizontal by 60-degree vertical field of view. High-resolution projectors will be utilized in order to meet the demanding resolution, brightness and contrast requirements of JAA FTD 3.

The TruVision database will include a large geographically specific area of Finland. All airfields, buildings, roads, rivers, etc will be depicted, allowing complete free flight throughout the database. Cities will be modeled with correct roads and rivers and forests will be modeled with trees. All terrain will be three-dimensional with mission specific elements such as heliports, accident scenes, confined landing areas, ships at sea and more included. The database will also include special effects critical to helicopter flying such as a visible rotor disk, whiteout/brownout conditions, blowing smoke, blowing snow and power lines.

The aircrafts' VEMD and EFIS systems will be simulated using commercial flat panel displays driven by Frasca’s Computer Generated Instrumentation technology. Software will emulate all modes of operation of the cockpit displays.

The FTD will also be equipped with Frasca’s Auto-test Utility. This consists of software and sensors, which automatically fly the FTD though the required JAA maneuvers, record its performance and allow the FTD’s performance to be compared to flight test data from the aircraft. The Frasca Auto-test system features advanced capabilities such a manual fly-out, allowing inspectors the ability to halt automated tests at anytime and manually complete them. Auto-test also includes a real time graphical feedback on the visual display, which greatly simplifies performing control sweep tests.

In order to ensure the aerodynamic quality of the FTD, Blade Element Modeling techniques will be used to calculate the forces acting on the main and tail rotors. This technique analyzes the airflow over the rotor by dividing the rotor into small segments. Each segment is analyzed continuously as the blade moves through the air. The individual forces of each segment are then summed to determine the net forces that act in the simulation. Blade element modeling offers superior performance to disk models that treat the entire rotor disk as a single element. Disk models require extensive software to deal with special conditions such as retreating blade stall, settling with power and autorotation. These conditions are simulated without special consideration when using blade element modeling.

The FTD’s cockpit, controls and furnishings are being fabricated by Frasca to exactly match the aircraft, by using a salvaged aircraft as a pattern and data source. Cockpit controls will be connected to precision electric actuators in order to provide realistic forces as encountered in flight.

The EC135 helicopter is a twin turbine engine helicopter manufactured by Eurocopter in Germany. It is used extensively in EMS and law enforcement applications.



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