More and more flight training schools and clubs are turning to simulators approved for logging flight hours to bring costs down while still providing a realistic training environment.

The companies that provide simulators for flight training are required to complete a thorough evaluation process in order to obtain Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) or European Joint Aviation Authority (JAA) qualification of their training devices.

Ryan Aerospace is currently working on a number of military contracts to develop helicopter simulators and plans to pursue FAA and JAA certification for a similar civilian device in 2012. The company’s HELIMOD range of machines is modular, providing off-the-shelf, aircraft-specific settings which can be quickly reconfigured. The simulators offer capability in between standard off-the-shelf gaming devices and full mission simulators, says Chris Ryan, managing director for Ryan Aerospace.

Ryan Aerospace launched a dual control version of the HELIMOD branded as the HELICREW at ITEC 2012 in

London – Europe’s leading military training and simulation event of the year.

“We started off with the intent of developing simulators that can replace real aircraft time which ultimately saves the customer money. Since then, we have discovered that customers can also save money by replacing time in the higher cost, full mission simulators with lower cost devices such as the HELIMOD and the HELICREW,” said Ryan.

A great deal of research has gone into developing a very realistic feel in the cyclic or joystick control of a helicopter which comes standard with an electronic force trim function. Ryan says that his company chose Prepar3D® as the simulation framework because of the community of developers and third party add-on products, making it easier and more cost-effective to build high quality machines.

Ryan Aerospace has predominantly focused on the military market but sees opportunities in the commercial market, spurring its interest in civil certification for its products.