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Soon, 240-crore helicopter academy in Bangalore

Last updated on: June 03, 2009 15:52 IST

The Rs 240-crore worth Helicopter Academy to Train by Simulation of Flying (HATSOFF) will become a reality in Bangalore by 2010.

HATSOFF, a joint venture by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and CAE will have a full-mission simulator featuring CAE's revolutionary roll-on/roll-off cockpit design, which enables cockpits representing various helicopter types to be used in the simulator.

The foundation stone for this academy was laid in Bangalore two days ago and is expected to be completely operational by 2010. Once operational fully, HATSOFF will be able to train up to 400 helicopter pilots each year. The annual revenue expected would be Rs 80 crore annually.

Sanjeev Sahi, director (HR), HAL, says that the academy is the first of its kind and HATSOFF would offer level-D simulator training to helicopter pilots and maintainers. By partnering with CAE, we are making sure the simulation technology is at the leading edge in order to play a key role in training and producing skilled and mission-ready helicopter crews he also says.

According to Marc Parent, CAE's Chief Operating Officer HATSOFF will serve a critical need for enhancing safety and mission readiness by offering high-quality simulation-based helicopter training programs to India and the surrounding region.

Initially HATSOFF will offer comprehensive training to civil and military customers operating four helicopter types- the Indian Army/Air Force variant of the HAL-built Dhruv, the civil variant of the Dhruv, the Bell 412 and the Eurocopter Dauphin. Multimedia classrooms, computer based training, brief and debrief facilities and a training management information system will also feature in this academy.

HATSOFF will feature a common motion system, vibration platform, and visual display system, and four separate cockpit modules that can be used in the full-mission simulator. When the full mission simulator is not in use, then it would be used as a fixed based flight training device.

Sahi says that HAL is committed to enhancing the safety of helicopter operators in the country and also to provide complete service offering for military and civil clients of the Dhruv helicopter.

The HATSOFF centre will be fully equipped with a CAE built full mission simulator featuring CAE's roll-on/ roll-off cockpit design, which enables cockpits representing various helicopter types to be used in the simulator.

The CAE-built full-mission simulator for HATSOFF will feature a common motion system, vibration platform and visual display system, besides four separate cockpit modules that can be used in the full-mission simulator.

Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru