SOFEX 2016

Training with Swiss precision [SOFEX16D3]

12 May 2016

Switzerland’s Pilatus Aircraft has gained considerable success in the region with its PC-21 turboprop trainer, which is now in service in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as with Singapore and Switzerland. While the aircraft itself represents a major enhancement in training capabilities, allowing students to progress from first flight to frontline equipment in one aircraft type, the Pilatus training system also includes a comprehensive ground-based training system that not only reduces the need for flying hours, but also maximises the benefits of the time that the aircraft is in the air.

One element of that package, the mission planning and debrief system, is being demonstrated to guests in the Pilatus chalet (CS2). Missions can be planned, with data being transferred to the aircraft by card. During the sortie, data is recorded 30 times a second from up to 1,000 channels.

As well as aircraft and navigation information, the system also records virtual functions such as air-to-air radar and missile shoots.

The insertion of such functions is aided by datalinks that allow the system to plot the relative positions of several different aircraft while in the air. To the student in the cockpit, the screens function exactly as they would if a real radar or weapons were installed.

After the mission, the data is downloaded into the mission planning and debrief system to allow a replay of the entire sortie.

Three large screens can be used to display the head-up display imagery and cockpit screen data, while a central screen plays back the training sortie as it happened with three-dimensional aircraft overlaid on 3D terrain. Virtual missile shots can be illustrated.

(275 words)