Called “X-Copter,” it is an eighth generation helicopter flight simulator that has been in development since 2006 and the core component of the nationally recognized “Flight Cost Reduction Training” program at Guidance Aviation. Engineered for the primary flight training market, the X-Copter simulates the Robinson R22 and R44 models.
X-Copter’s full-scale cockpit includes two high resolution touch screen monitors displaying instrumentation, realistic controls with tactile vibration cues, and an outside view delivered by three 60″ high definition screens providing incredibly crisp visuals.
The touch screen technology in the cockpit delivers advanced avionics simulations for Glass Cockpit applications with accurate representations of Garmin G500H, Garmin GNS 530/430 WAAS, and Aspen EFD1000H using SimAVIO2 from FTS. X-Copter is fully integrated to enable seamless integration with ForeFlight Mobile providing geo-referencing data via Wi-Fi.
“Guidance Aviation uses the X-Copter in its collegiate training programs to improve student pilot proficiency and accelerate the training progress. Our goal is to produce the best pilot possible using only the appropriate amount of aircraft flight time to achieve this objective. In doing so, the X-Copter saves the student time and money which is the core principle of our “Flight Cost Reduction Training Program” at Guidance Aviation. We have acquired fourteen advanced versions of the “X-Copter” helicopter flight simulators with an additional seven units on order for our training operations in Prescott, Ariz. and Baton Rouge, La.,” states Dave Roy, director of flight operations.
Brandon Frett, director of simulation training at X-Copter states, “After working extensively with the flight instructors and staff at Guidance Aviation, it became apparent that our work would benefit other pilot schools. X-Copter’s mission is to make better, safer pilots while simultaneously reducing flight cost for students.”
“I’ve attempted to hover in several other helicopter simulators, but found it was unrealistic due to lack of detail and insufficient visual cues. The X-Copter provides a level of detail I have never experienced before in a helicopter flight sim. It’s the most realistic helicopter flight sim I’ve ever flown. In fact, this aircraft can teach the fundamentals of autorotation,” states John O’Neil, designated pilot examiner – R22, R44, Schweizer, and Rotorway test pilot.
According to Chris Horton, CFI-I, Recipient of the 2014 HAI AgustaWestland Safety Excellence Award, “This device has been instrumental in Guidance Aviation’s SMS program by introducing emergency procedures, including autorotations in a laboratory environment.”
With R22 and R44 models already in production, X-Copter is developing an R66 model and has plans to create the popular Schweizer, Bell, and Eurocopter models.