Landing on water made easier by Canadian companies
The National Research Council of Canada's (NRC) flight research and testing expertise supported the development of the world's first Twin Otter Series 400 Level D full-flight simulator (FFS). A joint project with Pacific Sky Aviation Inc., Viking Air Ltd., and TRU Simulations + Training, the FFS will be part of Pacific Sky's new Twin Otter Training and Simulation Centre located adjacent to Viking Air Ltd.'s corporate headquarters in Sidney, British Columbia, Canada. The FFS will allow Twin Otter seaplane pilots to experience simulated flight under a variety of wind and sea conditions.
The National Research Council developed the land and seaplane flight test program, and designed and installed the sensor systems necessary for flight data gathering for the Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft. Working with Pacific Sky Aviation and TRU Simulation + Training, NRC ensured that data met the requirements necessary to simulate the aircraft behaviour on land and in the water. NRC test pilots and Pacific Sky Aviation line pilots flew a seaplane equipped with NRC systems in a range of operational environments, gathering data for takeoffs, landings and docking operations. The collected flight data has now been submitted to simulator manufacturer TRU Simulation + Training, which will assist in building and preparing the new Series 400 Twin Otter FFS for Level D qualification by Transport Canada, the highest regulatory standard currently available.
"We are very pleased to be working on this project as it brings together multi-disciplinary expertise from across our organization, combining flight testing and ocean engineering to provide Pacific Sky Aviation with the best quality data to support the Twin Otter land and seaplane simulator development," said Stephen Parkinson, Director of the Flight Research Laboratory at the National Research Council of Canada.
"NRC has trained, highly-skilled test pilots, using some of the most cutting-edge simulators. NRC brings extensive experience to the table, providing the know-how and instrumentation needed to model a variety of water conditions and sea states," said Michael Coughlin, CEO at Pacific Sky Aviation.
Once in place, the simulator will be an important addition to Pacific Sky Aviation's new Twin Otter simulation and training facility. The FFS will enhance safety management for Twin Otter crews by offering an advanced level of training experience, detailed real-life simulation scenarios, as well as dynamic surface modeling for seaplane training operations.