Cirrus Full Motion Simulator

I was talking to the dispatcher at my flight school where I rent, and he told me that in the next few days they will be getting a full motion cirrus simulator. He mentioned that it’s so realistic that it is authorized for checkrides and the like. I’m wondering if anyone has ever heard of this simulator or knows where I can find some information about it.

Thanks,
Blaine Iler

In reply to:


I was talking to the dispatcher at my flight school where I rent, and he told me that in the next few days they will be getting a full motion cirrus simulator. He mentioned that it’s so realistic that it is authorized for checkrides and the like. I’m wondering if anyone has ever heard of this simulator or knows where I can find some information about it.
Thanks,
Blaine Iler


Blaine,
He’s referring to a SimTrain simulator - their website is http://www.simtrain.net>here.here.
You can also use the Search function to find simtrain for other posts on the subject.

  • Mike.

In reply to:


He mentioned that it’s so realistic that it is authorized for checkrides and the like.


I tend to doubt that FAA checkrides will be permitted in the sim instead of the actual aircraft. I’m sure it’s a terrific sim and will be a terrific training tool, but I’d be amazed to learn that the sim meets the FAA regulations for even a level B sim, much less a level D sim, which is the highest level and most faithful to the aircraft. The last level D sim I flew cost about $25 million, granted, that was for the newest in Bizjet technology, but it does indicate the cost and complexity of making a sim faithful to the real world.

The simtrain website doesn’t have any info regarding which FAA regs the sims meet.

I though the information below was interesting.

To obtain FAA approval of the simulator for a specific level, the following must be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Administrator:

  1. Documented proof of compliance with the appropriate simulator, visual system, and additional training requirements of this appendix for the level for which approval is requested.

  2. An evaluation of the simulator to ensure that its ground, flight, and landing performance matches the type of airplane simulated.

  3. An evaluation of the appropriate simulator and visual system requirements of the level for which approval is requested.

I’d be amazed if the sim met the following requirements, but I’d love to be proven wrong, since if it did, it would be an amazing tool. It probably already is, but is much more on the Simcom level, although most Simcom sims for small aircraft have no motion.

LEVEL B

Checking Permitted

  1. Recency of experience (§121.439).

  2. Night takeoffs and landings (part 121, appendix E).

  3. Landings in a proficiency check without the landing on the line requirements (§121.441).

Simulator Requirements

  1. Aerodynamic programing to include:

a. Ground effect – for example, roundout, flare, and touchdown. This requires data on lift, drag, and pitching moment in ground effect.

b. Ground reaction – Reaction of the airplane upon contact with the runway during landing to include strut deflections, tire friction, and side forces.

c. Ground handling characteristics – steering inputs to include crosswind, braking, thrust reversing, deceleration, and turning radius.

  1. Minimum of 3-axis freedom of motion systems.

  2. Level B landing maneuver test guide to verify simulator data with actual airplane flight test data, and provide simulator performance tests for Level B initial approval.

  3. Multichannel recorders capable of recording Level B performance tests.

Visual Requirements

  1. Visual system compatibility with aerodynamic programing.

  2. Visual system response time from pilot control input to visual system output shall not exceed 300 milliseconds more than the movement of the airplane to a similar input. Visual system response time is defined as the completion of the visual display scan of the first video field containing different information resulting from an abrupt control input.

  3. A means of recording the visual response time for comparison with airplane data.

  4. Visual cues to assess sink rate and depth perception during landings.

  5. Visual scene to instrument correlation to preclude perceptible lags.

LEVEL C

Training and Checking Permitted

  1. For all pilots, transition training between airplanes in the same group, and for a pilot in command the certification check required by §61.153(g) this chapter.

  2. Upgrade to pilot-in-command training and the certification check when the pilot –

a. Has previously qualified as second in command in the equipment to which the pilot is upgrading;

b. Has at least 500 hours of actual flight time while serving as second in command in an airplane of the same group; and

c. Is currently serving as second in command in an airplane in this same group.

  1. Initial pilot-in-command training and the certification check when the pilot –

a. Is currently serving as second in command in an airplane of the same group;

b. Has a minimum of 2,500 flight hours as second in command in an airplane of the same group; and

c. Has served as second in command on at least two airplanes of the same group.

  1. For all second-in command pilot applicants who meet the aeronautical experience requirements of §61.159 of this chapter in the airplane, the initial and upgrade training and checking required by this part, and the certification check requirements of §61.153 of this chapter.

Simulator Requirements

  1. Representative crosswind and three-dimensional windshear dynamics based on airplane related data.

  2. Representative stopping and directional control forces for at least the following runway conditions based on airplane related data:

a. Dry.

b. Wet.

c. Icy.

d. Patchy wet.

e. Patchy icy.

f. Wet on rubber residue in touchdown zone.

  1. Representative brake and tire failure dynamics (including antiskid) and decreased brake efficiency due to high brake temperatures based on airplane related data.

  2. A motion system which provides motion cues equal to or better than those provided by a six-axis freedom of motion system.

  3. Operational principal navigation systems, including electronic flight instrument systems, INS, and OMEGA, if applicable.

  4. Means for quickly and effectively testing simulator programing and hardware.

  5. Expanded simulator computer capacity, accuracy, resolution, and dynamic response to meet Level C demands. Resolution equivalent to that of at least a 32-bit word length computer is required for critical aerodynamic programs.

  6. Timely permanent update of simulator hardware and programing subsequent to airplane modification.

  7. Sound of precipitation and significant airplane noises perceptible to the pilot during normal operations and the sound of a crash when the simulator is landed in excess of landing gear limitations.

  8. Aircraft control feel dynamics shall duplicate the airplane simulated. This shall be determined by comparing a recording of the control feel dynamics of the simulator to airplane measurements in the takeoff, cruise, and landing configuration.

  9. Relative responses of the motion system, visual system, and cockpit instruments shall be coupled closely to provide integrated sensory cues. These systems shall respond to abrupt pitch, roll, and yaw inputs at the pilot’s position within 150 milliseconds of the time, but not before the time, when the airplane would respond under the same conditions. Visual scene changes from steady state disturbance shall not occur before the resultant motion onset but within the system dynamic response tolerance of 150 milliseconds. The test to determine compliance with these requirements shall include simultaneously recording the analog output from the pilot’s control column and rudders, the output from an accelerometer attached to the motion system platform located at an acceptable location near the pilots’ seats, the output signal to the visual system display (including visual system analog delays), and the output signal to the pilot’s attitude indicator or an equivalent test approved by the Administrator. The test results in a comparison of a recording of the simulator’s response to actual airplane response data in the takeoff, cruise, and landing configuration.

Visual Requirements

  1. Dusk and night visual scenes with at least three specific airport representations, including a capability of at least 10 levels of occulting, general terrain characteristics, and significant landmarks.

  2. Radio navigation aids properly oriented to the airport runway layout.

  3. Test procedures to quickly confirm visual system color, RVR, focus, intensity, level horizon, and attitude as compared to the simulator attitude indicator.

  4. For the approach and landing phase of flight, at and below an altitude of 2,000 feet height above the airport (HAA) and within a radius of 10 miles from the airport, weather representations including the following:

a. Variable cloud density.

b. Partial obscuration of ground scenes; that is, the effect of a scattered to broken cloud deck.

c. Gradual break out.

d. Patchy fog.

e. The effect of fog on airport lighting.

f. Category II and III weather conditions.

  1. Continuous minimum visual field of view of 75° horizontal and 30° vertical per pilot seat. Visual gaps shall occur only as they would in the airplane simulated or as required by visual system hardware. Both pilot seat visual systems shall be able to be operated simultaneously.

  2. Capability to present ground and air hazards such as another airplane crossing the active runway or converging airborne traffic.

LEVEL D

Training and Checking Permitted

Except for the requirements listed in the next sentence, all pilot flight training and checking required by this part and the certification check requirements of §61.153(g) of this chapter. The line check required by §121.440 of this part, the static airplane requirements of appendix E of this part, and the operating experience requirements of §121.434 of this part must still be performed in the airplane.

Simulator Requirements

  1. Characteristic buffet motions that result from operation of the airplane (for example, high-speed buffet, extended landing gear, flaps, nose-wheel scuffing, stall) which can be sensed at the flight deck. The simulator must be programed and instrumented in such a manner that the characteristic buffet modes can be measured and compared to airplane data. Airplane data are also required to define flight deck motions when the airplane is subjected to atmospheric disturbances such as rough air and cobblestone turbulence. General purpose disturbance models that approximate demonstrable flight test data are acceptable.

  2. Aerodynamic modeling for aircraft for which an original type certificate is issued after June 1, 1980, including low-altitude, level-flight ground effect, mach effect at high altitude, effects of airframe icing, normal and reverse dynamic thrust effect on control surfaces, aero-elastic representations, and representations of nonlinearities due to side slip based on airplane flight test data provided by the manufacturer.

  3. Realistic amplitude and frequency of cockpit noises and sounds, including precipitation static and engine and airframe sounds. The sounds shall be coordinated with the weather representations required in visual requirement No. 3.

  4. Self-testing for simulator hardware and programing to determine compliance with Level B, C, and D simulator requirements.

  5. Diagnostic analysis printout of simulator malfunctions sufficient to determine MEL compliance. These printouts shall be retained by the operator between recurring FAA simulator evaluations as part of the daily discrepancy log required under §121.407(a)(5).

Visual Requirements

  1. Daylight, dusk, and night visual scenes with sufficient scene content to recognize a specific airport, the terrain, and major landmarks around that airport and to successfully accomplish a visual landing. The daylight visual scene must be part of a total daylight cockpit environment which at least represents the amount of light in the cockpit on an overcast day. For the purpose of this rule, daylight visual system is defined as a visual system capable of producing, as a minimum, full color presentations, scene content comparable in detail to that produced by 4,000 edges or 1,000 surfaces for daylight and 4,000 light points for night and dusk scenes, 6-foot lamberts of light at the pilot’s eye (highlight brightness), 3-arc minutes resolution for the field of view at the pilot’s eye, and a display which is free of apparent quantization and other distracting visual effects while the simulator is in motion. The simulation of cockpit ambient lighting shall be dynamically consistent with the visual scene displayed. For daylight scenes, such ambient lighting shall neither “washout” the displayed visual scene nor fall below 5-foot lamberts of light as reflected from an approach plate at knee height at the pilot’s station and/or 2-foot lamberts of light as reflected from the pilot’s face.

  2. Visual scenes portraying representative physical relationships which are known to cause landing illusions in some pilots, including short runway, landing over water, runway gradient, visual topographic features, and rising terrain.

  3. Special weather representations which include the sound, visual, and motion effects of entering light, medium, and heavy precipitation near a thunderstorm on takeoff, approach, and landings at and below an altitude of 2,000 feet HAA and within a radius of 10 miles from the airport.

  4. Level C visual requirements in daylight as well as dusk and night representations.

  5. Wet and, if appropriate for the operator, snow-covered runway representations, including runway lighting effects.

  6. Realistic color and directionality of airport lighting.

  7. Weather radar presentations in aircraft where radar information is presented on the pilot’s navigation instruments. (Secs. 313, 601, 603, 604, Federal Aviation Act of 1958, as amended (49 U.S.C. 1354, 1421, 1423, 1424); sec. 6©, Department of Transportation Act (49 U.S.C. 1655©))

[Doc. No. 19758, 45 FR 44183, June 30, 1980; 45 FR 48599, July 31, 1980, as amended by Amdt. 121-258, 61 FR 30732, June 17, 1996; 61 FR 39859, July 31, 1996; Amdt. 121-267, 62 FR 68137, Dec. 30, 1997]

Mike,

Thanks for the link. Even though the dispatcher couldn’t remember the name of the sim or any details as to who made it, this seems to be exactly what he was talking about. The “TBA” location in the NJ/NY/CT region must be the one that they’re getting. It looks awesome!

Thanks,
Blaine

Because of the refinement required and the certification process I suspect that, at least initially, you are correct. However, it does appear that the simulator will be technically capable of meeting the certification standards in terms of basic motion capability. Also, the cockpit is a major step up from what is usually seen in flight schools. This will again set a new standard in general aviation and add yet one more reason to select a CIrrus over the competition. I can’t wait to get beaten up in the simulator. I think it will make me a much better pilot.

Jeff:

The SimTrain simulators are being built by Fidelity Flight Simulation and will be Level 3 flight simulation devices. You will not be able to do a checkride in them but you will be able to do most of an IPC and BFR in them as well as all of the simulator time approved in the FAR’s for Private, Instrument and Commercial tickets.

They should be available for service in January.

Jim

In reply to:


I can’t wait to get beaten up in the simulator. I think it will make me a much better pilot.


Agreed. It’ll be a terrific training tool for any Cirrus pilot.

Jeff

In reply to:


Because of the refinement required and the certification process I suspect that, at least initially, you are correct. However, it does appear that the simulator will be technically capable of meeting the certification standards in terms of basic motion capability. Also, the cockpit is a major step up from what is usually seen in flight schools. This will again set a new standard in general aviation and add yet one more reason to select a CIrrus over the competition. I can’t wait to get beaten up in the simulator. I think it will make me a much better pilot.


Any idea when it goes online, I can’t wait to take my beating. I get one every Friday from an old guy that is like flying with Yoda, sound about right Salil??? Most fun I have every week

Sounds like it’ll be an awesome training device. I’ll definitely be interested in getting some time in it.

Jeff

In reply to:


Jeff:
The SimTrain simulators are being built by Fidelity Flight Simulation and will be Level 3 flight simulation devices. You will not be able to do a checkride in them but you will be able to do most of an IPC and BFR in them as well as all of the simulator time approved in the FAR’s for Private, Instrument and Commercial tickets.
They should be available for service in January.
Jim


Any word on availability of the simulator?

In reply to:


Any word on availability of the simulator?


I recently talked with the manager at the flight school, and he said that it should be available within the next few weeks or so. They’re housing it at hangar 9 at Signature at Morristown (MMU). I believe they are just waiting to have a power supply installed and then they will have it up and running. It was about a week and a half ago that I talked to him so perhaps it’s already in or will be in soon.

Jim,

We have taken delivery of the first simulator in Atlanta. It is near McCollum Field (RYY). We are in the process of finishing the space, training instructors and designing the courses. Hopefully we will be accepting paying customers in about 4 weeks.

We are also working with Certified Flyers II and Philip Ferrante in Morristown, NJ (MMU) to manage the northeast simulator. MMU is only about a 20 minute drive from Newark. We haven’t finalized everything yet, but I think it’s fair to say that we don’t have any major obstacles in our way. The simulator at Signature at MMU should also be ready in about 3-4 weeks.

We haven’t finalized placement of the 3rd simulator but it will probably be in Las Vegas.

You can view images of the simulator in our unfinished space in Atlanta (actually Kennesaw) here.

Jim
simTrain, LLC

Looks great! I hope you will announce on this site when you are ready to accept paying customers. I will be one of them for sure.

In reply to:


Jim,
We have taken delivery of the first simulator in Atlanta. It is near McCollum Field (RYY). We are in the process of finishing the space, training instructors and designing the courses. Hopefully we will be accepting paying customers in about 4 weeks.
We are also working with Certified Flyers II and Philip Ferrante in Morristown, NJ (MMU) to manage the northeast simulator. MMU is only about a 20 minute drive from Newark. We haven’t finalized everything yet, but I think it’s fair to say that we don’t have any major obstacles in our way. The simulator at Signature at MMU should also be ready in about 3-4 weeks.
We haven’t finalized placement of the 3rd simulator but it will probably be in Las Vegas.
You can view images of the simulator in our unfinished space in Atlanta (actually Kennesaw) here.
Jim
simTrain, LLC


Jim - That web site says your location is at Dekalb-Peachtree. Are there two locations in the Atlanta area?

Jim,

The site was updated about a month ago. We are now going to be located about 2 blocks from RYY. You might need to clear the cache on your browser.

Thanks for the inquiry.

Jim

In reply to:


Jim,
The site was updated about a month ago. We are now going to be located about 2 blocks from RYY. You might need to clear the cache on your browser.
Thanks for the inquiry.
Jim


Jim - If I click on the link in your post I go to a page that says the Sim is at PDK. Have you tried clicking on it?

In reply to:


Jim,
The site was updated about a month ago. We are now going to be located about 2 blocks from RYY. You might need to clear the cache on your browser.
Thanks for the inquiry.
Jim


Jim - Whomever “updated” your site didn’t do a very complete job. There is still full address info on the PDK site and only “RYY” on the “locations” page. I am interested in your new address whenever you get it because I have a daughter in Marrietta and often park at RYY. It would be a reason to get out of the house when I am visiting there.

In reply to:


Jim - If I click on the link in your post I go to a page that says the Sim is at PDK. Have you tried clicking on it?


The home-page still says “The first of the Fidelity Cirrus simulators will be placed at LIFT Flight Training at Peachtree DeKalb Airport (PDK) in Atlanta,” but the “Locations” page says RYY. [:)]

Jim,

Sorry for the confusion. The person that updated my webpage would be me! Thanks to Andy for finding my boneheaded mistake.

Our address near RYY will be 2121 Barrett Park, Suite 100. It is about 2 blocks from Preferred Jet Center on the South side of the field. I’ll be sure to let you know when we get opened.

Jim

In reply to:


Sorry for the confusion. The person that updated my webpage would be me! Thanks to Andy for finding my boneheaded mistake.


No problem, Jim. Glad to know that my mindless COPA surfing at 2:00 AM could be of help to someone. [:)]