CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa 8 Oct. 2009. Rockwell Collins delivered its first Virtual Avionics Procedure Trainer (VAPT) to the U.S. Air Force, who will use the device to train Iraqi coalition force pilots flying King Air aircraft for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions.
"VAPT will enable Iraqi pilots to train on the latest avionics equipment in a classroom environment to better prepare them for their flight missions," said Ken Schreder, vice president and general manager of Simulation & Training Solutions for Rockwell Collins. "The VAPT is expected to reduce aircraft training time, and better prepare pilots for simulator training, which will lower overall training costs and increase operational safety."
A team of Air Force and Navy Combat Air Advisors is providing pilot and mission system operator training to the Iraqi air force on newly acquired King ISR aircraft. A challenge the advisors are facing is converting the Iraqi pilots' previous knowledge of the older MiG jet technology to the state-of-the-art avionics systems used on the King Air.
"During its first week of operation, the VAPT has been embraced by the pilots of Iraqi Air Force King Air Squadron 87," said Captain Scott Seeberger, U.S. Navy - Commander, King Air 350 Military Training Team. "The squadron's senior qualified pilots are already using the device to teach those junior to them on the complex operation of the aircraft flight management and autoflight system."
Seeberger added, "Rockwell Collins did an outstanding job providing detailed instruction on the VAPT operation to U.S. Combat Air Advisors and Iraqi King Air pilots."
The system is based on Rockwell Collins' advanced CORETM simulation architecture and features a modular, expandable and configurable combination of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technology, PC-based hardware and Rockwell Collins re-hosted avionics software. This unique combination simplifies future upgrades, without expensive hardware modifications, and allows the VAPT to support multiple aircraft platforms or software configurations.
The VAPT is a highly cost-effective solution that provides flight crews with training and mission preparation using new avionics equipment.