Today the Ministry of Defense officially opened the first Belgian flight simulator for the Airbus A400 military transport aircraft. The simulator, which is located on Millsbrook Military Domain, is only ninth in the world. Defense Minister Ludivine Dedonder (PS) was allowed to conduct test simulations.
Official plans to purchase the simulator date back to the end of 2018. Construction of the device could begin in 2021, and it will be installed on site in Millsbrook from October 2022. After an extensive testing period, the simulator has been used by defense pilots since January this year.
closer to reality
“This simulation is as close as we can get to reality,” says Major Josse Van Hellemont. “In terms of visuals and movement, we can simulate situations down to the smallest detail. The absolute added value for me is safety: you can’t simulate an engine failure or a fire on a real plane. You can do that in the simulator. And if something goes wrong with the exercise, come back for Three minutes and repeat again.
Usually to Spain or England
Until now, pilots had to go to Spain or England to work with the flight simulator. Training with a real A400 quickly costs several thousand euros per hour. Thanks to the new simulator, the number of training hours with the real transport aircraft can be limited, and the Belgian pilots do not have to travel farther than Millsbruck to practice. In addition to the cost savings, the investment is therefore also a gain in terms of sustainability, according to the Ministry of Defense.
A Belgian A400 was recently deployed to provide humanitarian aid for the earthquake in Turkey. “It shows that we need these transport planes as a country,” says Minister Dedonder. So it is important that we have our own capabilities in terms of training and education. In addition, when the A400s are on a mission, other pilots can easily follow the training.”
The cost of the simulator, to which Luxembourg also contributed, is €93 million. The aircraft is located at the new BeLux National Training Center, which also opened Monday.
See also. Belgium will train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16s
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