Support: September 9, 2005


European aircraft and avionics manufacturer Aermacchi has created yet another embedded training simulation system. This is a software package that uses the onboard electronics of an aircraft to allow the pilots to practice flying operations. Aircraft use these simulation systems while parked on the ground. The multi-function and heads-up displays, and controls, are used by the pilot to fly the aircraft.  This includes weapons and electronic warfare gear. The simulation software also measures pilot response to various situations, providing commanders with accurate data on pilot skills. This type of simulator allows the pilots to realistically practice managing sensors and mission systems while the aircraft is sitting on the ground. This saves large amounts of money, as it costs over a thousand dollars an hour to fly even a jet trainer. More elaborate simulators (with better visuals) are needed for other combat activities. But much of the detailed work a pilot does in the air can be practiced without elaborate graphics. 

Warships began using these embedded training systems about twenty years ago. As hardware got smaller and cheaper (think an iPod size computer that just plugs into the computer network of a ship, tank or aircraft), and these vehicles used more computer type displays for their operators, it was possible to write simulation software that turned the weapons into simulators. The new Aermacchi system is intended for use with the Aermacchi M-346 and M-311 jet trainers.


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