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Aircraft Sims, Do You Buy Or Rent For Training.  
User currently offlinereadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3366 posts, RR: 2
Posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 5397 times:

I stumbled across this site yesterday.

http://www.cae.com/

They say they are the world leader in training pilots.
"The Dallas facility, located at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, is the largest business aviation training facility in the world at 426,000 sq ft (39,600 m2). with 34 simulators and approximately 450 employees.

"CAE trains more than 75,000 crew members every year at 29 civil aviation and military training centers all over the world.
CAE has sold over 900 simulators and training devices to more than 100 airlines, aircraft manufacturers and training centres. It licenses its simulation software to various market segments and has a professional services division assisting customers with a wide range of simulation-based needs."
(from Wiki)

Wondering where the break even point is for an airline, rent space on a sim for crew training or buy and maintain a bunch of sims for yourself. Guess the size of your fleet will factor into this, and other things.
Just curious.


 


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16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAircellist From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 1735 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 5391 times:

How much do these things cost, by the way?

User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2577 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5366 times:

Quoting readytotaxi (Thread starter):
Wondering where the break even point is for an airline, rent space on a sim for crew training or buy and maintain a bunch of sims for yourself. Guess the size of your fleet will factor into this, and other things.

Rather than the size of fleet, it's more likely to be related to the number of crews an airline has for a given aircraft type. That determines how many training hours are needed per year (recurrent and conversion). If an airline requires a large number of hours then owning simulator(s) becomes worthwhile. Obviously it's a trade-off between the cost of renting training time in a facility like CAE's at DFW and the cost of buying, operating and maintaining your own simulator. The economics of this will vary from airline to airline and country to country, so there's no set break-even point. Also simulator technology evolves over time so some airlines would rather rent time on the latest technology simulators than buy one which over time will become increasingly outdated and harder to support.

Quoting Aircellist (Reply 1):
How much do these things cost, by the way?

Hard to be exact, as it depends on the type of simulator, cost of aircraft hardware, price of data, etc. Each device would be priced indivudually by the manufacturer. Around $10m would be a rough guide, but you can spend much less or much more than this..



The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21877 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5283 times:

I don't know of any fractional carriers (such as NetJets) that do their own training, even those with very large fleets. They send their people to CAE or FlightSafety. So the break-even point has got to be pretty high.

Another factor is what sort of training is required. If you need to do a bunch of company-specific training, you're probably better off having your own simulators.

-Mir



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User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9240 posts, RR: 76
Reply 4, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5265 times:

Quoting readytotaxi (Thread starter):

I think we work on a simulator for around one in every 15 aircraft, around US$20 million each.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17186 posts, RR: 66
Reply 5, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 5216 times:

Another consideration is that once you own a simulator, you can rent it out to other carriers. For example at SAS Flight Academy, lots of other carriers come in and do training. They even have sims for equipment they don't own anymore (767) and equipment they have never owned (Bell 412). Once you have the facility, one of the major investments is done.


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineTW From Germany, joined Jul 2011, 65 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 5101 times:

Quoting Aircellist (Reply 1):
How much do these things cost, by the way?

Does an ATR simulator cost much less than an A380 sim? Obviously the a/c does because of the size, engines, more wiring, etc. It seems to me that a simulator should be able to do the same regardless of the aircraft type.

Don't forget about the possibility to not only use the sim for training of your own pilots, but you can get revenue from letter other airlines use your simulator


User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2577 posts, RR: 25
Reply 7, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5075 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 3):
I don't know of any fractional carriers (such as NetJets) that do their own training, even those with very large fleets. They send their people to CAE or FlightSafety. So the break-even point has got to be pretty high.

Light jet and business jet sims are a specialist area. Sim data is not available from the aircraft manufacturer in the same way it is for airliners. Companies like FlightSafety and Simuflite (now owned by CAE) specialise in this market. They obtain their own data and recoup the investment by selling time to operators.

Quoting Mir (Reply 3):
Another factor is what sort of training is required. If you need to do a bunch of company-specific training, you're probably better off having your own simulators.

You can always use your own training lessons in a third party simulator. You can even live with flightdeck configuration differences (within limits set by the regulators). Simulators aren't designed to follow particular training regimes, they simulate aircraft performance and operation which should be the same for all operators. An airline may require a particular airport to be modelled in detail which a third party training centre might not have. But they can always request it be installed and maybe contribute to the cost up front.

Simulators in third party training centres are often multi-configuration so as attract as wide a customer base as possible. An airline will purchase a simulator directly corresponding to their configuration which limits its use for third party training.

Quoting TW (Reply 6):
Does an ATR simulator cost much less than an A380 sim? Obviously the a/c does because of the size, engines, more wiring, etc. It seems to me that a simulator should be able to do the same regardless of the aircraft type.

The main difference would be cost of manufacturer's data and cost of any aircraft parts (simulated parts are much cheaper as they don't need to be flight rated). Other than that an ATR sim would be fundamentally the same price as an A380. Size is not important in this case.  



The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 8, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5054 times:

Quoting TW (Reply 6):
Does an ATR simulator cost much less than an A380 sim? Obviously the a/c does because of the size, engines, more wiring, etc. It seems to me that a simulator should be able to do the same regardless of the aircraft type.

Complexity is also a factor. Building a good simulator for an A380 is massively more complex than an equivalent fidelity simulator for, say, an MD-80.

Tom.


User currently offlineAircellist From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 1735 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5027 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 8):
Complexity is also a factor. Building a good simulator for an A380 is massively more complex than an equivalent fidelity simulator for, say, an MD-80.

I suppose this is related more to the generation of the airplane than to its sheer size. I mean, a simulator for a jurassic 737 or an A300 would be closer in complexity to the one for an MD-80, and a simulator for a 787 would be closer in compexity to the A380's, I guess...


User currently offlineimiakhtar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 4923 times:

Quoting Aircellist (Reply 1):
How much do these things cost, by the way?

Virgin America recently bought an A320 simulator from CAE for $11 million. PK bought a Thales B777 simulator in 2009 for $20 million. Prior to the acquisition, PK was sending their pilots to LHR for training on BA sims.


User currently offlineAircellist From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 1735 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 4911 times:

Quoting imiakhtar (Reply 10):
Virgin America recently bought an A320 simulator from CAE for $11 million. PK bought a Thales B777 simulator in 2009 for $20 million.

Thanks. Full flight, or fixed base? or anything else?


User currently offlineimiakhtar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4895 times:

Quoting Aircellist (Reply 11):
Thanks. Full flight, or fixed base? or anything else?

Both the A320 and 777 sims were FFS. Some more info on the Thales sim and cost below:

.
Director Corporate Planning PIA, Mr. Irshad Ghani informed that the study of the flight simulator started in 2007 while the contract was awarded in June 2009. The Full Flight Simulator will result in Annual Savings of Rs.220 Million to the airline and will generate additional revenue for PIA by providing training to other Asian and Middle Eastern Airlines. The cost of the Full Flight Simulator was US Dollars 12.8 million. However, with cost effective installation work the actual expense incurred was reduced to US Dollars 9.9 million. He added.

Source: PIA Press Release (October 30, 2011)


Apparently, in my earlier post, the price for the 777 sim was list price. PK paid quite a bit less. Sorry for the error.

http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i313/hop9/IMG_2243.jpg

http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i313/hop9/IMG_2244.jpg

http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i313/hop9/securedownload-1.jpg

http://www.historyofpia.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=19343&start=0


User currently offlineAircellist From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 1735 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 4823 times:

Quoting imiakhtar (Reply 12):

Thank you very much!


User currently offlineJETSTAR From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1665 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4758 times:
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Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 7):
Light jet and business jet sims are a specialist area. Sim data is not available from the aircraft manufacturer in the same way it is for airliners. Companies like FlightSafety and Simuflite (now owned by CAE) specialise in this market. They obtain their own data and recoup the investment by selling time to operators.

I have to disagree with you on this, today as far as I know all bizjet manufacturers have contracts to provide flight and mechanic training with either Flight Safety or CAE when purchasing an airplane from the manufacturer. Today’s simulators are so sophisticated that even type rating can be done in the simulator itself with just a flight check to make it legal. To do this the training center has to work with the aircraft manufacturer to obtain all the data so the flight simulator computers can be programmed to control the simulator to the same level as if the pilots were in the actual airplane.

When you purchase an airplane from a manufacturer, the contract will include training for 2 or 3 pilots and 1 to 2 mechanics, Years ago the manufacturer provided all this training, today it is contracted out and part of the sales agreement.

Back when I received my initial training on the Lockheed JetStar in the early 1970’s, my company still had 1 mechanic and pilots training slot left from the sales contract, so I went through mechanic and flight training right at the Lockheed plant in Marietta GA. I did all refresher flight training at Flight Safety who had only one location back then, at the Marine Air Terminal in LGA, where I also did my initial training on the Grumman Gulfstream 1. It was a lot cheaper for my company to send all the pilots to FSI at LGA for refresher training where we could just commute in every day from home as opposed to sending us back to Georgia.

JetStar


User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2577 posts, RR: 25
Reply 15, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 4503 times:

Quoting JETSTAR (Reply 14):
I have to disagree with you on this, today as far as I know all bizjet manufacturers have contracts to provide flight and mechanic training with either Flight Safety or CAE when purchasing an airplane from the manufacturer. Today’s simulators are so sophisticated that even type rating can be done in the simulator itself with just a flight check to make it legal. To do this the training center has to work with the aircraft manufacturer to obtain all the data so the flight simulator computers can be programmed to control the simulator to the same level as if the pilots were in the actual airplane.

There's a huge difference between the kind of data package routinely provided by Boeing and Airbus to support airliner simulator manufacture and validation (produced specifically for simulators) and that provided by business jet manufacturers (basically a by-product of aircraft certification tests). That's why most biz-jet sims that have ever been built were made by FSI or Simuflite. These companies specialise in gathering additional data required to support FAA certification that wasn't supplied by the aircraft manufacturer. That can include instrumenting and flight testing the aircraft themselves. Simuflite was bought by CAE which is why CAE now have business jet simulators in their training centers.

Today's simulators are only good because of the quality of flight test data and enginerring simulator data that is produiced to support them. Bad or limited data usually means a bad simulator.



The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2577 posts, RR: 25
Reply 16, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4359 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 8):
Complexity is also a factor. Building a good simulator for an A380 is massively more complex than an equivalent fidelity simulator for, say, an MD-80.

The first simulator of a complex new aircraft type will always cost a lot more to develop, but each subsequent sim is a repeat of the first, so the cost of developing the first one is absorbed over the entire production run. A classic three crew A300B4 is also a very complex aircraft to simulate. Highly automated yet with a traditional cockpit. In some ways a modern "glass cockpit" aircraft simulator is less expensive to build because the panels are dominated by computer displays driven from data buses rather than individually wired indicators and lights.

An A380 might be an order of magnitude more complex and an MD-80, but the price of an A380 simulator is not ten times as much.



The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
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