Tbar - to give you another idea of the opportunities available with our fleet:student ratio, my private pilot student and I have flown about 26 hours this semester. We are down to only about 10 flights before he takes his private pilot checkride, and the semester is less than half over. We had some weather issues in the beginning of the semster, flying only 8.6 hours in the first 4 weeks, but have been able to fly the other 18 or so hours in only 2 weeks with no weather cancellations.
Our scheduled day at Hangar 6 (Purdue's training ops center) goes from 0730 until 1730, with five 2-hour blocks per day. Typically, 8-10 Warrior students are scheduled in each time slot, leaving 4-6 Warriors available to students who want to do extra flying. Those 4-6 extra slots also include Warriors that are down for maintenance. From the beginning of the semester until mid-October, and again after around spring break, planes are also available 1730-1930. The middle part of the school year, it's too dark in that time to conduct day flights. Hangar 6 is normally open 1900-2200 or so for night flight, Monday through Thursday, with the times adjusted to start as soon as practical after night begins. Arrows and Duchesses are scheduled in the same time slots, with normally 2-3 Arrow students scheduled per slot, and 2-4 Duchess students. When we fly the Duchess, we normally fly with one student flying and other observing from the backseat, so two students fly in one airplane. The only exception to this normally is the lesson in which we do numerous engine failures in the traffic pattern. Due to the low altitude engine cuts, we don't fly with a passenger on this flight.
As far as instructors go, we have a number of full time instructors (at least 10-12, I'm not sure of the exact number), as well as about 70 part time instructors. The part timers, like me, are students in the flight program who, as CFIs, also instruct. I currently have one flight student and one sim student. There are advantages and disadvantages to this. Some people don't like the prospect of being taught by other students - if this is the case, you can request a full time instructor. Personally, I liked being taught by my peers. My first three instructors here were Purdue students, the youngest being a year ahead of me, the oldest being 3 years ahead of me. All of Purdue's instructors are competent - we have to pass FAA checkrides and Purdue standardization flights - so to me, flying with other students created a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere. If you were to be assigned an instructor who you didn't like to fly with, they are really good about making arrangements to get you a new instructor.
About the sims: While we don't have level D 737 and Beech 1900 sims, we do have a lavel A 727-100 sim (donated by American) and a level C 727-200 sim (donated by Delta), in addition to our fleet of corporate aircraft, including 2 King Airs and a Beechjet 400A, that you get to fly for free. I don't think any other schools offer every one of their students free flight time, let alone free flight time in twin turbine aircraft. I certainly don't think that any other schools pay for you to earn a type rating, though Purdue does fund the trip to FlightSafety, and the training there, for those students who are selected to fly the Beechjet. In addition, we are supposed to be getting a level D Dornier 328/328JET simulator, the motion base for which is currently under assembly in the Holleman-Niswonger Simulator Center, and we have a grant application in for a Level D Embraer 135/145 simulator. Whether the NSF will fund it or not, I don't know, but we're trying. Finally, a new piece of technology was unveiled today in my 727 systems class. We now have a wireless telecommunications system that allows a classroom full of students to see real-time images from other locations, including our 727 or 737 cockpits or our 727 simulators, so that we can see what's going on when we learn things like how to bring generators on line.
One last note - while the 727 may not be the wave of the future in airline fleets, the point of the simulators and related classes is not just to learn the 727. Rather, it is to learn aircraft in general, as most transport category aircraft have very similar electrical, environmental, and other systems. Sure, new airplanes may be glass cockpits while older ones have mechanical instruments, but the basic setup of the systems is the same. The major goal of the classes is to teach you how to learn aircraft systems, to teach you to be comfortable with schematics, to introduce you to transport category aircraft. After learning one aircraft as in depth as we must (we follow the training guidelines of Ryan Internation Airlines in learning the 727, so our course work is essentially the same as Ryan's), it is a lot easier to learn a new aircraft.