North American Airbus helicopter pilots soon to enjoy world class training services with Thales

Helisim, Joint Venture between Airbus and Thales and Europe’s premier training center for Helicopter pilots, is staking its first claim on North American soil by announcing the creation of a new facility in the US.


Key Points

  • Helisim, a Thales and Airbus JV, Europe’s premier helicopter simulation center will open a new facility in Grand Prairie near Dallas Texas (USA).
  • The Helisim Training Center will host two Thales Reality H, Level D Full Flight Simulators to train pilots on H145 and H175.
  • Plans call for adding an H160 simulator once the helicopter model is certified and production is under way.

At an event hosted by Airbus Helicopters a the HAI Heliexpo show in Las Vegas today, Thales, Airbus and Helisim unveiled their strategic plans for the next chapter in their 18 year history.

Helisim will open a training centre within the Airbus Helicopters Training Academy, in Grand Prairie, near Dallas, Texas. The Helisim Training Centre will support training for AS350 and EC135/EC145. It will host two Thales Reality H, Level D Full Flight Simulators for the H145, and H175, and will propose simulation training for light, light twin and medium aircraft types.

When we first embarked on this partnership with Airbus, our primary goal was to ensure the next generation of helicopter pilots worked in an industry with the same safety record as those in the fixed wing market. The quality and level of training Helisim offers to pilots has gone a long way to accomplish that goal. We are proud to continue this legacy with them on this new venture.
Benoit Plantier, Thales Vice President, Training and Simulation
Plans are already underway to bring the first H145T2 and H175 Level D simulator in North America to support the impressive demand from customers for the aircraft type.  With the construction of a new welcome center and additional simulator facilities, Helisim is also positioning itself to support future H160 customer training needs.
With this expansion, we will be able to provide world class helicopter flight and maintenance training for our customers in one convenient location. Expanding our capabilities with H145 and H175 Level D simulators will allow customers to optimize their training programs and benefit from the expertise that we can provide onsite at our headquarters in the U.S.
Christopher Emerson,  President, Airbus Helicopters Inc. Head of the North America region

The new facility will offer the full spectrum of helicopter training needs, from classroom and hands-on instruction to the two Thales Reality H Level D Full Flight Simulators for H145 and H175 helicopters. Reality H is the most advanced helicopter simulator on the market, perfectly suited to flight and mission training on these two Airbus Helicopters models, the newest, most high-tech civil helicopter models on the market, just entering into wide use over the Americas.
The initial investment for the Airbus Helicopters Training Academy is estimated to be about $40 million. Once the center enters into operation it is expected to train several thousand pilots per year both for introductory and recurrent training.

This facility near Dallas represents the first international expansion of Helisim, a worldwide leader in the helicopter simulation industry. We look forward to offering our services to the North American market.
Christian Cochini,  President, Helisim
About Airbus
Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2016 it generated revenues of €67 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats and business aviation products. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.
About Helisim
Helisim is a Joint Venture between Airbus Helicopters, Thales and DCI providing high-end simulation training services for pilots. Helisim is the main simulation centre for Airbus Helicopters platforms, operating 24/7 with over 150000 cumulated flight hours, since its creation in 2000, and over 2600 pilots trained every year.
Giaime Porcu, Media relations Civil Aerospace
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