Swiss AviationTraining (SAT) will formally surrender its rights and entitlements as a Maintenance Training Organisation on 31 December 2016 and will transfer the management and conducting of all its technical training to Lufthansa Technical Training (LTT) with effect from 1 January 2017.

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Lufthansa Technical Training

Swiss AviationTraining achieves world first with conversion of Airbus flight simulator to Boeing 777

Swiss AviationTraining achieves world first with conversion of Airbus flight simulator to Boeing 777

Swiss AviationTraining (SAT) has put the world’s first EASA-certificated full flight simulator for the latest version of the Boeing 777-300ER into training operations for its parent company SWISS. The simulator is located in SAT’s Kloten training facilities. SAT has also scored a further world first in the new simulator’s acquisition: it has been converted from an existing Airbus A330/340 simulator in a four-month operation. SAT’s new Boeing 777 simulator offers enhanced training options and thus increased training efficiency.

“At SAT we’re constantly striving to provide the very best solutions for our crew training activities,” stressed company CEO Marcel Witzig at the formal inauguration of the new Boeing 777 simulator, which was held in Kloten today. “Not only in business and economic terms, but also in terms of offering a training product and service that are as flexible, as easy on the environment and above all as safe as possible.”

From Airbus to Boeing: a world-first conversion

In developing its new simulator together with global simulation provider CAE, Boeing and SWISS, SAT has adopted a bold and innovative approach which the simulator industry had previously considered virtually impossible: converting an Airbus simulator into one for a Boeing aircraft type. And doing so, moreover, in just four months.

What makes the achievement all the more remarkable is that the new simulator had to be devised, developed and built before the construction of the aircraft for which it is intended, at a time when the final configuration of SWISS’s new Boeing 777-300ERs was far from confirmed. “We can say today, though, that our new simulator’s configuration is 99.9% congruent with the first Boeing 777-300ERs that SWISS will receive,” affirms David Birrer, Chief Operating Officer at SAT. “So the pilots who train on it will have the same functions and options available to them as they will on the actual aircraft. As a result, they won’t have to undergo the usual training on the differences between the simulator and the aircraft. And this will hugely enhance the efficiency of the overall training process.”

Automated communications and a new iBag feature

The new simulator itself features a number of innovations. These include the possibility of simulating automated communications between the aircraft and air traffic control and further contacts on the ground, and a new “iBag”, a further development of the electronic flight bag in iPad form that will help promote paperless information management in the cockpit and should largely replace the pilot’s traditional crew bag.

A strong focus on quality and reliability

The visuals on the new simulator are provided using the very latest available Tropos 6000 XR technology. And with its integrated high-resolution satellite images, the visual system permits an extremely realistic simulator training experience.

As the tests that have been conducted over the last few weeks have confirmed, the new SAT Boeing 777 simulator will also be one of the most reliable simulator devices on the market. Its performance here has proved as impressive to its simulator engineers as it has to the simulator pilots who have been involved in the testing and acceptance process. “Our prime focus, as always, is on providing a reliable training device that fully complies with our usual extremely high quality standards,” COO David Birrer confirms.

SAT’s Boeing 777 training

In addition to its new Boeing 777 full flight simulator, SAT also offers training on its Boeing 777 integrated process trainer (IPT). This month will see work begin on constructing a new Boeing 777 cabin emergency evacuation trainer (CEET), which should be available for cabin crew training from October onwards. And this in turn will be followed by a new service trainer, which should become operational in January 2016.

Conversion facts and figures

SAT’s Airbus-to-Boeing simulator conversion project took a total of 24 months and involved the procurement of some six tonnes of new material for the new Boeing 777 simulator. Around nine tonnes of the original Airbus A330/340 simulator were also sent to CAE in 26 large crates for re-use. The project further saw 11 kilometres of wiring removed and – thanks to the latest technology – replaced by just six kilometres thereof. In addition to Boeing, CAE, SWISS and SAT, the project also involved some 60 more personnel from eight further companies.

“With our extensive previous experience in equipment conversions – like last year’s comprehensive upgrade of our Airbus A320 simulator to the new Standard 2.3 – and with the skills and the expertise of our partners Boeing, CAE and SWISS, we were excellently qualified to conduct this project with all the care and the professionalism it required,” concludes Graham Egerton, SAT simulator engineer and conversion project leader.

Images of the conversion

The conversion as animated slideshow on youtube