Bell Textron Inc. has signed a contract with the U.S. Government to build the AH-1Z Flight Training Device (FTD) for the Czech Republic’s new helicopter fleet.
The FTD will be used for simulation and training purposes for prospective pilots of the combined AH-1Z and UH-1Y fleet. The delivery of the training device ensures the continuous presence of Bell’s expertise throughout the Czech Air Force’s helicopter modernization program, and the training devices will play a key role integrating new H-1 helicopters into the Czech Air Force.
“The Flight Training Device will provide Czech operators with the perfect tools for familiarizing themselves with their new H-1 helicopters,” says Mike Deslatte, Bell H-1 vice president and program director. “The FTD for the Czech Air Force will ensure training activities progress smoothly in line with the delivery of the aircraft themselves.”
Bell selected FlightSafety International and VR Group as key subcontractors. FlightSafety International, a world leader in the design, manufacture and support of flight simulators, visual systems and displays, will provide hardware and software products for simulation training, including the visual display system and control loading system.
“FlightSafety is proud to continue the long-standing collaboration with Bell supporting the H-1 program,” said Michael Vercio, senior vice president of simulation systems at FlightSafety. “The Czech Flight Training Device gives us another opportunity to provide a world-class training solution to a new set of pilots.”
VR Group, a Czech company, has expertise in simulation technologies and will provide some of the moving models for the visual database system for the Czech H-1 FTD. VR Group will also be responsible for maintenance and support for the device after delivery. VR Group’s participation underlines the business opportunities brought to local Czech companies and organizations by Bell’s provision of the Czech Republic’s new helicopter fleet.
“Working with Bell on the delivery and maintenance of the Flight Training Device for the Czech Republic’s new helicopter fleet opens up the possibility for us to further strengthen our leading long-term role in the country’s Air Force simulation capabilities,” said Ivo Gamba, VR Group technical director. “As one of the Czech Republic’s leading providers of defense training solutions, we are extremely excited to play our part in providing the FTD in cooperation with the team at Bell. Our local expertise creates a device of great benefit to Czech helicopter operatives.”
Production for the Czech Republic’s new H-1 helicopter fleet is proceeding on schedule, with Bell’s Amarillo Assembly Center recently receiving the first UH-1Y cabin for the Czech fleet.
Bell anticipates that production and delivery of the Czech Republic’s new AH-1Z and UH-1Y aircraft will be complete by 2023.