Flight Training Facilities
Flight Training Academies | Flight Simulators | Flight Training Centers
When you think aviation, your mind takes you to the bird in the sky. But plenty of work happens right here on the ground. Flight training facilities are a key support function for airlines. The new and continuing education of pilots, officers, and support personnel is critical to the ongoing operations of airlines. RWB Consulting Engineers provides mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering design for flight training facilities around the world.
Since our founding in 1986, we have had a strong focus on aviation and aeronautics. One of our specialties is providing the engineering and design for flight training academies. Facilities that house flight simulators are complex with mission-critical components that are unique to the airline industry.
In the last ten years alone, we have completed over 40 flight training building projects. And between all our clients, we have helped install over 100 simulator bays. We are familiar with constructing brand new facilities, as well as designing additions and renovations to buildings in operation.
American Airlines FTA | Fort Worth, TX
RWB has partnered with American Airlines on several flight training academy projects. Our work with AA has included additions, expansions, and renovations to their facilities.
Because American Airlines has a wide-ranging fleet of planes, their flight training facility must include all types of aircraft. This is critical to the ongoing support of their flight operations from regional to long-haul. Pilots must complete rigorous continuing education exercises in the simulators for any aircraft there are certified in.
For this reason, American Airlines continuously updates its flight training facilities. When a specific make and model of plane goes out of service, there is no longer a requirement to keep the simulator around. The team at American Airlines must balance the load requirements of travelers with aircraft, along with the training bay space in their flight training centers. As planes retire, so do simulators, and as new aircraft come into service, new simulators must be added.
From an MEP design perspective, we understand that American Airlines must keep its facility operational to support the training, education, and testing of its thousands of pilots. Since 1986, American Airlines has trusted us with the design of their flight training academy as well as many supporting facilities, including the central utility plant that supports it.
Completed in May 2020, the Helisim Flight Training Center opened in Grand Prairie, Texas. This project was a 20,000sf design/build project.
This state-of-the-art facility included a total of three Full Flight Simulator (FFS) decides for the latest Airbus helicopter models. The building includes spaces for pilot instruction, debriefing, cockpit and equipment storage, along with office spaces for the building staff. This building is Helisim’s first training facility in North America.
The helicopter training facility is critical for the pilots who are training to fly the newest aircraft, including helicopter crafts. Pilots must acquire a certain number of instruction hours on these simulation devices to begin operating the aircraft, plus ongoing training which is required by the FAA. Helisim, and their training center, provides a conveniently-located facility close to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Southwest Airlines Flight Training Center | Dallas, TX
Alongside other building design professionals, the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing portions of a flight training facility come with its own unique challenges.
Simulation facilities offer an immersive aviation training experience for pilots. Flight simulators can cost $15-25M each, and as such, they provide real-time, high-fidelity, full-mission flight simulation. The realism of the training is critical to the successful training and licensure of pilots. Aeronautical simulators are critical for commercial transport and general aviation. Some of the spaces typically found inside flight training centers include computer rooms, academic instruction, demonstration rooms, equipment support spaces, offices for staff, secure entrances, instructor offices, briefing/debriefing rooms, simulators in pods or bays, and classrooms.
RWB has worked on several thousand square feet of flight training facilities. We have experience in designing with all kinds of makes, models, and types of flight simulators.
In recent years, we have worked with simulators from CAE, L3, Boeing, Airbus, FlightSafety, and others. Besides commercial airplane simulators, we have also designed buildings with other types of vehicles like helicopters, private aircraft, submarines, and tanks.
Simulation technology has involved to include a wide range of options for training academies. The options range from extremely realistic full-flight simulators (FFS) for immersive training to virtual reality simulators which can house multiple aircraft simulations in one device. We have worked with those and all in between. We are familiar with the different types of operation for simulators, like hydraulic and electronic.
In addition, we bring extensive experience in flight training for the complete crew. We have designed MEP systems for buildings with fuselage trainers and pools to simulator water landings.