Staff from Aerosim Technologies have been hard at work this week unpacking, installing and configuring a new state-of-the-art simulator that when finished will give Jacksonville University Davis Aviation Center students their first realistic, fully operational training in flying passenger jets.
The $500,000 Level-5 Bombardier CRJ-700 Flight Training Device, the first passenger jet simulator of its kind to be available at a higher education institution in Northeast Florida, should be ready for testing by day’s end Friday, Sept. 21, said Dr. Juan Merkt, director of JU’s Davis Aviation Center in the Davis College of Business.
Some student “guinea pigs” and others will be able to try it out this fall, and it will be fully operational and ready for aviation class training for the spring, he said.
The acquisition of the simulator is designed to help improve students’ career chances and aid them in reaching FAA compliance sooner.
The university entered an agreement with Aerosim Technologies to build and install the device, which includes full hardware and replica of the cockpit.
In addition to helping students in the school’s Air Traffic Control program, the device will be made available to the public for training — even to help residents overcome fear of flying.
Features of the fixed-based device include an integrated flight and navigation management system with displays, aircraft systems and flight controls with full flight capabilities, a 220-degree wraparound visual providing realistic view of the environment and simulated malfunctions for emergency or non-normal procedure training.
“Getting the simulator is a huge coup for JU and Jacksonville,” Merkt told Wave Weekly earlier this yeasr. “What makes it unique is how fully operational it is. For example, up until now, our students who need to apply their aviation knowledge in an advanced crew environment would have to wait until they are hired by an airline to get that training experience. But now, with the flick of a switch, they will be mimicking the experience of flying a CRJ-700 passenger jet, which is priceless in terms of the skills and shortened time they’ll need to be trained.”