Delivery of H-1 Fleet Complete by 2023
Bell Textron is to build the AH-1Z flight training device (FTD) for the Czech Air Force under a contract signed with the US government, the company announced on 13 December.
“The Flight Training Device will provide Czech operators with the perfect tools for familiarizing themselves with their new H-1 helicopters,” explained Mike Deslatte, Bell H-1 VP 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. The former will provide hardware and software products for simulation training, including the visual display system and control loading system. Michael Vercio, SVP of Simulation Systems at FlightSafety, highlights “[…] the long-standing collaboration with Bell supporting the H-1 program […] The Czech Flight Training Device gives us another opportunity to provide a world-class training solution to a new set of pilots.”
Czech enterprise VR Group, meanwhile, has deep expertise in simulation, and will provide some of the moving models for the visual database system for the FTD. It will also be responsible for post-delivery maintenance and support. The company’s participation underlines the business opportunities brought to local Czech companies and organisations by Bell’s provision of the nation’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,” commented 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 of the new helicopters is proceeding on schedule, and Bell anticipates that production and delivery of the new Czech AH-1Z and UH-1Y aircraft will be complete by 2023.