Members Login
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: Honey, I crashed an Airbus-380


Status: Offline
Posts: 2289
Honey, I crashed an Airbus-380
Permalink Closed

Honey, I crashed an Airbus-380
Monday July 10 2006 00:00 IST


LONDON: In the darkened ****pit of the Airbus 380, the instrument panels gleamed their accurate readings: altitude, speed, engine thrust. The weather was perfect and I could see the runway of Singapore's Changi airport some 10 miles away as I lined up for landing.

As I eased the throttle and began a slow descent, I glanced across at the co-pilot, a grizzled veteran. He gave me a reassuring smile. The bank of dials and LCD screens ranged around us gave no cause for concern.

But with less than two miles to go, things started to go wrong. Horribly wrong. The aircraft began a slow roll to the right, and as I sought to correct that with the control stick, it began to pitch forward.

"Pull up, pull up," my co-pilot said in a strained and tense voice, but I had lost all control of the aircraft as it rolled dangerously to the left and pitched further forward. I braced myself, heart pounding, as the runway rushed up to meet us and the aircraft hit it nose first, the ****pit taking a jarring jolt.

I had crashed an A-380. As I sat there stunned, sweat beading my brow, the co-pilot patted me on the back, a wide smile pasted across his face. "Not bad for a first-timer," he said.

Welcome to the eerily realistic world of the Full Flight Simulator (FFS). It is easily the best video game in the world - and at anywhere between $11 million and $15 million apiece, the most expensive.

But at the Crowley facility near London of French aerospace and defence major Thales, they don't like calling it a video game. With 50 percent of the global simulator market (its chief rival is the Canadian CAE, with 44 percent), Thales UK, the wholly owned British arm of the French principal, sees simulators as serious business.

And India is one market that holds tremendous potential, Thales UK officials recently told a team of visiting Indian journalists. At present, India has six simulators for its approximately 200 civilian aircraft.

But with an estimated 362 additional aircraft on order, "We believe that the country will need upwards of 20 simulators over the next two to three years for its Airbus and Boeing purchases. And maybe three more for ATRs," a Thales UK official said.

Thales UK has a capacity to build between 30 to 40 simulators in a year, with each taking anywhere between 10 to 12 months to produce. And it hopes a sizeable part of that capacity will cater to the Indian market in the coming years.

The Thales UK order book is already feeling the positive effects of the recent boom in India's civil aviation sector. Five FFS are under various stages of design. And although company officials did not say whom they were being built for, sources indicate that Kingfisher Air is a major customer.

The deal, the sources added, could be formally announced at the Farnborough Air Show later this month. Thales is also supplying a B-777 FFS to Boeing subsidiary Alteon for the Indian market.

The FFS is about the size of a three-tonne truck and it stands on six hydraulic legs - which are synchronised with the LCD screens that take the place of the windscreens in the ****pit, and provide the motion (turbulence, the jolt of a crash) that makes the experience of "flying" it all too real.

It uses enhanced digital technology, offering an almost unmatched level of visual and interactive realism that, in the words of one official, "enables every aspect of crew training to be undertaken safely and efficiently".

In India, apart from private airlines, Thales is hoping to supply simulators of various aircraft to training schools, several of which are in the pipeline to cater to the aviation sector's growing demand for pilots.

(A first person account by Shibi Alex Chandy)



Status: Offline
Posts: 2450
Permalink Closed

Even i have crashed so many B747s, B777s, A340s,, B737s etc in the Flight Simulator.


Light travels faster than sound...thats why people appear bright, until you hear them talk!
Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to

Create your own FREE Forum
Report Abuse
Powered by ActiveBoard