Flight simulator manufacturer Frasca International, which was founded by Rudy Frasca in 1958 and remains a privately held, family-run business to this day, is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.
Rudy Frasca founded Frasca Aviation (now Frasca International) after working as a flight simulator instructor and maintenance engineer while serving in the US Navy. The company started by building general aviation ‘trainers’ for smaller flight schools and colleges with aviation programmes.
As it grew and technology advanced, Frasca began providing more complex, customised devices to airline training programmes, military organisations and larger flight schools. To keep up with the growing demand for certified devices, its product range expanded to include flight training devices (FTDs) and full flight simulators (FFSs) for a range of fixed wing and rotary aircraft.
Today, Frasca says its simulators are used by more collegiate aviation programmes than any other brand of simulators. The company estimates that since 1958, it has delivered over 2,600 flight simulators to approximately 70 countries worldwide.
Over the past 60 years, Frasca has seen many milestones with respect to technological breakthroughs, new product announcements and contract awards. In 1983, the company transitioned from analog to digital simulation, utilising PC technology. In 1984, it developed electric control loading, which improved the feel of the controls.
In 1985, Frasca introduced its first visual system, which has evolved into today’s TruVision Global solution, launched in 2007. In 1991, it introduced the Graphical Instructors Station (GISt) which became an industry standard and was only recently replaced by a new IOS named Simplicity. During 1992, the company delivered its first FFS.
In 2003, 16 Level 6 FTDs, the first of their kind, were delivered to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. In 2012, Frasca became ISO 9001:2008 certified, and it continues to innovate. The company recently introduced its new Helicopter Training Device. In 2017, Rudy Frasca was awarded one of the first CAT Pioneer Awards at the World Aviation Training Summit in Orlando, Florida.