Helisim, a joint venture between Airbus and Thales created 18 years ago, is to open a new facility in the US within the Airbus Helicopters Training Academy in Grand Prairie near Dallas, Texas.

The facility will support training for the AS350, EC135 and EC145. It will be equipped with two Thales Reality H, Level D full flight simulators for the H145 and H175 to support demand from North American customers for the aircraft type.

With the construction of a new welcome centre and additional simulator facilities, Helisim is also positioning itself to support future H160 customer training needs once the model is certified and production is underway.

The initial investment for the Airbus Helicopters Training Academy is estimated to be about US$40 million. Once the centre begins operations it is expected to provide both introductory and recurrent training to several thousand pilots per year.

Christian Cochini, President of Helisim, explained, “This facility near Dallas represents the first international expansion of Helisim.”