The Naval Aviation Training Systems and Ranges Program Office (PMA-205) recently delivered the new Maintenance Integrated Flight Control Trainer (IFCT) Aerial Refueling (AR) capable device to the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit at U.S. Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia.
The new Maintenance IFCT provides a realistic environment for maintainers to receive their initial training without the use of an aircraft.
The trainer incorporates real aircraft components including those used in AR, allowing students to do hands-on work and view the components and their relationship to other E-2D flight control systems in a safe, controlled environment prior to performing maintenance on operational aircraft.
“This new training system revolutionizes how Navy electricians and maintainers train,” said Capt. Kevin McGee, PMA-205 program manager. “They are responsible for reviewing and analyzing flight control systems to make sure they meet standards and perform perfectly when they’re needed in the air, and the IFCT prepares them for that mission.”
The Maintenance IFCT bridges the gap between classroom learning and hands-on experience in the fleet, allowing maintainers to remove and replace components. Instructors can supervise trainees and view the training scenarios in real-time due to the open concept design of the trainer.
Unlike in the aircraft where space is extremely constrained, the IFTC allows for more viewing and training space with each system separated with room for both instructors and students to view each training area. The IFTC also incorporates faults into the system, allowing trainees to experience faults, troubleshoot them, and resolve them.
“This trainer shows maintainers how the flight controls are moved and actuated, giving them a firsthand learning experience with operating the flight control systems and even showing them a sampling of how ground crew pre-flight checks are performed prior to ever performing maintenance on an aircraft,” said Mark Barnhardt, PMA-205 E-2 training systems project manager.
When AR is incorporated into a platform the flight control dynamics of the aircraft can change, leading to modifications in how the flight control systems are moved, measured, and ultimately rigged. The new trainer allows fleet maintainers to receive the necessary training to sustain and repair all aspects of the new flight control system to retain flight safety.