Cybicom Atlas Defence (CAD) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have integrated a fire-fighting training module into their Helicopter Flight Trainer (HFT) simulator, which allows for cost-effective training for helicopter pilots with respect to fire-fighting skills and procedures.
The integration of the fire-fighting module was funded by the Aerospace Industry Support Initiative (AISI) of the Department of Trade and Industry.
According to CAD, the project included a review of internet-based material on fire-fighting using helicopters, as well as a literature review into the current state of underslung load modelling. A workshop was held with Working on Fire during which it was confirmed that no simulation-based aerial fire-fighting training facilities exist in South Africa.
CAD said an initial training exercise was designed around the Camp Pendleton CBD simulation, allowing for fires near the airport involving buildings and vegetation.
The simulator utilises Presagis Vega Prime visualisation software to generate visual cues for fire and smoke effects on the ground and in the air. This provides high levels of realism using dynamic shadows, high-resolution detail, sophisticated atmospheric models, 3D clouds, natural vegetation, and realistic night scenes. Presagis HeliSIM flight simulation software is used to provide hi-fidelity helicopter flight dynamics.