Flight Training - January 2015 - 15

NEWS

Disruptive technology keeps Redbird
on the move

BY THOMAS B. HAINES

Using technology to advance flight training
REDBIRD FLIGHT SIMULATIONS (www.
redbirdflightsimulations.com) demonstrated four new technologies and
proposed a new way to organize flight
schools at its annual Migration at the
Redbird Skyport in San Marcos, Texas, in
October. Some 300 flight school owners,
managers, and CFIs attended.
Founder and Chief Pilot Jerry Gregoire
noted that the new technologies, mostly
software upgrades to the company's
simulators, show that Redbird is migrating from being just a hardware company
to also being a software company.
According to Redbird Chairman Craig
Fuller, the company delivered 332 simulators over the past year, with one model
or another operating in 42 countries-
including more than 1,000 in the United
States. Redbird, which specializes in
low-cost full-motion simulators, has
developed disruptive technology, Fuller
said. With a price point well below
$100,000, the full-motion simulators
compete against others that cost millions
of dollars. With that, even small flight
schools have options not available to
them previously. As is typical with disruptive technologies, it is taking a while
for some schools to figure out how to
take advantage of the new capabilities.
Among the new technologies demonstrated was Trace, a part of the
company's GIFT (guided individual flight
instruction) software package. Trace is
the backbone of GIFT, which graphically
lays out scenarios on the simulator's displays to help guide and coach a student
through various maneuvers. Trace scores
the student's performance on a maneuver
based on FAA practical test standards,
showing red, yellow, and green bar
charts and a numerical score for various
components of the exercise. For example,
a student's steep turn might show a good
(green) score for holding a continuous 45
degrees of bank, but the student's sloppy

altitude or airspeed control might result
in a yellow or red bar and corresponding
poor score. Until the student progresses,
Trace offers visual and voice coaching-saying "Add power," for example, if
airspeed begins to decay. As the student
becomes more proficient, the level of
coaching is reduced.
Another area where Redbird is experimenting is with its Redhawk 172 project,
where it remanufacturers Cessna 172s
and replaces the Lycoming avgas engines
with Continental CD-155 diesel engines.
Also installed is the gear to record and
then transmit a series of data sets to
ease aircraft and pilot paperwork. As the
airplane taxis up to the flight school, it
connects to a Wi-Fi signal and uploads
flight time and other parameters, including the pilot's and CFI's names-which
it picks up from a radio-frequency chip
in the pilots' ID badge or logbook. By
the time the student is inside the school,
the system has sent a bill for the lesson
to the accounting department, charged

the student's account, completed aircraft
logbook entries, and alerted maintenance
to any issues with the airplane.
Brown Aviation Lease is setting up
financing for flight schools to buy or lease
the Redhawks. Schools can buy them for
about $249,000 or lease them based on a
usage plan. The usage plan returns higher
margins to the flight school and eases
cash flow, according to Jason Griswold of
Brown Aviation Lease. Its lease program
provides the school with essentially a flat
hourly fee for the airplane, which includes
all scheduled maintenance.
None of the new technologies is yet
ready for sale, although the company
expects most of them to be available in
2015. One technology that is closer is one
that puts QR codes on the airframe at key
places in the preflight inspection. Using a
Redbird app on a smartphone, the student
can scan the codes and then watch a video
that discusses that step in the inspection
and highlights important things to look
for in that area.

JANUARY 2015 FLIGHT TRAINING

/ 15


http://www.redbirdflightsimulations.com http://www.redbirdflightsimulations.com

Flight Training - January 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - January 2015

Contents
Flight Training - January 2015 - Cover1
Flight Training - January 2015 - Cover2
Flight Training - January 2015 - Contents
Flight Training - January 2015 - 2
Flight Training - January 2015 - 3
Flight Training - January 2015 - 4
Flight Training - January 2015 - 5
Flight Training - January 2015 - 6
Flight Training - January 2015 - 7
Flight Training - January 2015 - 8
Flight Training - January 2015 - 9
Flight Training - January 2015 - 10
Flight Training - January 2015 - 11
Flight Training - January 2015 - 12
Flight Training - January 2015 - 13
Flight Training - January 2015 - 14
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Flight Training - January 2015 - 16
Flight Training - January 2015 - 17
Flight Training - January 2015 - 18
Flight Training - January 2015 - 19
Flight Training - January 2015 - 20
Flight Training - January 2015 - 21
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Flight Training - January 2015 - Cover3
Flight Training - January 2015 - Cover4
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