Kirtland Unveils High-Fidelity Flight Simulators

The 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland AFB, N.M., unveiled two new additions to its training facilities for Air Force helicopter crews on June 4. Building 958 on base now features a UH-1N Huey weapons system trainer and a fully integrated HH-60G Pave Hawk aerial gunner scanner simulator and weapon systems trainer. Wing officials will use these systems for initial qualification, upgrade, and refresher training for aircrews of both platforms. “They are brand-new state-of-the-art simulators,” said Lt. Col. John Taylor, 58th Training Squadron HH-60G program manager. “Because of their higher fidelity, we can take some of the sorties off the flight line and into the simulator. The cost per hour of using a simulator is much less than using actual aircraft.” The Huey simulator cost $11 million, while the Pave Hawk simulator cost $17.1 million, noted Taylor. They are expected to generate annual savings of $6.7 million and $32 million, respectively, by reducing training flying hours, according to Kirtland officials. (Kirtland report by Stefan Bocchino)