Texan Ingenuity

The Air Force in July began using new T-6 Texan II flight simulators at JB San Antonio-Randolph, Tex., to instruct undergraduate student pilots training to operate remotely piloted aircraft, according to Air Education and Training Command officials. The 558th Flying Training Squadron there now has 10 of the new training devices. “These simulators use high-end desktop computers with powerful graphics cards to display the T-6 cockpit and instrument displays,” said Lt. Col. Scott Cerone, 558th FTS commander. Student pilots have a realistic 180-degree view of the world outside their cockpits, he said. The new setup will “dramatically” increase the unit’s ability to train RPA pilots and will save the Air Force millions of dollars compared to using traditional T-6 simulators, according to a July 27 San Antonio-Randolph release. “By staying with the T-6, AETC is able to use courseware and support materials the Air Force has already paid for,” said Robert Englehart, deputy chief of the command’s RPA training branch. (San Antonio-Randolph report by Nathan Simmons)