The first flight simulator for the new Airbus H160 helicopter with the Helionix avionics suite is ready for take-off following certification by the Direction générale de l’aviation civile, (DGAC), France’s civil aviation authority. A special feature of this training level D simulator is the all-electric Hexaline motion system with six degrees of freedom for simulation levels B and D respectively. According to Thales’ own statements, their simulators are the only ones with an electric motion system. Hexaline is used in both aircraft and land vehicle simulators and can move simulators up to 14 tons.
The H160-simulator utilises a dome with a radius of 3.65 m with a 4K high-resolution vision system with a large field of view. High-resolution simulation models and flight instruments are controlled via an intuitive Alexia touch screen interface for instructors. This allows a wide range of training scenarios to be created including operational exercises under extreme conditions. The Thales Reality H-Simulator has been installed at the Helisim centre in Marignane, near Marseille, where pilot training will now begin. The installation has been scheduled to coincide with the entry into service of the H160, with training sessions starting before the first helicopters are delivered to customers.
The new Airbus H160 medium-weight helicopter marks a new generation of civil helicopters between the H145 and the H175 with new methods of design, production and support. In addition to the civil model, the H160M military version is also under development and will be introduced in 2026.