Cutting-edge Training Center Opened for H145/BK117 Helicopter

May 10, 2019


 Training Center reception deskInside the Training Center

Tokyo, May 10, 2019 ― Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. announced that an opening ceremony was held today for a facility using its most advanced equipment and dedicated to training pilots and mechanics of the H145/BK117. The facility, named simply the “H145/BK117 Training Center,” is located at Kawasaki’s Gifu Works.

In Japan, despite an increase in the use of helicopters for emergency medical services, firefighting, disaster relief, and other public duties, there is a shortage of pilots due to aging and retirement, and a shortage of mechanics is also being seen. The recruiting and training of these pilots and mechanics has therefore been a serious challenge in recent years. In response, Kawasaki launched the Training Center to ensure that the skills of pilots who fly Kawasaki-produced helicopters and the maintenance skills of mechanics are kept high, and to contribute to furthering flight safety in helicopter operations.

This Center is the third training facility in the world dedicated to the H145/BK117 helicopter, in addition to Germany and the U.S., and the only one in Japan. Training at the Center is based on the design concept, and is offered by the engineers, pilots, and mechanics at Kawasaki who actually designed and initially operated it. The following is a list of the cutting-edge equipment at the Training Center used for conducting indoor, weather-independent training simulating harsh conditions, which is not possible using actual helicopters.

Features of the Training Center Facilities

(1)  VMT (Virtual Maintenance Trainer)
The VMT provides 3D models of virtual videos reproducing aircraft systems and modules, which can be maneuvered using the touchscreen. A trainee can experience the servicing of a helicopter in a manner close to that of servicing a real machine.
(2)  HATS (Helionix Advanced Tool Simulator)
The HATS reproduces the cockpit’s digital screens, created by the same software used for the actual helicopter. A trainee can learn basic operating procedures using the system.
(3) Actual units
Tail units, engine transmissions, and other helicopter components are available for trainees to gain hands-on servicing know-how using real tools.

The Training Center plans to offer training to trainees from outside Japan. It will also provide training for customers of the H145/BK117 who purchased the helicopter from Airbus Helicopters, Kawasaki’s development partner for the rotorcraft.
Kawasaki is committed to further improving the performance of the helicopter, and to developing equipment and accessories designed for specific purposes. The company is also planning aggressive sales activities in both Japanese and overseas markets, leveraging the strong confidence customers have placed in Kawasaki as a helicopter manufacturer with an outstanding delivery record, and in its ability to offer one-stop service encompassing development, manufacture, sales, and after-sales services.

The H145//BK117 is a mid-size, twin-engine helicopter designed for emergency medical services, firefighting, disaster relief, law enforcement, news coverage, and passenger/goods transport. Since the first one was delivered in 1983, the helicopter has undergone a series of improvements. Backed by Kawasaki’s technological prowess and high product reliability, its delivery record has reached 178 units (as of May 10, 2019). When deliveries by Airbus Helicopters are included, the volume is more than 1,500 units worldwide, making it a global best-seller.


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