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Europe Goes For Kiwi Simulation Gear

From the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology
For immediate release


A leading European aerospace company is the first buyer of innovative flight management software and hardware produced by Auckland company Command Fliteware International.

Unlike existing simulators, which move up and down on legs, and which can cost up to $15 million, the Auckland product is fixed. This makes it much cheaper, allowing airlines and aircraft manufacturers to slash pilot training costs.

"Our fixed-base trainers are about $20,000. And they can cut simulator times costs from $5000 an hour to about $200," says director Graeme Rodgers.

Mr Rodgers and his partner, Barry Adam, a former Canadian Forces pilot and retired Air New Zealand simulator (pilot) instructor, have replicated the equipment in Boeing 747-400s, "as pilots would see them in the cockpit".

The equipment is fitted into simulator cockpits being developed by a group of manufacturers in Austria, Ireland, the United States and Britain.

"It's a glass cockpit, with TV-like displays on the control panel in front of the pilots, rather than the old analogue cockpits, which are all dials."

Mr Rodgers says the system's biggest advantage over other simulation gear is its simplicity. "It can run on a couple of PCs on a desktop. A pilot could sit at home with a joystick and the manuals and do it."

It also allows trainers to do psychological tests on aircrew, he says. "By using lasers they can detect head and eye-movements, and the retina of the eyes is caught on databases."

The project to develop the simulator was supported by Technology New Zealand, which invests in research into new products, processes or services.

Mr Rodgers says Technology New Zealand's help added to Command Fliteware's credibility when dealing with Rockwell-Collins, the biggest aeronautical instruments maker in the United States. The Americans contacted Command Fliteware via a link on the Technology New Zealand website.


Contact: * Graeme Rodgers, 35 Squirrel Lane, Browns Bay, Auckland 10. Ph and fax: (09) 478-6934. Email: * Nigel Metge, Technology New Zealand at the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (Auckland Office), (09) 912-6730, or 021 454-095. Website:

Prepared on behalf of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology by ID Communications. Contact: Ian Carson (04) 477-2525,

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