Today Dr. Cartwright’s Virtual Reality class visited CAE, to fly in the Flight Simulators. I work for Dr. C and I made the contact there, Sylvie. She was so nice, she hooked us up with a full tour of the Flight Simulators. We even got to fly them ourselves. Weren’t allowed to bring cameras, but I took this photo of my Security Tag using my phone.
Canadian Aviation Electronics is a big company (Photo Gallery). They provide Military, Civilian, and Marine Simulations for clients like the US Army, all the major airlines, nuclear power plants, big money clients. They designed the controls for the Queen Mary 2 too. Pretty bad-ass.
“CAE has simulated almost every modern airliner for both major and regional carriers, as well as many of today’s business jets. It has sold more than 400 simulators to airlines, aircraft manufacturers and training centres. The company designed and built the world’s first Level D full-flight simulator, the highest standard in full-flight simulation.
CAE also has a wealth of experience in developing prototypes. The company recently announced contracts to develop the simulators for the new Airbus A380 super-jumbo liner and the Embraer 190 regional jet. Other prototype simulators developed by CAE include:
Boeing: B777, B737NG, B767-400, B717, MD-11, MD-10
Embraer: EMB135/145, EMB170
Bombardier: CRJ200/700/900, Global Express
CAE is now the world’s second-largest independent provider of aviation training services”
The Sims cost at least 15$ million apiece. Sylvie the PR Agent said they sell 50 in a good year, 20 in a not-so-good year. That’s 750$ million in a good year. The site says, “The company generates annual revenues in excess of C$1 billion and employs approximately 6,000 people in Canada, the United States and around the globe.” The parking lot went on as far as I could see.
We flew in the Embraer, walked up that ladder there. The thing tilts back and forth. Sara had a bumpy landing and the Simulator shook.
I was sitting right where the pilot-dude is. Our instructor was a helicopter/plane pilot. We were flying out of the airport at Innsbruck, Austria.
When we took off it felt just like we were taking off, the pull on my ears, I still remember the feeling. Its so fun sitting in the cockpit. I landed the plane, after making a 180 degree turn around the mountains. Me and Dave, the other pilot, had to push forward on the controls with a fair bit of strength on landing.. You break with both your feet, and on the ground you steer with your feet. I’d love to spend a week playing on that thing. The professional pilot was working the flaps and whatnot, but really, flying a plane isn’t that hard. Without somebody giving me precise directions I’d wet myself, but I bet you could learn on a Flight Sim in a week. The Pilot said most Airlines send their pilots to a CAE Training Center once a year, for a week or two.
The CAE Flight Simulators are fun as hell. It feels like your’re really in a cockpit. Like, in your stomach and ears. It feels like you’re flying.
When I got out my head kind of hurt, I felt really strange actually. My brain feels like it’s been somewhere else, it’s weird, I feel like an aftertaste in my brain… feels like I took pills. Weird. I was hungry as hell after the Sim. Jer and I went to Wendy’s and I had a Spicy Chicken Sandwich.
This is a photo of the CAE parking lot. I liked the box, the blurry guy, and the cockpit in the background.
|The visuals are more polygony and less complex than, say, the game Battlefield Iraq (Desert Combat Mod), but the full experience felt really real. My body felt like it was flying, even though it was just being bounced around on hydraulics. The graphics and sound and motion were just enough to give my brain cues, then, like dreaming, it filled in the details to make a full experience. Virtual Reality.|
CAE is an amazing company. Sylvie was such an organized and professional Communications Counsellor, and the Company is just so quality. They have some serious engineering going on there, and they make an excellent product. It was fun as hell.