Aircraft Deicing Training Simulator

Training Simulation Software for Airport Ground Support Equipment Operators. The simulation allows airport ground support equipment operators to train for the deicing process with more flexibility and a lower cost than traditional training.

Global Ground Support

Global Ground Support is a leading manufacturer of military, airline and airport support equipment. Global manufactures a complete range of sizes and models of mobile deicing/decontamination equipment and fixed pedestal-mounted deicing systems, including 3200-gallon units with boom heights to 70 feet. Global’s mission is to provide the ultimate in equipment and support on the ground to get your flight in the air on time. To that end, Global hired ForgeFX to develop a custom virtual training simulator for operators of their Extended Reach Deicers.

Aircraft Deicing Training Simulation

Training to deice a C130 on an aircraft deicing training simulator.

Deicing Training Simulator

The Global Ground Support Aircraft Deicing Simulator is a 3D training simulation software package developed for airport ground support equipment operators. The simulation allows users to train for mission critical tasks in a safe and low-cost environment. Training simulation sessions begins by selecting the type of aircraft to be deiced, the time of day, wind conditions, temperature, and the type of precipitation present in the environment. The operator has full control over the deicers boom arm, cab rotation, truck location, nozzle settings, fluid selection, spray selection and lights. This training simulation software gives the aerospace industry the ability to train their operators without risking damage to real-world equipment and without using expensive consumables such as fuel, oil, and deicing fluids

Aircraft Deicing Simulator

Simulation-based aircraft deicing training.

The Global Ground Support Deicing Simulator is a 3D computer-based training simulation system that provides an operator with the ability to practice and take a “performance test” while performing a virtual aircraft deicing event in a 3D environment. Deicing an aircraft is costly, mission critical (lives of crew and passengers dependent on a successful deicing), contingent upon knowledge of the type of plane and particular weather conditions, requires operation of extremely expensive equipment, and requires a high level of dexterity and spatial relations ability of the operator.

Benefits of Simulation-Based Training

Clearly, operators require experiential training, but preferably not with the actual planes or deicing equipment until after they are familiar with the equipment, weather conditions, and procedures. Traditional training and videos turn operators into passive audience members, while a simulation turns operators into active participants.

Aircraft Deicing Training Simulator

Simulation-based training for a C-130 aircraft.

When all planes take off in stormy weather, they must be deiced. Without being properly deiced, the ice can break off of the wing in mid-flight, be injected by the engine, and cause a plane to crash. With stakes as high as these, training of deicing operators is a very serious business, and it can also be a very expensive and difficult one. The software simulates Global Ground Support’s 2200TEAP deicer. The software coupled with the hardware, which includes joysticks, pedals, and a wide screen display, gives the user a first person perspective from the viewpoint of an operator sitting within the cab of the real-world deicer.

Aircraft Deicing Training Simulation

Global Ground Support Aircraft Deicing Training Simulator

The simulation tracks the performance of users and records their scores for review by the instructor. Users are scored on their performance in regards to the factors of a deicing event, including amount of contaminant removed, time taken, gallons of fluid used, no-spray area violations, and aircraft collisions. This scoring system allows operators to compete against each other and have fun while learning the correct procedures.

Military Training Simulators

Using real-time 3D simulations for decades, the military takes it for granted that simulation-based learning for real-world experience pays off. When the safety of a nation is at stake, simulation-based learning is a clear cut choice in training development materials. ForgeFX works with organizations to develop real-time 3D simulations, a fundamental component in the training curriculum when lives are in the balance.

Military Aircraft Deicing Training Simulator

Gen. Frank Gorenc operates the deicing simulator at Spangdahlem Air Force Base.

Technical education and experience are both necessary and important. Education is provided from classroom settings, books, videos, etc. Experience, when hardware is available and money is no object, is gained from direct experience with the equipment. It can, however, be provided far more economically and safely from a simulation.

Aircraft Deicing Training Simulator

The operator of the simulation has full control over the 2200TEAP’s boom arm, cab rotation, truck location, nozzle settings, cab lights, type of plane, time of day, and environmental controls. This gives Global Ground Support the ability to train all of their operators on the functionality of the real-world deicer without incurring the associated costs or having to wait for a storm. Deicing operators must be very careful when deicing planes, since any collision between deicing equipment and a plane is very costly. A collision requires the plane to be grounded, causing flight delays, which cost airlines tens of thousands of dollars. Whereas a collision taking place in the real-world can be a costly mistake, in a simulation it becomes a valuable learning experience for the operator.

Virtual weather includes frost, snow, and freezing rain.

The simulation’s virtual weather includes frost, snow, and freezing rain.

Another challenge of preparing deicing operators is that there are limited windows of opportunity to train in real-world environments as the temperature and precipitation levels need to be correct for ice to form on planes. The fuel and fluids required for training are also very costly. The price of the deicing and anti-icing fluids are expensive, and cut directly into the airlines’ profits. Training operators to become familiar with nozzle and spray controls within the simulation, using the simulation’s real-time fluid dynamics rendering system, adds up to big savings.

Simulation Software

The simulation software connects to USB joysticks, giving the operator complete control of the truck, boom arm, operator’s cab, and nozzle in the virtual 3D space. Operators are now able to spend unlimited amounts of time with virtual materials practicing deicing maneuvers, providing a significant cost reduction and advantage over real-world training. With simulation-based learning, mistakes and resources that are costly in the real-world are instead units of measurement in a simulation that allows for user tracking and behavior correction. To purchase the deicing simulator that ForgeFX developed, please contact Global Ground Support.

Aircraft Deicing Training Simulator

Simulation-based training for a B1 aircraft.

Want more information? Read the following article written about this training simulator:  A Turn to Simulation in Ground Support Worldwide.

If you’re charged with training people to operate heavy equipment, you’re aware of the financial and safety challenges associated with conducting training on real-world equipment. Using highly-realistic simulators attached to Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) controls, allows you to provide your operators with a safe and cost effective training environment. For an assessment of needs that are specific to your project, please contact us so we can review your requirements and put forward a project plan, including a technology recommendation.