Project Highlights (00640)

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When it comes to learning how to fly, the advantages of using a flight simulator over a real aircraft are many. In addition to enabling pilots to practice a range of manoeuvres in complete safety, using a simulator is also much more cost effective and environmentally friendly than a real aircraft.

Headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, CAE is the world's leading supplier of civil flight simulators, and is also one of the world leaders in the supply of military full-mission simulators. CAE has simulated almost every modern airliner for both major and regional carriers, as well as many of today's business jets, and has developed more prototype simulators than any other company.

In addition, CAE provides training services for pilots and maintenance technicians through a global training network of more than 115 full-flight simulators, serving approximately 3,500 airlines, aircraft operators and manufacturers.


Since 1997, Technology Partnerships Canada (TPC) has invested four times in innovative research and development at CAE. These initiatives have included: visual simulation (VISTEC), announced in 1997; commercial aircraft training (CAE Sim XXI™), announced in 2001; military aircrew training (NeTTS), in 2002; and the most recent project (Phoenix), announced in 2005, which addresses overall modelling and simulation needs in new and emerging markets. TPC's investments have helped CAE continue to meet the technological needs of its clients and remain at the forefront of the industry.

The CAE Sim XXI and NeTTS projects represent investments by TPC of $41.4 million and $39 million, respectively.

The CAE SimXXI project involved advancing the quality and effectiveness of CAE's training simulators by making use of the latest technology and design techniques. Advancements included introducing electric motion and flight controls, which improved performance and eliminated the use of environmentally unfriendly hydraulic oil; introducing modular design and assembly techniques, which reduced production costs and timelines; and introducing a modular computer architecture based on open design standards that lowered development costs for new features and technologies through the increased use of off-the-shelf components. Focused on commercial aircraft training, the project also developed technology to deliver high-fidelity pilot training over the internet, including a realistic "virtual" aircraft cockpit.

The NeTTS project, focused on R&D related to military aircrew training, enabled CAE to develop a new distributed networked architecture for military training devices. It was designed to be both highly scalable and easily integrated into full mission training simulators and part task trainers. This R&D had a major emphasis on the technologies required for combined training of multiple crews, geographically distributed, on multiple aircraft (or simulators) in realistic environments. The new technology enabled CAE to expand into the very large, complex military training systems market, with a view on mission preparation and rehearsal.

With annual revenues exceeding C$1.4 billion, CAE employs approximately 7,000 people at more than 75 sites and training locations in 20 countries. It has the largest installed base of civil and military full-flight simulators and training devices. Through its global network of 27 civil aviation and military training centres, CAE trains more than 75,000 crew members yearly.

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