Learning to fly can also be cheap and safe
"Today Euramec has three activities," says Bert Buyle. "We design and produce flight simulators that we market as a standard product. In addition, we provide customisation so that customers from the aircraft world, but also from the entertainment sector, can purchase flight simulators with specific designs or functionalities. And this summer we're launching a third activity. It's a combination of a flight centre and teambuilding where we make the simulators we develop in Hamme available to groups. Euramec's strengths are that we can easily adapt the architecture of our simulators - in terms of both hardware and software - to various aircraft types. On the other hand, we're strongly committed to keeping costs low, so that we can put our products on the market at an unprecedented low price. The intention is to contribute to a reduction in the cost of the pilot training. Young people no longer have the budget to get a private pilot license (PPL), and even then, we're not talking about a vocational training as a pilot. Via ULMs and light sport planes - a growing and less regulated market - more people are trying to fly. You can fly to southern France in 4 hours with this kind of ULM. The chance of good weather all the way, however, is fairly small. You can learn how to deal with this perfectly, and at a low cost, in a simulator. You don't really have to look for the danger to get to know it.”
(Better not) air sick in the simulator
"250,000 aircraft are registered in North America in general aviation - anything that includes private transport via helicopter or plane, including sport aircraft. In China there are less than 1,000! With the economic growth there, many people will want their own aircraft and so the demand for simulators will also increase significantly. We do have to fight misconceptions there, though. The customer often expects a platform that moves, and then makes you sick. After all, what you see must correspond perfectly with what you feel. This kind of simulator isn't a fairground attraction. We see other growth opportunities in commercial aviation. Asia needs 15,000 new pilots every year, which will lead to a huge increase in flight schools and thus simulators. And with the strong growth of low cost aviation in Europe and America, by using simulators we can also reduce the cost of expensive pilot training."