Debuting at Oshkosh, Booth #3045

When we started designing the RTD, we knew it was key to have a precise list of requirements. We wanted to know what customers needed the product to do for them. What were the most important features?

We asked customers and flight school operators what they wanted in a lower cost AATD, and here’s what they said:

  • FAA approval, AATD.
  • Extreme reliability. Minimal breakdowns.
  • Highly serviceable. Easy to access and tweak when minor repairs are required.
  • Excellent product support. A company that is there for you.
  • High fidelity.
  • Accurate avionics. Garmin G1000
  • Realistic aerodynamics.
  • Flexible visual system.
  • Reconfigurable. Round dial, G1000, Single, Twin.
  • Simple Instructor Operator Station, IOS. Tablet based.
  • Affordable.
  • Easy to relocate. Across the room or across the world.
  • Minimal floor space (footprint) for smaller spaces.
  • Standard power.
  • A unit that fits through a standard doorway.
  • Easily installed by user with optional factory installation.
Frasca RTD Panel

Watch this page for more photos and another update before our final reveal!

Why?

Our first update will
answer the “Why” of the Frasca RTD.


First a little background to help our readers understand how the RTD evolved. Frasca was founded 60 years ago and our first products were general aviation trainers used to teach flight basics and instrument procedures. Our simulators quickly became popular with FBO’s and university flight programs around the world.

Over the years, more advanced Frasca devices were developed leveraging the available technology. These products became more and more capable, they were affordable and met the training needs of a large portion of the ab initio pilot training world.

As simulation technology proved itself, larger schools started demanding aircraft specific trainers. We looked at these requirements as challenges to be met. The FAA also developed regulations for Flight Training Devices or FTD’s. Ultimately we developed Level 5 and 6 Flight Training Devices that were exact replicas of the aircraft.

These FTD’s are the apex of simulation in the general aviation world. They are used extensively by leading flight schools that have large pilot throughputs. They are capable of realistically simulating all maneuvers, both visual and instrument. The reality is that these FTD’s are expensive and it takes a lot of student throughput to make the economics work.

A small school with a couple of airplanes will find it difficult to justify a level 5 or 6 FTD. A large flight school on the other hand can get a lot of usage, move a lot of aircraft training to the FTD and save a lot of money.

So while Frasca marched along a path to build higher and higher fidelity GA simulators other companies filled the gap with lower cost, lower fidelity products. It appears that for many simulator companies, low price is more important than quality or product support. There seems to be a race to the bottom to see who can build the cheapest compliant AATD at the expense of quality, realism, reliability, etc.

While all this was happening Frasca has more or less focused on higher level devices. But we kept getting requests for a high quality, affordable AATD. Our answer frequently was to offer a remanufactured and updated Model 141 or the Frasca TruFlite™. Until recently that is..

It became apparent that there is a very real demand for a better AATD that delivers quality and customer service and that customers are willing to pay a fair price to get both. We knew that our advancements in simulation, computer and manufacturing technology would enable us to build an AATD without sacrificing our fundamental values of quality, reliability and service.

And the RTD was born!

Join us for the next waypoint update on June 15 to learn more about the features and requirements that guided our design of the RTD. We listened to our customers to learn what their requirements were and challenged the Frasca engineering, manufacturing and product support teams to develop innovative solutions.

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