What is StallBox and how did it come about?
StallBox is a flight simulator update solution that combines math model and optional UPRT instructor display software. The solution minimizes computational and schedule impacts on the host device by off-loading flight model execution to an external computer that communicates with the host.
The history behind StallBox is described below...
Industry Need for Stall Training
Though rare, Loss Of Control Inflight (LOC-I) events remain the number one cause of fatal aircraft accidents. This has been evidenced by the Colgan Air 3407 (Q-400, Buffalo, 12-FEB-2009), Turkish Airlines 1951 (B737, Amsterdam, 14-MAR-2009) and Air France 447 (A330, Atlantic Ocean, 31-MAY-2009) air disasters and documented in reports such as the 2013 Boeing Statistical Summary of Commercial Jet Airplane Accidents report which cites LOC-I as the number one cause of fatalities during the period 2004-2013. Clearly, the need exists to better train pilots in the awareness, recognition and avoidance of LOC-I events as well as the procedures for recovery from such events.
Participation in Technology Advisory Subcommittees
In 2009, the International Committee for Aviation Training In Extended Envelopes (ICATEE) was established by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) to address the technology and training requirements for improving LOC-I training. The organization brought together airframe manufacturers, airlines, aviation authorities and safety boards, simulator manufacturers, and training providers to outline recommendations for adopting and implementing pilot training for LOC-I events. Bihrle Applied Research Inc has been an active participant in ICATEE since its inception in 2009 and as part of the Research and Technology subcommittee, BAR subject matter experts have provided valuable input to the recommended requirements for simulators that are to be used for stall and upset training. Background research, documentation, and demonstrations of stall models in Level D devices are just a few of the important contributions BAR has made to the committee.
Expertise in Advanced Modeling
Since 1973, Bihrle Applied Research Inc has established its reputation as the industry leader in data acquisition, analysis and modeling of the most complex flight behaviors. Beginning with ground breaking work in the acquisition and application of dynamic test data for the prediction of aircraft spins, BAR has guided the commercial and military aircraft communities in the application of these data in high-fidelity, physically representative simulations of aircraft stall and post-stall behavior. As a result, BAR has developed high angle-of-attack aerodynamics databases for engineering and pilot training simulation applications for over 150 aircraft configurations. BAR’s expertise extends to the integration of its advanced models in new and existing simulators and directing the flight model acceptance process across all requirement levels ranging from FAA & EASA Level 5 FTDs through Level D Full Flight Simulators.
Time-line of Key Milestones Leading to StallBox
Demonstration of Technical Viability
In July 2013, the FAA conducted a comprehensive stall evaluation to assess the applicability of representative models, and stall training effectiveness. The month long test involved 7 test pilots with 737 stall experience to evaluation the representative stall model and 45 line pilots with no stall experience to evaluate the stall training effectiveness. The BAR StallBox solution hosted the representative model and was integrated with the FAA’s CAE B737 Level D Full Flight Simulator (FFS). The integration was completed in 2 sessions and operated continuously for the month-long evaluation. Instructor displays were also provided for the conduct of the test. The evaluation successfully demonstrated the efficacy of the representative stall model and reinforced the need for stall training.
Desire to Offer a Cost-Effective, Innovative Solution
BAR recognized that FFS hardware, IOS updates, and OEM flight model updates may not be practical options for some training providers for reasons which may include affordability, simulator downtime, device recertification, or solution availability. With the desire to overcome these limitations, Bihrle envisioned, developed and demonstrated the StallBox as an innovative, cost-effective and available flight model update solution for providing airlines and training centers with the capability to meet Upset Prevention and Recovery Training (UPRT) objectives.