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RAAF inducts new C-130J fuselage trainer

Sergeant Brodie Stewart (foreground) of No. 37 Squadron assists Flight Sergeant Liam Higgins with the loading of pallets onto the C-130J Fuselage Trainer at RAAF Base Richmond. *** Local Caption *** On 15 June 2018, a C-130J Hercules Fuselage Trainer was formally handed over at RAAF Base Richmond, providing the first accurate and dedicated cargo compartment training device for any RAAF C-130 variant since the Hercules’ introduction in December 2018. The device will be supported by CAE Australia and was constructed by Airbus Australia Pacific, with further assistance from Lockheed Martin, using the fuselages of two retired C-130H Hercules. The Fuselage Trainer will provide a dedicated training environment for Loadmasters as well as other personnel who utilise the C-130J, including Air Dispatchers, Air Movements personnel, and Aero Medical Evacuation specialists. Previously, personnel utilised retired C-130E Fuselage Hulks for training or worked on real C-130J airframes.

The C-130J-30 fuselage trainer was built from two retired C-130H fuselage hulks by Airbus Group Australia Pacific, and will be operated by CAE. (Defence)

The RAAF’s Air Mobility Group (AMG) and 37 Squadron based at Richmond west of Sydney have inducted a new C-130J-30 Hercules fuselage trainer (FuT).

Designed by CAE and built by Richmond’s Airbus Group Australia Pacific workforce from two long-retired C-130H fuselage hulks and new components from Lockheed Martin, the C-130J fuselage trainer will be operated by CAE.

It will allow 37SQN loadmasters and ground handling crews to train in and around an operationally representative C-130J cargo hold and handling systems without the need to remove an active aircraft from service.

“Our C-130J Hercules are some of the busiest aircraft in Defence and having a fuselage trainer relieves the burden of using a real aircraft to conduct essential training,” Minister for Defence Marise Payne said in a statement.

“The fuselage trainer is an exact replication of the cargo bay and systems in a real C-130J Hercules aircraft, and will provide loadmasters with a purpose-built classroom ideal for training.”

In addition to training, the fuselage trainer will also allow the RAAF’s Air Movements Training and Development Unit (AMTDU) to design, develop and test cargo and air-deployable loads for the C-130J. It will also be able to be networked with the C-130J’s Full-Flight and Mission Simulator (FFMS) which is also located at Richmond and operated by CAE.

“We are pleased to continue our longstanding relationship with the Royal Australian Air Force as their C-130J training partner, and delighted to work closely with Airbus and Lockheed Martin who provided valuable hardware and support that helped deliver this key project for the RAAF,” CAE’s Vice President and General Manager, Asia-Pacific/Middle East, Ian Bell said.

“The RAAF continues to be one of the world’s leading air forces in the application of simulation-based training, and this new C-130J fuselage trainer is another example of the RAAF investing in new technologies and capabilities to best prepare their aircrews for operational missions and requirements.”

CAE operates a wide range of ADF aircraft synthetic training devices and systems under its Management and Support of Australian Defence Force Aerospace Simulators (MSAAS) program.

Ian Bell (left) from CAE Australia, presents Commander Air Mobility Group, Air Commodore William Kourelakos, with a key during the C-130J Hercules Fuselage Trainer hand over held at RAAF Base Richmond. *** Local Caption *** On 15 June 2018, a C-130J Hercules Fuselage Trainer was formally handed over at RAAF Base Richmond, providing the first accurate and dedicated cargo compartment training device for any RAAF C-130 variant since the Hercules’ introduction in December 2018. The device will be supported by CAE Australia and was constructed by Airbus Australia Pacific, with further assistance from Lockheed Martin, using the fuselages of two retired C-130H Hercules. The Fuselage Trainer will provide a dedicated training environment for Loadmasters as well as other personnel who utilise the C-130J, including Air Dispatchers, Air Movements personnel, and Aero Medical Evacuation specialists. Previously, personnel utilised retired C-130E Fuselage Hulks for training or worked on real C-130J airframes.

CAE’s Vice President and General Manager, Asia-Pacific/Middle East, Ian Bell (L) hands a ceremonial key to the new C-130J fuselage trainer to the Commander of Air Mobility Group (AMG), AIRCDRE Bill ‘K9’ Kourelakos. (Defence)

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