Posted on: 01 April 2014 by Mark Howells
Bell Helicopter, Cessna and Beechcraft parent Textron has launched its recently acquired group of simulation and training companies under the name TRU at the World Aviation Training Conference and Tradeshow (WATS).
TRU Training + Simulation represents the integration of flight simulation manufacturers Opinicus (Lutz, Florida) and Mechtronix (Montreal, Canada), both acquired in November, and maintenance training specialist AAI Logistics & Technical Services (Goose Creek, South Carolina), which Textron has owned since 2007.
“We sought to develop a name that represents the value we can add to customers,” explained Jim Takats, president and CEO of TRU. “Providing solutions that depict realistic environments and conditions that are true to life – ensuring pilots are trained properly and feel confident when they do get in the air – was the basis for the new name.”
The company claims it is “poised to be a powerful force” in a simulation industry which has become quite crowded. Among the formidable competitors TRU faces in the civil aviation sphere are the dominant CAE, FlightSafety International, Rockwell Collins, L-3 Communications’ Link Simulation and Training, Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sim Industries, Frasca International, Axis Simulation, and Indra.
Takats noted that Textron – which has a market cap of more than $10 billion – is “willing to invest” and plans to be “very aggressive” in pursuing business worldwide. A co-founder of Opinicus, Takats said as a small, private company, they had been unable to invest on a scale to challenge kingpin CAE.
Legacy Mechtronix customers include Flight Training Adelaide, Starflyer in Japan, Air Arabia, Copa Airlines, and Boeing. Opinicus and Icelandair have established a joint venture to provide Boeing 757 flight crew training in Reykjavik. Takats said TRU Training + Simulation will focus on emerging markets such as China, Russia, and South America
Rick Adams, contributor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net
Orlando, Florida, USA