FRASCA Named FTD Subcontractor for Navy TH-73A Advanced Helicopter Training System

FRASCA International Inc. (FRASCA) was recently named as a subcontractor for the U.S. Navy TH-73A Aircrew Training Services (ATS) Contract. The prime contract was awarded to FlightSafety Defense, a FlightSafety International Company that will provide Contractor Instructional Services (CIS) and availability on 18 FRASCA-designed and manufactured Level 6 and Level 7 Flight Training Devices (FTDs).

Image generators and visual databases will be supplied by FlightSafety Defense Corporations subcontractor Aechelon Technologies. The devices will be used to support all aspects of initial entry rotary-wing training, including hover, formation flight, night-vision device, and shipboard operations training, as well as course rules familiarity and instrument flying.

FRASCA will provide and install eight new TH-73 FTDs and modify the 10 existing TH-57B/C FTDs to reflect the new Navy

aircraft. FlightSafety Defense will operate and maintain the training devices and provide aircrew training support.

The TH-73A Advanced Helicopter Training System (AHTS) will replace the TH-57B/TH-57C program. The flight training devices will be used during the transition to the TH-73A for curriculum design, subsequent validation and verification, and for Student Naval Aviator training.

The ATS contract is a key component to the AHTS because it provides contract instructors and state-of-the-art FTDs for the new Leonardo TH-73A helicopters, which will be used to train rotary student naval aviators. The new helicopters will ensure the Navy has the capacity to train several hundred aviation students per year at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whiting Field in Milton, Florida.

The contract commenced in February 2021. Delivery of the training devices and related equipment is scheduled to begin in 2021 and will continue through 2024.

Becker Avionics Donates Comms To Commemorative Air Force Texas Raiders Unit

Becker Avionics, well known in the helicopter industry for its digital voice communications systems, recently had an opportunity to extend the life and legacy of a historical war bird.

The B-17G Flying Fortress of the Texas Raiders is one of the most recognized and popular warbirds currently flying. The B-17 was primarily employed by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) in the daylight strategic bombing campaigns of World War II.

When the B-17 Flying Fortress entered World War II in 1941, it was the technological marvel of its day. Recently at a Commemorative Air Force event in Dallas, the 76-year-old bomber flew once again, except this time with some of the most modern technology on board, which included 21st century communications equipment supplied in part by Becker Avionics, Avidyne Corporation and Force Aviation.

Becker products are in aircraft that span nearly all sectors of the aerospace industry to include rotor-wing and fixed-wing civil and military aircraft. “Becker got involved because we saw it as an opportunity to span to the legacy of the B17 WWII era aircraft, where we are already in military, civil, and space aircraft, and this was on the other end of history. So, we definitely wanted to participate in this project and we very much enjoyed working with the Texas Raider crew,” said Dave Oglesbee, director of sales and marketing for Becker Avionics.


At the event, U.S. Navy Veteran Dan Ragan was on hand to share his experience in the aircraft. “I served on this beautiful aircraft 67 years ago as a crew member out of Barbers Point, Hawaii, and we were involved in the Korean War. I was a radio operator and responsible for exterior communications,” said Ragan.

Becker installed two systems on the B17 Flying Fortress, the DVCS (digital voice communications systems) intercom system and a VHF transceiver used to communicate with other aircraft and air traffic control.

The Becker DVCS replaced a cumbersome and outdated 1970s era push-to-talk communications system that was installed on the aircraft in the 1980s. The removal and replacement of the old wiring and hardware with the DVCS saved the aircraft 137 pounds of weight. “The Becker DVCS system gives us better voice and squelch control, and it’s so much better and safer than we could have imagined,” said Len Root, instructor pilot on the Texas Raiders B17 Flying Fortress. 25

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