Interview with Dave Rider, one-G Simulation
AFSBI: Let’s start with a little bit of a background about one-G.
Dave Rider, Vice-President one-G Simulation: We’ve got a small, talented, and diverse team of people based in Seattle. We love to fly, and are keen on building solid, reliable, affordable and high-fidelity flight simulators so we can make access to safe flight instruction more accessible to the flying community.
Our founder, Xylon Saltzman has an amazing background in design, fabrication, engineering, aviation and extensive flight training in many different aircraft – all of which have a positive impact on our daily operations and our ability to deliver top tier flight simulators. I have a background in medical simulation and “Simulation Based Mastery Learning”, working for a decade for one of the leaders in medical simulation industry. Our COO was in the auto industry for many years as a Mercedes-Benz electronics specialist, and also worked in medical device manufacturing so has a very in-depth knowledge about electronic and mechanical systems and the nuances of how to get a machine to work electronically. One-G’s Lead Software Engineer graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a focus on flight simulation. Furthermore, he is a commercially rated pilot, which from an aeronautical software development standpoint, has really given us an amazingly solid platform of expertise to build on. I could go on and on, but these are just a few of our team.
All of our flight simulators are designed, fabricated, tested, sold and serviced at our HQ in Seattle WA. We write our own software for our gauges, our avionics emulators, our Instructor Operating Station and the one-G Portal. We do partner with Laminar Research and use their software for the visuals and the flight modeling, primarily because they use the blade element theory, which provides the best performance and “feel” of how an actual aircraft will fly through the air. We think that is a very good solution for the student; If you have a good solid flight model and that simulator handles and flies well, even if it is a static simulator, you get a fantastic transfer of learning from that simulator into the airplane
AFSBI: As a sequitur, tell us about your simulators.
Dave: We build a number of model specific, FAA approved AATD flight simulators designed with the Private Pilot, Instrument and Commercial rated pilots in mind. Everything we build is intended to provide an effective, and easy to use device that the instructors and students benefit from using.
Our most popular flight simulator is our Foundation AATD, which is based on a Cessna 172. The “Foundation” is spec’ed with either a standard six pack or with the 1G-1000 system. You can of course pick all sorts of other options to customize it to fit the flight school’s needs. The options include different visual packages, avionic emulators, control loading, cockpit configurations, and the SOLO hardware (Self Operated Learning Objectives).
We deliver many of the standard devices, but we also we build a lot of those with custom components as well. For example, one of our customers might say: “I’ve got a Garmin G5 Attitude Indicator DG/HSI system in my Cessna 172 and want my simulator to match my airplane exactly”. We can build it. Or: “I’ve got a 430 with a model “XYZ” autopilot”. Then we’ll build that sim to match the customers airplane.
In addition to the Foundation, we have the one-G Flagship, which is based on the Beechcraft BE-36 Bonanza and BE-58 Baron models. It can be converted from the single to twin in less than 5 minutes. It can be used to replicate many other typical single or multi-engine land complex aircraft. We also have the VERO 28, which is based on the Piper Archer.
The one-G turbo prop sims include the Tarbes-7 (based on a SocataTBM700) and the Swiss 12 (Pilatus PC-12). These are great solutions for flight schools, and 135 operators who are looking for a high-end, type-specific flight simulator that has the next level of overhead panel, center console, gauges, pop-out circuit breakers, dual controls etc. Great for single owner/pilot trainers, crew trainers and turbo prop transition trainers.
Finally, for the helicopter market we have the Torrance 44 (based on the popular Robinson 44).
All of our flight simulators are coupled with the 1G-IOS (Instructors Operating Station), and supported by the 1G-Portal, which is a secure, cloud-based portal which is designed to streamline the administrative aspects of pilot training.[Find options and prices in our ATD comparison post here].
AFSBI: Instructor console?
Dave: We shine in this area as well. We have a complete suite of applications for managing not only the actual training sessions but also students performance and progress. We start with our instructor console, the 1G-IOS, (Instructor Operating Station). In the IOS we give the instructor control of all aspects of the training session, including the simulator set up, flight parameters, failures, weather, all on touch-screen tablet or desktop station. We include scenario-building features, that allow flight schools and instructors the ability to match the scenarios with the school’s curriculum. What’s even more important is that the IOS is paired to our Portal. To explain, the Portal is a full school management system, cloud-based, where all of the administrative functions happen. The Portal includes tools to manage all aspects of pilot training. It automatically logs instructor and student training hours, record keeping, account maintenance and billing. With the Portal you can track where the student is with their self-directed course work, training, performance, review sessions to identify potential issues, and flag areas that require more attention. From anywhere at any time both instructors and students can log in and review past sessions. It’s a game changer in flight training.
AFSBI: I heard you are getting in the hot new area of VR. How is that progressing?
Dave: We have been working on different forms of our augmented reality flight simulator for some time. The Torrance 44 VR is just the beginning for what we see in the future in the way of VR simulators and their capabilities. We are trying to perfect the use of the VR headsets within an actual physical cockpit where not only can you use/manipulate all of the switches, buttons and hardware, but you also benefit from the 3D visuals within the simulated environment.
Currently, our Torrance 44 VR sim uses the VR goggles, while the pilot still benefits from the ability to use the flight controls including the cyclic, collective and the anti-torque pedals which creates an incredibly immersive augmented reality flight deck.
AFSBI: This month’s editorial on Flying Magazine has a feature on simulators and mentions financing. I know you have the ‘Access Program’ in place. How does it work?
Dave: One of one-G’s core principles is to improve access to safe flight training, including finding ways to help flight schools provide affordable flight training solutions to their students. With that in mind, the one-G Access is a program that places the one-G Foundation in qualifying flight schools on a pay-per-use basis. There are no registration fees, deposits, or long-term contracts with one-G Access. We work with the flight school to determine if they are a good fit for the program, which includes detailed discussion about how many students they have, number of instructors, average monthly flight hours, and how they currently use flight simulation in their flight training curriculum. If it becomes clear that they would be a good fit, we deliver the simulator, train their instructors how to use it and then assist with marketing the sim to their students and customers. It’s a win for the students, the flight schools and in the end for one-G simulation. This is really a great program!
AFSBI: Finally, I’ve heard about your Youth Program, tell me about it. It sounds like a great mission for the company.
Dave: I am very proud of what we are doing with our Youth Access Program. Our primary goal is to give back to the community by improving access to FAA approved AATD’s for the sake of the kids. The more students we can show a clear pathway to a career in aviation, the better.
With this in mind, we are participating in high school programs across the country. We invite groups like the Redtailed Hawks to our HQ, we take the sims out to regional programs, and have the Youth Access Program where we have donated simulators to qualified high schools aviation programs.
When we host sessions here at the one-G HQ, we allow kids to come in and fly the simulators in our classroom, and we also engage them in other ways to show them a number of careers they could pursue in “aviation”. We divide them into groups and they spend time with the software team, the manufacturing team, and time with the flight instructors actually taking a flying lesson in the simulators.
We have our software team put together interactive software sessions for each sim component, where the students have an opportunity to get hands on experience with software programming. We have our manufacturing and design team run the kids through how we build parts on the CNC machines, how we use 3D printers and all other areas of assembly. We have our instructors put the student up in the air, flying into the pattern and then land the aircraft.
For us, aviation is more than just piloting. It’s fabricating. It’s technology. You see some kids that were able to code with the software guys, just to change the functions of the simulator, and they could see the results and say: “OK I can see myself as a software engineer!” And then there was a big group that said: “Hey I want to work with my hands. I want to use the CNC machine and I’m going to take this bit of aluminum and create a wheel” or whatever it is.
These kids might not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in an event like this. We hope that the light would go on for some of them in any of those areas, because for us it’s very important.
We have a sim trailer and we call it our mobile Youth Access Trailer. We take the trailer to local events, similar to high school events or a local high school flying club scene or whatever else it might be, to try to engage youth from all walks of life. And it does!
Finally, the most recent Youth Access Program donation recipient was EVIT (East Valley Institute of Technology). One-G simulation donated a Foundation (FAA approved AATD) and it has been getting a tremendous amount of use. EVIT has an amazing program that is striving everyday to give high school students in the Phoenix AZ area the opportunity to purse aviation careers. It has been a real treat to work with them and we look forward to a long partnership.
As you can tell, I am really pleased with the Youth Access program as that is near and dear to my heart. I like it, it’s so fulfilling to me to see those kids light up. Our goal is to continue to try to spark an interest in as many youth as possible and I think the Youth Access Program will be key to that success.
AFSBI: Dave, thanks so much for your time. We look forward to visiting you and putting your simulators through our flight test.