The global helicopter simulator market size is anticipated to reach USD 1.5 billion by 2027, expanding at a CAGR of 5.6%, according to a study conducted by Grand View Research, Inc. The growth of this market is attributed to the rising focus towards safety of pilots and passengers, and cost-effectiveness in training catering to high fuel prices and maintenance costs. Increasing need for advanced technology and features to precisely replicate ground and flying conditions for training is also expected the drive the growth of this market.
A helicopter simulator offers several cockpit features along with motion and visual systems within a helicopter shell for training. The device is equipped with advanced features like acceleration onset cueing, collimation, low latency, and Stewart platform. These features enable the device to recreate the environmental conditions like air density, wind shear, and turbulence, which assists the pilot to train under these conditions. This provides the pilot with realistic hands-on experience of handling and operating the aircraft, thereby resulting in increased adoption of the device.
Full Mission Simulators (FMSs) are equipped with features to deliver weapons and ammunition training to the aircrew, which results in the cost of training with actual weapons. FMSs are also capable of creating battle scenarios, which provides training in the detection and engagement of targets. Training on a machine that can simulate real-life situations, results in saving around 45-55 percent cost per hour as compared to training on an actual helicopter. Although, training on the machine is cost effective, the high initial cost of the machine is expected to pose a challenge to the growth of this market.
The military segment held the largest market share in 2019. This high share is attributable to increasing use of the aircraft in military operations. Military forces use machines that can simulate real-time situations for the pilots and train them for possible situations and services like transportations of troops, ammunition, and goods. The commercial segment is anticipated to witness steady growth owing to increasing use of the aircraft in medical emergency services and commercial flying. Rising demand for trained pilots for mail services and business travelling is also expected to propel segment growth in coming years.
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Further key findings from the report suggest:
- High adoption of full flight simulators is expected to drive the growth of this market owing to the motion and visual effects offered
- Asia Pacific is anticipated to witness a healthy CAGR of over 5.0% over the forecast period owing to the increase in procurement of helicopters and training of pilots for military and commercial purposes. Additionally, North America dominates the current market with highest revenue share owing to the presence of some major companies in the region
- The key market players operating in the market are focused on forming mergers and acquisitions. For instance, in March 2019, CAE Inc., announced the acquisition of Bombardier’s Business Aircraft Training Business (BAT). Through this acquisition, the company expects to expand its market reach in the aviation training business, which includes medium and large cabin business jets.