Giant Plane Delivers Flight Simulator

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA, OKINAWA, Japan  -  The Russian-built Antonov An-124, a colossal cargo Aircraft, landed at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma May 19, delivering a KC-130J simulator for Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152.

With the addition of the simulator, Marine Corps KC-130J pilots on Okinawa will no longer have to travel to the states for simulator training.

"This simulator will increase the unit's overall readiness," said Capt. Damian Duhon, aircrew training officer for VMGR-152. "The training simulator significantly reduces the man hours required on the airplane."

Duhon said that the simulator can be adjusted to enhance training for pilots by preparing them for a wide variety of flight conditions and environmental factors such as weather, lighting and geography.

Once pilots become proficient in the simulator, they will log anywhere between 20 and 30 hours of simulator time per month. Duhon said he anticipates the simulator will be assembled and ready for use by August.

Transportation of the simulator, built by the Tampa, Fla.-based CAE USA Inc., to Futenma was handled by Atlantic Relocations Systems.

The An-124 was chosen to transport the massive simulator because the 226-foot plane is equipped with a crane inside the cargo hold to move heavy loads. The simulator is the third of its kind the Marine Corps has purchased and one of only nine in the world. The first simulator purchased by the Marine Corps is at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., and the second is at MCAS Miramar, Calif.

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