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Bell to build Flight Training Devices for Czech Republic

December 15, 2021  By Helicopters Staff

Bell anticipates that production and delivery of the Czech Republic’s new AH-1Z and UH-1Y aircraft will be complete by 2023. (Image: Bell Textron)

Bell Textron Inc. signed a contract with the U.S. Government to build the AH-1Z Flight Training Device for Czech Republic’s new helicopter fleet, focusing on the integration of H-1 helicopters into the Czech Air Force.

The Flight Training Device (FTD) will be used for simulation and training purposes for prospective pilots of the combined AH-1Z and UH-1Y fleet. Bell explains the delivery of these training device will ensure the continuous presence of its expertise throughout the Czech Air Force’s helicopter modernization program.

“The Flight Training Device will provide Czech operators with the perfect tools for familiarizing themselves with their new H-1 helicopters,” said Mike Deslatte, Bell H-1 vice president and program director. “The FTD for the Czech Air Force will ensure training activities progress smoothly in line with the delivery of the aircraft themselves.”

Bell selected FlightSafety International and VR Group as key subcontractors in the program. FlightSafety will provide hardware and software products for simulation training, including the visual display system and control loading system.


“FlightSafety is proud to continue the long-standing collaboration with Bell supporting the H-1 program,” said Michael Vercio, senior vice president of simulation systems at FlightSafety. “The Czech Flight Training Device gives us another opportunity to provide a world-class training solution to a new set of pilots.”

VR Group, a Czech company, holds expertise in simulation technologies and will provide some of the moving models for the visual database system for the Czech H-1 FTD. VR Group will also be responsible for maintenance and support for the device after delivery. Bell explains VR Group’s participation underlines the business opportunities brought to local Czech companies and organizations by Bell’s provision of the Czech Republic’s new helicopter fleet.

“As one of the Czech Republic’s leading providers of defense training solutions, we are extremely excited to play our part in providing the FTD in cooperation with the team at Bell,” said Ivo Gamba, technical director, VR Group. “Our local expertise creates a device of great benefit to Czech helicopter operatives.”

Bell explains production of the Czech Republic’s new H-1 helicopter fleet is proceeding on schedule, with Bell’s Amarillo Assembly Center recently receiving the first UH-1Y cabin for the Czech fleet. Bell anticipates that production and delivery of the Czech Republic’s new AH-1Z and UH-1Y aircraft will be complete by 2023.


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