Southwest Airlines is the largest operator of Boeing 737 aircraft in the world. Their training department wanted to enhance its 737 training curriculum and maximize the exposure of aspiring pilots to complex aircraft systems. One of the components essential to this need was the Flight Management Computer (FMC). The team needed a device that would replicate the exact behaviour of their existing in-flight FMC’s.
Image: Southwest Airlines training facility. | Photo credit: David Woo (Staff Photographer, The Dallas Morning News)
Flightdeck Solutions accepted this challenge and crafted a custom Pro MX-CDU, a device that behaved precisely as their aircraft FMC’s. The Pro MX-CDU seamlessly integrated with Southwest Airlines in-house computer software. Flightdeck Solutions understood the importance of this enhancement for Southwest's training department and their re-defined pilot competency objectives. Southwest Airlines decided to modernize its approach to training by re-introducing instructor led training and utilization of sophisticated flight management computers. The Flight Management Computer or FMC is one of the most vital components of the cockpit and can cost tens of thousands of dollars, FDS was able to create this highly capable component that is able to emulate all phases of flight at a price point that is much more advantageous for modern training initiatives.
FDS has faced unique challenges that have been met by their engineering team to draw up custom approaches to solve an immediate client-need. Time and again, FDS has delivered high-quality products within budgets and time constraints.
The training department at Southwest Airlines was able to deploy and incorporate the PRO-MX-CDU into their training curriculum that enabled an elevated level of training to their pilots, quickly and efficiently. The FMS units received excellent reviews for their ability to provide an authentic tactile experience of an aircraft component in a classroom setting.