AN IPSWICH company is producing aircraft simulators to help train defence and civilian pilots across the world.
Geosim Technologies has kept a relatively low profile since going into business 11 years ago, despite the fact that it has produced some 72 fixed wing and chopper simulators that have been used as far afield as the Middle East.
Managing director Charles du Plessis said the company had its sights set on producing not only more advanced flight simulators, but also building a prototype car simulator to assist Queensland learner drivers.
"We started out with the idea that we just wanted to get people interested in aviation," Mr du Plessis said.
"We got Aviation Australia - a State Government initiative - involved early on and that gave us a really good kickstart."
Its wide range of clients now includes the Saudi National Guard and CHC Search and Rescue, as well as Griffith University.
Organisations that rely on regular pilot training can save thousands of dollars by using simulators over actual aircraft, and this is a market Mr du Plessis is tapping in on.
"For $90,000, which was the total cost of our AW139 simulator, we have created something with great realism, where the actual aircraft can go for millions," he said.
Among Geosim's chopper simulators are the AW139 - an Italian-built craft favoured for search and rescue and offshore oil rig transport - and the famous Bell 206.
The company is in talks with the Swiss and UAE defence forces, while also planning a car simulator prototype.
Engineer and designer Christopher du Plessis - son of Charles - said the AW139 and Bell 206 simulators were built with life-like cockpit dials and controls.
Most of the displays are designed and built in-house, while Geosim also employs a Raceview welding contractor to assist with the construction of the cockpit.
Part of the design includes the large dome screen, which encapsulates the pilot.
The graphics have geographical features that are so close to real that they enable a flight from Brisbane to Ipswich without the aid of the navigation equipment.