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Jack Soldo (1 to r), McDonnell Douglas VITAL project director; Captain C.D. McLean. Piedmont
staff vice president-flight training: and A1 Becker, CAE Electronics program manager, cut the rib
bon at the unveiling of the first Boeing 737-300/400 simulator at the training center in CLT.
Piedmont Airlines unveiled the world’s first
737-300/400 flight simulator at a September 6
ceremony with manufacturers of the simulator
and its visual system, and several members of
the news media at the company's new flight
training center in Charlotte.
The state-of-the-art 737-300/400 training
simulator is the first of its kind to provide full-
color day and night scenes by using the latest
computer-generated image visual system—
VITAL VII—developed by McDonnell Douglas.
“The highly advanced VITAL VII system that
we selected for our Boeing 737-300/400 training
program represents the leading edge of flight
simulation technology,” said Captain C.D.
McLean, staff vice president-flight training.
Piedmont, the first airline to utilize VITAL VII
in its simulator training program, was the launch
customer for the new Boeing 737-400 jet aircraft.
The new simulator unit is housed alongside
the company’s three other flight simulators—a
737-200, 737-300, and 727-200—at the new
80,000 square-foot training facility at Charlotte/
Douglas International Airport.
The VITAL VII image visual system, incorpo
rated on a simulator manufactured by CAE Elec
tronics Ltd. of Montreal, is a full daylight, dusk
and night system designed to meet all levels of
Federal Aviation Administration and Civil Avia
tion Authority training requirements.
Both McDonnell Douglas and CAE Electronics
were on hand at the Charlotte press conference
when it was officially announced that the new
unit was fully operational.
“VITAL VII incorporates full raster technology
which provides unsurpassed scene quality and
stability,’’ said John Watson, director of the
VITAL project for McDonnell Douglas. “Its modu
lar design allows growth by adding modules for
texture, smooth surface shading, high resolution,
and calligraphic lightpoints.’’
VITAL VII provides a gap-free field of view of
88 degrees horizontal and 36 degrees vertical for
both the pilot and co-pilot positions. The image
visuals simulate standard airport features such
as runways, taxi ways, hangars, ground support
equipment, as well as ground traffic hazards. The
system also offers a complete range of marginal
weather training with a full range of visibility ef
fects such as clouds, rain, fog, and haze. Icy and
snow-covered runway conditions also are
“Our pilots in training will benefit greatly by
this new system as it provides the most realistic
training environment ever available in a flight
simulator,” McLean said.
Volume 39, number 9 October 1988
USAir Group helps air debate in INT
HelpingAirThe Great Debates.
An Uttki.il ()l \\u- Xs
Piedmont Reservations Supervisors (1 to r) Sharon Miller and Meiria
Vleihos, Piedmont Flight Attendant Susan Millard, and USAir Flight At
tendant Peggy Rutkauskas assisted customers with reservations and
travel plans at the travel assistance desk set up by USAir at the site of
the Presidential debate.
Republican Presidential candi
date 'Vice President George Bush
Democratic Presidential candi
date Massachusetts Governor
USAir Group, Inc., parent com
pany of sister airlines USAir and
Piedmont, was the lead local spon
sor of the 1988 Presidential Debate
at Wake Forest University in
Winston-Salem, NC, September 25.
USAir's cash grant of $100,000
was the largest corporate grant
received by the University and
helped Wake Forest and Winston-
Salem secure selection as the site
of the first debate of this year's
To make it convenient for the
thousands of THad visitors to make
or revise air travel plans during the
debate, the two Winston-Salem
Piedmont/USAir ticket offices re
mained open on the weekend of the
In addition, a Piedmont/USAir
travel assistance desk was located
at the media center in the main
lobby of Reynolda Hall, adjacent to
the media credentials desk and
directly across the Quad from Wait
Chapel, site of the debate. Pied
mont and USAir flight attendants
and reservations personnel staffed
the desk, also to assist customers
in making or revising travel plans.
Piedmont and USAir employees
at the three locations, as well as at
the Piedmont Tk-iad International
and Smith Reynolds Airports, were
all wearing large buttons proclaim
ing the USAir debate theme, “Help
ing Air the Great Debates.”
USAir Group President and Chief
Executive Officer (left) Ed Colod-
ny, his wife Nancy, and Wake For
est President Thomas Hearn visit
before the debate.
District Sales Manager (right)
Bob Joiner assists CBS Emchor-
man Dan Rather at the Sheraton
North city ticket office. Rather
was complimentary of our first-