• Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    A new training tool developed by a Victoria software company will save aerospace co's & government.. see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    A new training tool developed by a Victoria software company will save aerospace companies and government departments money and time when training staff, according to the chief executive in charge of the program.

    Scott Dewis, chief executive of Race Rocks 3D, said a virtual reality set-up being developed by the firm will allow students to immerse themselves in worlds that do not yet exist.

    That means they can hit the ground running when the equipment does come to life.

    The program is being developed to help train crews for a new Royal Canadian Navy ship being built by Chantier Davie Shipyards in Quebec.

    Race Rocks won a contract to provide the training systems for the Asterix, a container ship that is being converted into an auxiliary oiler/replenishment ship for the navy.

    The software will allow the crew to get familiar with the ship’s layout, its systems and how it functions months before it leaves the shipyard.

    The company has developed a brief “touring” virtual reality experience that takes anyone from a virtual office, seemingly on board the ship, onto a helicopter for a realistic aerial tour of the ship as it demonstrates its capabilities at sea.

    “The goal is for a sailor who comes on board Asterix to already know the ship,” said Dewis.

    Race Rocks is investing heavily in virtual-reality and augmented-reality systems for use in aerospace and defence training.

    “Really, it’s all about blended learning,” he said, noting they will offer training systems that will use virtual and augmented reality, e-learning and gaming simulation.

    “We want to make learning entertaining, so we pick the technology that lends itself best to that type of learning.”

    “We are really excited about where this technology can go. It can reduce the cost and speed up the time it takes to train people,” Dewis said.

    The growth area is likely to be aerospace, and Dewis said there is a natural fit with companies like Boeing, which is based in Seattle and has satellite operations in Richmond.

    “They see Victoria as an untapped market,” he said, noting it’s up to this area to sell itself to the aerospace giant by showcasing its relatively inexpensive cost of living and superior technical talent.

    “There is something there for Victoria — and it’s up to us to figure out how to present ourselves,” Dewis said.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    “I’m a believer in developing an aerospace supply chain in B.C.” see more

    Source: Times Colonist
    Author: Andrew Duffy

    Victoria, BC - February 18, 2016 - Tucked into a $48-billion budget that was heavy on health spending, housing affordability initiatives and changes to the Medical Services Plan were small items that could have a big impact on the Island economy.

    Finance Minister Mike de Jong announced funding would continue for programs in the province’s aerospace, forestry and mining industries that will result in jobs and revenue for Island companies.

    The province confirmed it will provide its third installment of $5 million for the Pacific division of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada.

    It will be a big step in helping developing companies find their feet in a global business, said Viking Air chief executive Dave Curtis. “I’m a believer in developing an aerospace supply chain in B.C.”

    Curtis said many suppliers tend to be based in central Canada, which means Viking pays more for parts and services. “The better the supply chain out here, the cheaper it is for us.”

    Curtis said there are plenty of small B.C. companies that could do work for Viking, but they need to develop other markets to be sustainable.

    “If they can get out there and understand the opportunities in a global context, then we can add to that,” he said, noting the Aerospace Industries Association has been able to help more than 40 small local firms broaden their appeal.

    B.C.’s aerospace industry records about $1.2 billion in revenue and employs about 10,000 people.

    Viking used this week’s Singapore Air Show to make a pair of announcements about expanding its own business.

    The company introduced the Viking Twin Otter 400S seaplane, billed as the world’s first dedicated seaplane in the 15 to 19 passenger category. The aircraft is a variant of the Series 400 Twin Otter and will be sold for $6 million US.

    Deliveries are expected in the first quarter of 2017.

    Viking also announced it has leased four Twin Otters to Daily Air Corporation of Taiwan.

    The aircraft will be delivered in the second and third quarters of this year.