Aviation simulator and training provider CAE is to invest C$1 billion (US$800) million over the next five years to support airworthiness test programs and training programs for new types of aircraft such as eVTOLs.
The major R&D program, which is called Project Resilience will include the development of “digitally immersive solutions using data ecosystems and artificial intelligence”. It will also develop the capability to provide operational support and training solutions for Advanced Air Mobility, as well as develop green light aircraft technologies.
The Government of Canada and the Government of Québec is part-funding Project Resilience with a a combined investment of C$340 million (US$265 million).
CAE said it will harness its technological capabilities and expertise in supporting airworthiness test programs as well as its latest innovations in simulation, virtual/mixed reality (VR/MR) and data analytics as part of Project Resilience. It will also invest in the development of electric aircraft technologies and solutions, including retrofitting its large fleet of light trainer aircraft to reduce its carbon footprint.
Marc Parent, CAE’s President and CEO said, “CAE is a Canadian innovation powerhouse, and our R&D will allow us to reinforce our leadership in training by creating digitally immersive solutions across many sectors and markets to make the world a safer place.
“The project will also allow us to expand into exciting new markets such as advanced air mobility, green light aircraft technologies and next generation healthcare equipment and services.
“With advanced air mobility, we are on the cusp of a new era of aviation. We are investing to position CAE to be one of the leaders in defining this emerging industry, supporting OEMs with the development, testing and certification of aircraft programs, simulation equipment and the delivery of training to the next generation of pilots and maintenance technicians.
“It is expected that close to 60,000 uniquely trained professional pilots will be needed to safely fly passengers and cargo in these electric Vertical Take-off and Landing vehicles, and CAE has the expertise to help make it happen.”
Project Resilience will be based in Canada, where it will create 700 new jobs at CAE. The company said it will work with post-secondary institutions, research centres and STEM institutions and create 5,000 Work Integrated Learning (WIL) opportunities for students and 100 new scholarship positions.
CAE employs more than 11,000 people at 160 sites in 35 countries. Approximately half of them work in 18 locations across Canada.