Icarus plays a vital role in Virgin Atlantic Airlines’ cabin crew training by supplying the training centre with its training slides and rafts. The airline boasts a spacious and dedicated training facility at The Base, near London Gatwick, where it moved in 2007 to develop its current array of training equipment.
At the centre of this array is the safety evacuation trainer. In addition to the safety trainer there is a large service trainer, rigged out in a three cabin configuration; a pilot incapacitation trainer; a crew rest trainer; a Boeing 787 door trainer and an Airbus Type A door trainer; a Type C overwing exit; an upper deck door trainer and a dedicated AvMed trainer that allows crews to experience medical scenarios in a ‘real space’ environment with all the pressures that brings.
“Virgin Atlantic have utilised Icarus products for many years and as well as being of a very high quality, the service we have always received has been consistently excellent!”
– Matt Whipp, Manager SEP Security and AvMed Training
Icarus Training Products
Critical to cabin crew training is the ability to experience slide jumps and Virgin requires all its initial cabin crew to undertake a descent of a wide-body lower deck slide. Rather than use a real aircraft slide, which is expensive and designed for one-off emergency use, Virgin has selected inflatable training specialist, Icarus Training Systems, to build a robust but representative Boeing 747 training slide for the job.
The slide is installed on a specially erected frame and allows for videoed safe descents by crewmembers in training. The tough nature of the fabrics used in the manufacture of the slide means that there is minimal maintenance needed. With careful servicing, the airline has kept the current slide in service for ten years.
In addition, Icarus has also supplied a separate Airbus A340 wide-body slide raft which crew can use in the training centre to practise raft boarding and drills including the use of the girt and a hybrid raft which is regularly used in the pool for full wet drills.