US Air Force Receives First E-4B Simulator

The US Air Force has taken delivery of its first-ever E-4B aircraft simulator to help pilots and flight engineers in training.

The arrival of the new simulator is part of a $9.5 million training system development contract awarded to American firm CymSTAR in 2020 to fulfill the needs of the Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC).

A ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark its delivery was held at an air force facility in Nebraska last week.

According to 8th Air Force commander and ceremony officiator Maj. Gen. Andrew Gebara, the acquisition of the E-4B simulator reflects the service’s dedication to bringing an advanced training capability to its warfighters at their home station.

Prior to the E-4B simulator delivery, operators and maintainers were required to train in a Boeing 747 simulator, which has similar features and capabilities to the E-4B aircraft.

‘Unique Features’

Test director Maj. Chris Shuler said that the E-4B simulator’s visuals and air refueling capability have been assessed.

The US Air Force also evaluated the electronics, fire protection, fuel and oxygen systems, engine controls, and hydraulics to ensure that these key components are accurately represented.

“The most unique feature of the simulator is that it 100 percent replicates the flight engineer’s panel in the E-4B,” 595th Command and Control Group deputy commander Lt. Col. Derek Ligon said.

“Currently, our flight engineers train on a 747-200 panel, which is significantly different than the one aboard an E-4B. This requires engineers to receive additional training before they can be qualified on the E-4B.”

He added that the service is expecting a positive operational impact due to the arrival of the platform.

The E-4B aircraft developed by Boeing. Photo: Staff Sgt. Jacob Skovo/US Air Force

The E-4B Aircraft

A militarized version of the Boeing 747-200, the E-4B is a four-engine, high-altitude aircraft capable of refueling in flight.

It has a command work area, conference room, briefing room, operations team work area, communications area, and rest area. It can also carry up to 112 military personnel.

The E-4B is equipped with an electrical system that can support advanced electronics and various communications equipment.

The aircraft has a maximum takeoff weight of 800,000 pounds (360,000 kilograms) and maximum flight time of 12 hours.

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