GVR Report cover Helicopter Simulator Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Helicopter Simulator Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product (Full Flight Simulator, Fixed Base Simulator), By Application (Military, Commercial), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2020 - 2027

  • Report ID: GVR-4-68038-635-6
  • Number of Report Pages: 110
  • Format: PDF, Horizon Databook
  • Historical Range: 2016 - 2018
  • Forecast Period: 2020 - 2027 
  • Industry: Technology

Report Overview

The global helicopter simulator market size was valued at USD 961.5 million in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.6% from 2020 to 2027. The growth of this market can be attributed to the rising demand for helicopters for commercial activities, emergency medical services, increasing fuel costs, and rising need for safety of pilots. An increasing number of helicopter pilot training institutes across the world, coupled with the growing demand for pilots, is expected to spur the demand for helicopter simulators. Additionally, technological advancements and the quality of simulation products are also anticipated to escalate product demand. Increasing demand for full flight simulators (FFS) is also anticipated to fuel market growth over the forecast period. Full flight simulators are equipped with motion and visual systems to offer a realistic experience to the pilot while training.

Europe helicopter simulator market size

The motion system is designed to replicate the movements and sensations of a real helicopter precisely. The visual system can create an illusion of objects and obstacles near the flying zone, which include environmental parameters like mountains and hilly terrains. Additionally, it also provides a 180-degree satellite quality view. Several benefits offered by these machines, such as advanced cockpit features and the ability to provide training within an original helicopter shell is expected to result in increasing adoption of these machines over the coming years.

Helicopters are unstable machines and are complex to handle and operate due to the vibrations generated by the body of the helicopters, which causes accidents. Additionally, training in a helicopter is directly associated with high fuel and maintenance costs. As such, training on simulators has become essential owing to the safety of the pilot and the costs of actual helicopters. In this scenario, simulators can provide tactical and mission training for commercial as well as military activities without any accidents. Furthermore, simulators can provide training for long hours at significantly low costs, as compared to high expenses incurred with fuel and maintenance of actual helicopters, which is expected to drive the market.

High purchase, operating, and maintenance costs associated with helicopter simulators are anticipated to pose a challenge to industry growth. Additionally, the high expenses involved in the training of professional pilots may also hinder industry growth over the forecast period. However, increasing demand from the civil segment for pilot training especially for harsh conditions and difficult terrains may catapult market growth. Also, technological advancement in helicopter platforms, coupled with the increasing emphasis on improving passenger safety, is estimated to favorably impact industry growth. Furthermore, initiatives and mandated introduced by government and private institutions regarding simulation-based training and simulation-based pilot certification may also fuel market growth over the forecast period.

Product Insights

Full flight simulators dominated the market with a share of 85.3% in 2019. This high share is attributable to its ability to offer motion simulation with multiple degrees of freedom with realistic sounds and visual effects. A full flight simulator is a replica of a specific model and type of helicopter. It includes computer programs and equipment, which are necessary to represent helicopter operations on the ground and during flying. Full flight simulators can produce appropriate environmental conditions required for pilot training, which is expected to increase the adoption of these simulators. 

Fixed Base Simulators (FBS) is witnessing a steady growth in the helicopter simulator market owing to its limited capabilities and features. Fixed base simulators comprise of various types of simulators, such as Flight Training Devices (FTD), Full Mission Simulators (FMS), Cockpit Procedure Trainer (CPT), Basic Aviation Training Device (BATD), and Helicopter Aircrew Weapon Systems Trainers (HAWST). FBS’s include a set of instruments, equipment, controls, and panels, which are necessary to represent helicopter operations during ground and flying conditions. FBS’s are open flight decks or enclosed fight decks with equipment and computer programs and are fixed devices without any motion. The cost of these devices is substantially low, which is the prime reason for their adoption among small flight schools and is also contributing to segment growth.

Application Insights

The military segment dominated the market with a share of 55.3% in 2019. This high share is attributable to the usage of helicopters in military operations as compared to commercial purposes. Helicopter simulators in the military train the pilots for services like logistics and transportation of troops, goods, and ammunition. Furthermore, training is also provided to pilots on battlefield scenarios in a full mission simulator, which is highly critical and expensive to be provided on an actual helicopter. These factors have resulted in the high adoption of simulators for military operations. 

Global helicopter simulator market share

The commercial segment is expected to witness a steady growth owing to the usage of helicopters for commercial flying and emergency medical services. The demand for trained pilots has been growing owing to its increased demand in the oil and gas sector and for business traveling and mail services. Furthermore, the rising disposable income has increased the volume of helicopter tours, thus increasing the concerns about passenger safety. Helicopter simulator provides a commercial pilot with scenarios of flying within the city, recreating different weather conditions while training, which has resulted in the adoption of simulators for commercial purposes.

Regional Insights

North America dominated the market with a share of 51.7% in 2019. This is attributable to the increasing demand for more helicopter simulators by the U.S. Air Force coupled with upgrades to the existing equipment. The presence of major market players such as CAE Inc., FRASCA International, Inc., TRU Simulation + Training Inc., FlightSafety International, and L3Harris Technologies, Inc. is also expected to drive the growth of the market in this region. Europe has the second largest share owing to the increasing adoption of helicopter simulators for commercial and military operations. For instance, Helicopter Flight Training Systems (HFTS) entered into an agreement with the German Army in December 2019, to upgrade and modernize the NH90 helicopter simulators. 

Asia Pacific is estimated to exhibit high growth over the next few years owing to the increasing demand for the procurement of helicopters for military and commercial purposes, especially in developing countries such as India and China. Also, companies like CAE Inc., Thales Group, and Airbus S.A.S have expanded their operations in countries like China and Australia. For instance, CAE Inc., opened a new business unit in Canberra, Australia in 2018 to expand its defense and security business. A considerable amount of logistical support through the air is required for the movement of troops and goods owing to the large military population, which creates a need for training of pilots for different missions. Also, a rise in the number of helicopter accidents in countries across Asia has increased the emphasis on simulator-based training of pilots. Furthermore, the growth in commercial flying activities owing to the rise in population and disposable income is further expected to increase the importance of simulation training considering the safety of pilots and passengers, which is anticipated to drive the growth of the market in the region.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The industry is highly consolidated with the presence of very few companies in the market. Companies operating in the industry enjoy a high profit margin but make continuous efforts to cut costs and improve market share. Manufacturers focus on new product creation and product development for competitive advantage. Vendors also emphasize on joint ventures, partnerships, collaborations, and acquisitions to strengthen the global network for increasing sales and improving marketing efforts. Joint ventures also enable vendors to cater to new markets. For instance, in July 2019, Harris Corporation and L3Technologies, Inc. completed the merger to form new company called L3Harris Technologies. The partnership helped the companies to gain a strong foothold in the defense industry. Some of the prominent players in the helicopter simulator market include:

  • Thales Group

  • Indra Sistemas

  • Lockheed Martin Corp.

  • Frasca International Inc.

  • FlightSafety International Inc.

  • Elbit Systems, Ltd.

  • Computer Sciences Corp.

  • CAE Inc.

  • Rockwell Collins

  • ELITE Simulation Solutions

Helicopter Simulator Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2020

USD 1.0 billion

Revenue forecast in 2027

USD 1.5 billion

Growth Rate

CAGR of 5.6% from 2020 to 2027

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2016 - 2018

Forecast period

2020 - 2027

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2020 to 2027

Report coverage

Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Product, application, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Latin America; MEA

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; U.K.; Germany; France; China; India; Japan; Brazil; Mexico

Key companies profiled

Thales Group; Indra Sistemas; Lockheed Martin Corp.; Frasca International Inc.; FlightSafety International Inc.; Elbit Systems, Ltd.; Computer Sciences Corp.; CAE Inc.; Rockwell Collins; ELITE Simulation Solutions

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts’ working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

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Segments Covered in the Report

The report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2027. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global helicopter simulator market report based on product, application, and region:

  • Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Full Flight Simulators

    • Fixed Base Simulators

  • Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • Military

    • Commercial

  • Region Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2027)

    • North America

      • The U.S.

      • Canada

    • Europe

      • The U.K.

      • Germany

      • France

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • India

      • Japan

    • Latin America

      • Brazil

      • Mexico

    • Middle East & Africa

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