With its affordable line of simulators, Redbird’s sales grew more than 20 percent last year and much of that growth is due to schools buying desktop simulators for STEM education programs. Redbird’s Charlie Gregoire says schools have the money to invest in science-related equipment and desktop sims fit the bill.
“The STEM market for us is our single fastest growing market year over year. The shortage in pilots, the enhanced focus on more applied kind of teaching, the money that’s out there for teaching these kinds of programs … and aviation is by far the best framework to bring together science, technology and math in an interesting way,” Gregoire says.
Typically, he says, schools are buying a fleet of desktop units that go into classrooms with 20 or so students and one teacher. Some schools are also incorporating larger sims as part of a full pilot program. Redbird also sells a product called Tracon that allows a teacher to conduct programs on multiple simulators in a lab environment.
“It really runs the gamut. A lot of times you’ll see a teacher stand up a program where they’re teaching private pilot or instrument pilot using that as a framework to introduce all the things we need to talk about such as physics, meteorology and earth sciences. But it’s not always let’s use aviation as the framework and teach you to fly,” he says.
AVweb spoke to Charlie Gregoire at the 9th annual Redbird Migration training conference being held at Denver’s Centennial Airport this week. You can hear the full interview in this AVweb podcast.