Continental Motors president Rhett Ross says that his company’s Zulu storefront simulator training center is paying dividends, as it passed a number of significant milestones recently. Zulu opened for business on July 13th. Today it has 18 students and has trained students who have earned private and instrument ratings.
Perhaps the most significant milestone was the signing up of walk-in flight training customers, including one woman who stumbled upon the location and decided it was time to cross “learning to fly” off her bucket list. That kind of walk-in, previous-non-pilot business was once a staple of airport flight training, but it has declined precipitously over the past couple of decades. Ross hopes that Zulu will help begin to reverse that trend.
The center is not located at an airport but at an upscale outdoor mall, positioned next to the interstate in toney Spanish Fort, Alabama. In creating Zulu, Continental, which is owned by Chinese parent company AVIC, teamed with Redbird Flight Simulations, equipping its Spanish Fort center with numerous Redbird flight simulation devices, including a handful of full-motion FMX models.
Ross said the original strategies of the center have proven successful. Among the most popular strategies have been the center’s open design — there are no desks or walls — the center’s policy of taking training airplanes (new Cessna 172s) to the airport closest to the customer, and its ability to schedule lessons to meet the student’s needs, instead of the center’s schedule.
For more information, check out our story on the Zulu storefront’s grand opening.