December 8, 2022 – Loft Dynamics AG, formerly VRM Switzerland, creator of virtual reality (VR) simulators, has recently announced that it has re-branded and raised USD $20 million in financing. The fundraising marks the company’s first institutional round, led by US technology investors Craft Ventures, Sky Dayton, and Up Ventures.
Loft Dynamics stated that the funding will be used to accelerate the company’s growth into international markets, particularly the US. Loft Dynamics noted that the rebranding from VRM Switzerland will help to position the company for global expansion at a time when a pilot shortage has reached a crisis point and the need to reduce air pollution has never been more urgent.
“After many years in development, we are ready to expand Loft Dynamics to become a global company and bring our technology and training solutions to the world,” said Fabi Riesen, Co-Founder & CEO of Loft Dynamics. “This funding comes at exactly the right moment as we will be able to meet the escalating demand for flight schools and accelerate the range of aircraft types we support.”
Loft Dynamics’ simulators provide pilots with a highly realistic and immersive flight experience. They combine panoramic views inside and outside the aircraft – from exact perspectives to precise colors, shading, vibrations, better visual cues, dramatically more realistic motion and sound characteristics of the actual aircraft. The pilot experiences the correct loads and force feedback from flight controls and is fully immersed.
Loft Dynamics already serves customers such as Airbus Helicopters, Air Zermatt, Colorado Highland Helicopters, Helitrans Norway, Meravo, and Mountainflyers. The company’s VR simulators offer flight schools, airlines, fleet operators, governments and aircraft manufacturers with alternative solutions that deliver efficient, realistic, non-polluting, and less expensive pilot training.
Plus, with fewer pilots coming out of the military, coupled with a mass retirement of pilots during the COVID-19 pandemic, the global need for trained pilots has never been higher, according to Loft Dynamics.
“When open-minded entrepreneurs apply innovative technology to a safety objective, large changes are possible in a short time frame. Loft Dynamics is paving the way for the integration of Virtual Reality applications in pilot training,” said Patrick Ky, Executive Director and head of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Loft Dynamics’ platform is 10 times smaller and roughly 20 times less expensive than traditional full-motion simulators, and helps to cut air time training by up to 60%, according to the company. Plus, the platform provides flexibility for new training modules, enabling pilots to train for what they will encounter in real life before they encounter it, with scenarios ranging from mountain flying, night operations, weather and windshear recovery, rescue, sling load carrying. This means that in the future, emergency response pilots will be able to practice landing on every building in their city, firefighter pilots will fly the mountains where they will be battling wildfires, training and retraining muscle memory and reflexes.
“At Airbus Helicopters, we are committed to pushing technology forward to enhance safety in training,” says Christoph Zammert, Executive Vice-President Customer Support & Services at Airbus Helicopters, a Loft Dynamics strategic partner and customer. “The Loft Dynamics simulator allows pilots to regularly train the full range of normal, abnormal, and emergency procedures, in addition to all manner of weather conditions – safely and immersively anywhere in the world.”
Loft Dynamics received European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) authorization in May 2022 for its Airbus H125 and Robinson R22 flight simulation training devices, enabling pilots to train in its simulators and receive credit as though in an actual aircraft. Full equivalency has never been granted to a VR system before.
For more information on Loft Dynamics and its virtual reality solutions for pilot training, please visit the company’s website.
Image credit: Loft Dynamics
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Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.