March 7, 2022 – VRM Switzerland, a manufacturer of virtual reality (VR) helicopter simulators, has recently announced that it has delivered its Airbus H125 VR Training Device to Colorado Highland Helicopters (CHH), marking delivery to VRM’s first US operator.
According to VRM, CHH will use the Airbus H125 simulator to offer basic flight training, mountain flying and special operations like external sling load instruction. CHH also intends to qualify the device as the first VR Flight Simulation Training Device (FSTD) under US Federal Aviation Regulations.
When using VRM’s Airbus H125 simulator, pilots are immersed in a 3D training environment with 360° panoramic views, allowing them to execute realistic scenario-based training, just as they would in an actual flight. The simulation features high resolution visuals, which include lighting and shadow effects, providing pilots with a greater sense of immersion to help them better visualize training scenarios, such as ground maneuvers.
Furthermore, an in-house developed Precise Pose Tracking System allows pilots to see their hand and body movements in the virtual world, without requiring tracking gloves or additional sensors.
A full-scale replica cockpit with all relevant controls provides pilots with appropriate haptic feedback when operating knobs, buttons and engine control components, and a control load system replicates flight control forces precisely. As a result, pilots can benefit from experiencing exactly the same sensations that they would if they were in a real helicopter. Plus, H125 rated pilots can operate and fly the device without any adaptation time, according to VRM.
Features of the training solution include:
- Flight Assistance, which enables instructors to recover unwanted flight attitudes or to hand over single controls to a student as would be done during basic training in a real helicopter;
- Scenario-based training exercises featuring difficult weather situations during day and night, designed to challenge and improve a pilots’ single-pilot crew resource management (CRM) skills;
- Various procedure practice, including emergency procedures, external sling load instruction, Night Vision Goggle (NVG) training, and other special operation exercises.
Colorado Highland Helicopters will receive its H125 training device this spring. Commenting on the order, Brandon Laird, Owner and Chief Pilot at Colorado Highland Helicopters, said: “In cooperation with the FAA and VRM Switzerland, CHH will aid in qualification under Federal Aviation Regulations to apply training credits towards pilot certificates. This will be a significant milestone, qualifying a VR device within the US and we are excited to bring this technology to our training.”
VRM Switzerland stated that it is already working closely together with the FAA to enhance qualification methods and standards for rotorcraft FSTD within a US Helicopter Safety Team (USHST) Safety Enhancement working group. One goal of the working group is to introduce new methods of pilot training by leveraging the onset of new technologies such as virtual reality, in order to reduce the cost of pilot training and increase its effectiveness within the rotorcraft community.
VRM Switzerland will be showcasing its latest Airbus H125 FSTD this week from March 7-10 at the HAI Heli Expo 2022 in Dallas, Texas, US. For more information on VRM Switzerland and its virtual reality training solutions for helicopter pilot training, please visit the company’s website.
Image credit: VRM Switzerland
About the author
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.