Virtual reality shakes up simulators

Switzerland’s Loft Dynamics has created a revolutionary helicopter flight simulation training device, combining virtual reality with motion. Paul E Eden heard about it from Loft Dynamics CEO and founder Fabi Riesen

Loft Dynamics’ proprietary technology enables full cockpit simulation, even in darkness
All images: Loft Dynamics

Europe sees one fatal helicopter accident almost every week, according to Fabi Riesen, CEO of Switzerland’s Loft Dynamics. “Across the industry, one third of such accidents occur in training, a process during which pilots are practising to become safer. There are helicopter simulators, but they are expensive and not realistic enough, while for safety reasons, some procedures cannot be fully replicated in helicopters themselves.”

Combining VR and motion has been key to the development of Loft Dynamics’ simulator
FSTDs under assembly at Loft Dynamics’ facility, just seven minutes’ drive from Zurich Airport

Riesen says helicopter pilots using even the highest EASA Level 3 (FAA Level 6) full flight simulator (FFS) must learn how to fly the simulator and then how to fly the helicopter, because the FFS does not completely replicate the helicopter experience.

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