Cutting-edge Virtual and Extended Reality (VxR) simulator unveiled at Heli-Expo

We hosted a packed programme of events at Heli-Expo 2023 in Atlanta, including the launch of our brand new family of Enhanced Training Devices – the Virtual and Extended Reality (VxR) Simulator.

During Heli-Expo we introduced the latest addition to our portfolio of synthetic training devices. The Virtual and Extended Reality (VxR) Simulator is the first of its kind to be designed and built with native helicopter OEM characteristics. It brings together a state-of-the-art virtual reality environment and harnesses genuine flight test data to open up a new dimension in training capabilities.

VxR uses previously qualified Level D Full Flight Simulator data and features real flight dynamics, performance and cockpit components enabling users to interact with the physical cabin and panels. It also provides tactile feedback when using the controls for a higher simulation fidelity.

The device offers a superior ‘out of window’ visual system that benefits from stereoscopic vision for exceptional depth perception. The VxR features super short-throw motion without a visual dome which also means that it is compact enough to be installed within a confined space and can be easily transported and configured to represent different helicopter types.

The device benefits from Leonardo Helicopters’ OEM status by employing a complete set of high quality data to enhance the simulation, as well as correlating these data with a range of critical and optimal flight conditions.

We’re also using our VxR experience to strengthen the development of a ‘family concept’ of multi-platform simulators that will span the AW119 (already available), the AW109 products and the AW09. With a reduced footprint and smaller infrastructure requirement, these devices will open up access to simulation in areas of the market where there is strong demand, while helping to reduce training costs and enhancing operational safety.

Our initial focus is on the single/light twin market with the development of a single-seat simulator cockpit for light helicopter simulation. It is platform-specific in terms of cockpit, flight dynamics and performance. The device can also support multiple platforms with the integration of additional cockpits.

The device is easy to install and compact, meaning it can be installed on a smaller footprint than full flight simulators with comparable visual systems. It is also fully integrated with a VR headset and uses a powerful visual database to provide a 360o immersive view for pilots.

Updates from Heli-Expo

MITHOS evolution adds real-time connectivity

We’ve added a new level of connectivity to MITHOS (Modular Interactive Trainer for Helicopter Operators) which provides immersive training for rear crew including hoist operators, rescuers and medics.

The latest evolution of MITHOS allows real-time connection to any other flight simulator, enabling pilots as well as rear crew to work together using advanced simulation to recreate challenging operational scenarios. Rescue crews can practice all types of interventions in a safe and highly realistic environment.

MITHOS is based on a 1:1 scale helicopter cabin equipped with a winch and features innovations such as a visor helmet and smart touch gloves to give crews a fully immersive experience.

Air-Naval training centre opens its doors

Italy’s Guardia di Finanza has recently opened its Air-Naval Operations Simulation Centre, which hosts an array of advanced simulation technologies to enable multi-domain operations.

Developed by Leonardo Helicopters, the facility is located at Pratica di Mare Air Base close to Rome and integrates two helicopter simulators for the AW139 and AW169, as well as one that replicates the P-72B maritime patrol aircraft, which is based on the ATR-72 turboprop.

All three devices are ‘mini-motion’ simulators – a type of Enhanced Training Device (ETD e-Motion) that reproduce aircraft performance, avionics and cockpit environment with high fidelity. Crews also experience physical feedback thanks to integrated actuators on the platforms.

Skyflight 4.0 enhances mission planning

The latest version of our Skyflight mission planning application offers a more intuitive user experience, allowing operators to plan, perform and analyse missions in an even more efficient and effective way.

The enhancements include a new mobile user interface with simpler navigation, reorganised contents and direct access to the most relevant and useful information and features. Access to key tools remains available even when Skyflight is offline.

Visit the AWNewsletter area