The flight simulator developed by VRM Switzerland is based on virtual reality (VR). It provides pilots with the same visual image as in a real helicopter. The simulator can be used to learn to hover and other basic maneuvers, for example. However, various emergency procedures can be practiced as well. This means that the simulator enables maneuvers to be performed that would be too dangerous to practice in reality. One advantage is that the pilots’ approach can be analyzed in detail during this, which means that training can be made more personalized.
Overall, the simulator should help to increase safety when training pilots. It additionally facilitates training sessions irrespective of the weather, is cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
Colorado Highland Helicopter discovered VRM Switzerland at the Heli-Expo in 2019 and states that it was already convinced by the demonstration simulator. The company explains: “A simulator of this quality allows for additional practice of basic maneuvers, but additionally allows emergency procedure recognition and recovery to a level that is not prudent or possible in an actual aircraft.”
In April the simulator received qualification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for training with Robinson R22-type helicopters. According to a press release, this was the first time that a VR flight simulator had received qualification from an aviation authority. Fabi Riesen, CEO of VRM Switzerland, is confident that the version for the Airbus H125 will soon be qualified too. The company is also aiming for certification by the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
In addition to its engineering office in Dübendorf, VRM Switzerland also has an administrative office in Schaffhausen. The company collaborated with Swiss helicopter companies such as Kopter, Heli Academy, Mountain Flyers and Air Zermatt to develop the simulator.