Dübendorf ZH – Prospective helicopter pilots are now able to train using a virtual reality flight simulator. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency recently approved a simulator of this kind for the first time. The system was developed by VRM Switzerland.

Virtual reality set to aid flight training
VRM Switzerland's VR flight simulator is now permitted for use in helicopter pilot training. Image credit: VRM Switzerland

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has approved a type-specific flight simulator on the basis of virtual reality (VR). The system was developed by VRM Switzerland, based in Dübendorf in the canton of Zurich, to aid training in Robinson R22 helicopters. According to a press release, this is the first such clearance of a VR flight simulator by an aviation authority.

The approval means that prospective pilots can complete training hours on the VR simulator during their development phase. According to VRM Switzerland, the simulator can be used to train hovering and other basic maneuvers, while various emergency procedures such as autorotations with landing and tail rotor failure can additionally be practiced. The simulator therefore facilitates practice of maneuvers that would otherwise be too dangerous to try out in the real world.

Overall, the simulator should help to increase safety in the training of budding pilots. It also allows training exercises to be carried out irrespective of weather conditions, while also being cost-effective and environmentally friendly.

Thanks to the EASA certification, customers are able to deploy the simulator without the need for any further national qualifications, VRM Switzerland writes in the press release. The company has already gained the Norwegian aerospace firm Helitrans as its first customer. Next on VRM Switzerland’s agenda is to secure certification of a VR simulator for the Airbus H125.

Alongside an engineering office in Dübendorf, VRM Switzerland also operates an administrative office based in Schaffhausen.

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