FAA to test virtual reality headsets for helicopter pilot training


US aviation regulators are turning to a small Swiss tech startup to rethink how helicopter pilots are trained. From one report: The Federal Aviation Administration does Explore virtual reality technology in flight simulators The company announced Monday that it will receive systems from Zurich-based Loft Dynamics for the first time. The technology combines VR headsets with the control panel and cockpit of a helicopter with an articulated frame, but is much smaller than traditional full-motion sets. Two simulators — one to train pilots on the Airbus SEâ(TM) H125 helicopter and another for the Robinson R22 — have been installed at the FAAâ(TM) R&D facility in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The FAA often explores the use of new technologies in aviation and has extensive development programs, many of which do not result in commercial deployment. Although it is the first time the regulator has evaluated VR headsets as a training tool, it is for the narrow helicopter market and does not apply to commercial aircraft. Additionally, the agreement with Loft Dynamics does not equate to certification of the technology in the US.

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