November: The Future of Possible – The Advanced Mixed-Reality Apache Trainer is Here
Vrgineers have teamed up with DigiFlight to produce a comprehensive training solution for the most survivable multi-role attack helicopter in the world. At the end of November 2022, the conceptual MR Apache Trainer was presented for the very first time at I/ITSEC in Orlando (Florida).
With over 1200 aircraft currently in service, the Advanced Mixed-Reality Apache Trainer (AMRAT) will accelerate pilot training with high-fidelity MR solutions & thus significantly reduce the number of aircraft hours normally required to support the training of individual and crew tasks.
“By combining our skills, we feel that we can deliver a training device capable of supporting Apache training tasks, preparing them to operate in any environment, and fulfilling critical mission requirements,” explains Marek Polcak, CEO of Vrgineers.
September: Somnium Space, Vrgineers & Prusa Research are Developing an Open-source Headset
Somnium Space, one of the world’s leading immersive metaverses, has partnered with Vrgineers & 3D printer manufacturer Prusa Research to enhance the development of a new open-source headset called Somnium VR One.
The new VR headset aims to change the restrictive politics in the virtual reality market in general, which was established by big corporate and centralized entities such as Meta (former Facebook). As a reaction to these restrictions, the Somnium VR One headset will be built on as open a platform as possible.
In the near future, Somnium VR One will be sold under an unlimited commercial license using Android as an open-source operating system. Thanks to the fact that the source code will be openly available, the solution will be perfect for the commercial sphere.
“Each user deserves to fully own the hardware they buy & to be able to customize, repair and enhance it anytime. We would like to provide an unrestrictive hardware and software environment to all VR enthusiasts around the world,” explains Arthur Sychov, Somnium Space Founder & CEO.
August: Africa Enters A New Era of Pilot Training
Humanitarian & peace support training courses in Africa can now be conducted in virtual and mixed reality. South African flying training provider, Starlite Aviation Academy, has become the first company in Africa to operate a specialized VR mission training facility.
Starlite’s trainees will learn flying techniques on a new version of the reconfigurable trainer developed by Vrgineers together with British company CHS Tactical LTD. Starlite Aviation Academy purchased 4 helicopter & 2 fixed-wing simulators, complete with the latest suite of dynamic environment software, and full instructor operating stations.
“The addition of this capability to Starlite Aviation Training Academy’s suite of services offered to clients, will provide a full value-chain offering that the company intends to expand throughout Africa and beyond its current provision of quality training services in Mossel Bay,” says CEO of Starlite Aviation Academy, Gareth Schenhage.
Pilots in Brazil Use XTAL Headsets to Train for Missions
The Brazilian Air Force is using virtual reality to train its pilots. VR simulators with XTAL headsets were installed at the São José dos Campos Aeronautics Computing Center.
The Brazilian Air Force (Força Aérea Brasileira) is now using the XTAL technology for more immersive flight training. This is the first time our headsets have been installed at the São José dos Campos Aeronautics Computing Center (Centro de Computação da Aeronáutica) and at the Air Force Academy in Pirassununga.
April: We Released a State-of-the-art Mixed-Reality Pilot Trainer
We have developed a unique next-generation virtual & mixed-reality pilot training system. The solution consists of the newest version of our brand new XTAL 3 headset, and Lockheed Martin’s groundbreaking Prepar3D visual simulation platform.
The XTAL headset leads the industry with a 180° field of view & two 4K resolution displays, offering extreme clarity and unparalleled fidelity. But this time, we went even further: we fused a physical cockpit with a wide field-of-view mixed-reality headset that provides a supreme 1:1 immersive simulation.
The XTAL 3 mixed-reality technology is supported by Lockheed Martin’s Prepar3D version 5. This unique combination delivers realistic haptic feedback thanks to the ability to see your own hands and therefore interact with the physical instrument panel. Cadets find themselves in a completely immersive environment that allows them to train muscle memory.
“Flying with the XTAL™ in a full-motion hydraulic sim and rolling in on a low-level bombing run literally felt like I was back in the cockpit, heart rate elevated, mental focus 100% on threat avoidance and target acquisition – incredible,” commented Bryant Church, U.S. Navy Aviator.
January: Introducing the Game-changing XTAL 3 Headset
At the beginning of 2022, we announced the launch of the XTAL 3 VR and MR headset, a game-changer in enhanced pilot training.
To make sure that the latest model of the XTAL headset truly meets the requirements of professional pilots, we have cooperated with a team of international Air Force pilots.
Thanks to their valuable input, we have been able to unleash the full potential of virtual reality simulations.
Trainees & cadets can now master the craft of avionics in the most realistic & immersive simulations available on the global market. They are able to see their hands and interact with instrument panels, learn proper motor skills, and practice standard procedures while preparing for the next mission.
The responses of pilots wearing the XTAL 3 in the simulated environment are nearly identical to real situations, teaching the decision-making processes required to gain air superiority. This was achieved thanks to the XTAL 3’s unique combination of high fidelity with a wide field of view, providing the highest level of immersion and situational awareness.