Game-Changing Flight Simulator Combines an F-16 Cockpit With Virtual Reality Technology

VRgineers integrated its XSTAL headset on this innovative flight simulator 6 photos
Photo: VRgineers
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On one hand, futuristic war scenarios with drones and robots are starting to look more and more like scenes from Sci-Fi movies, and on the other hand, combat training is also leaning more toward virtual reality.
Virtual reality became an important tool for testing various types of products in the automotive and aerospace industry and is starting to become just as significant for various training, including pilot training. European Air Services (EAS), a company that provides aviation training, and is also the only civilian operator of U.S. Blackhawk helicopters in Europe, has introduced an innovative mixed reality simulator that claims to be the first of its kind in the world.

What makes this simulator unique is the combination of a physical, fully-functioning F-16 cockpit replica, with a wide field of view. This is possible thanks to the XSTAL headset, developed by VRgineers. This virtual and mixed reality headset, the company’s flagship product, boasts an 180-degree field of view, 8K resolution, and high fidelity. The result is top-level image quality and immersion, which help increase situational awareness to unprecedented levels for training.

VRgineers worked with Lockheed Martin, and VAE Controls to develop this next-generation pilot training solution, incorporating the XSTAL headset and the real F-16 cockpit replica. The simulator is also built on a raised platform, in order to enhance a sense of g-force, and is also equipped with a Polhemus Viper tracking device, the same one that’s used in F-16 aircraft, for an even more realistic environment.

The EAS VRgineers F-16 simulator feels incredibly natural. I was able to fully operate the cockpit with my hands and train in any scenario I could imagine. I am sure that these simulators will change the future of pilot training,” said Lukas Racz, Flight Simulator Operation Manager at the Slovak Training Academy.

EAS will provide this innovative training system, the most advanced simulator for the F-16 platform, to NATO military forces, to keep pilots up to date with next-generation aircraft technology.

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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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