Frasca International is offering a video gamer’s delight here at Heli-Expo: an opportunity to fly a Bell 206 simulator with a friend down the hall.
Visitors to the Frasca booth (No. 1238) can try out the company’s TruFliteH simulator while other virtual pilots at the Bell Helicopter booth (No. 1333) fly the MentorH simulator, linked together through a common network. Bob Summers, project manager at Frasca, said helicopter customers have longed for the ability to fly with “real” traffic, but the processors required to make this feasible on a network have not been adequate until very recently, when video game technology brought this capability into the mainstream.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University currently has 10 Frasca Cessna 172 simulators connected on a network, and Summers said now helicopter customers will be able to use this feature to conduct mission-based training. For example, emergency response pilots could practice arriving at an accident scene in groups, simulating the challenge of flying while seeing and avoiding other aircraft in addition to objects on the ground.
Frasca, based in Urbana, Ill., builds simulators for several helicopter manufacturers including Bell, Eurocopter and Robinson.