FlightSafety Upgrades Helicopter Sim Graphics

 - March 2, 2014, 1:15 AM

FlightSafety International is upgrading its helicopter simulator graphics with its new Vital 1100 visual system and has already qualified it in several level-D machines and for use in other advanced training devices. Providing sharper resolution and a larger field of view, the new system has five times the computing power of its Vital X predecessor and significantly enhances training by providing realistic mission-specific imagery with improved scene content and greater levels of detail, says the training provider. Vital 1100 can process hundreds of millions of scene elements per second and simultaneously present them with environmental effects such as physics-based weather models of rain, snow and hail that develop and react as they do in the real world. The system also includes dynamic shadowing and enhanced shading effects.

Vital 1100’s increased resolution uses 20 million pixels to create a horizontal 200-degree field of view, improving target recognition and identification and scene resolution with high-definition microtexture and improving resolution at virtually any position or altitude, including hover/land maneuvering.

The first Vital 1100-equipped simulator to receive level-D qualification from EASA was FlightSafety’s Sikorsky S-92 in Stavanger, Norway. The first simulators that feature the Vital 1100 to be qualified to level-D and approved by the FAA include FlightSafety’s AgustaWestland AW139 and Sikorsky S-92 simulators in Lafayette, La., and a night-vision-goggle-qualified Airbus EC135 simulator in Dallas, Texas.

FlightSafety also is incorporating a new glass mirror optical projection system into its helicopters simulators, replacing the traditional Mylar surface. The glass mirror system enhances visual clarity and brightness while eliminating the image degradation and distortion in the critical boundary areas inherent in traditional display systems. This delivers sharper images for near-ground operations and wider fields of view–up to 310 degrees horizontal–that are more consistent with the actual views through the windows of the helicopter. It also allows FlightSafety to customize the up and down views to reflect a specific aircraft type. The first glass mirror systems were installed on the company’s Sikorsky S-76D and AgustaWestland AW139 simulators and will be featured in all new helicopter simulators produced for FlightSafety learning centers, as well as military simulators.