Venyo, the Belgium-based designer of flight simulation training devices (FTD) and serices, is developing a highly immersive FTD for the Boeing 737NG and is hoping to obtain EASA FTD level 2 certification this year. A prototype was exhibited here at the 2013 Paris Air Show, when certification was expected in 2014. The development schedule has slipped to the right but Jean-Claude Streel, business development manager, is confident that certification will happen this year. Streel is at the show to announce two launch customers–one airline and one flight training school–who will help secure the green light from EASA.
Streel believes his company’s fixed-base FTD is very close to a full-motion simulator because of an innovative feature. It tricks the brain and gives it the illusion of motion. Usually, in such an FTD, the brain has a hard time discerning between inputs from sight and the inner ear (the latter helps with perceiving motion, or the absence of it). This often causes sickness until the body gets used to the conflicting feelings.
Venyo’s FTD format favors sight. “To do this, we meet two criteria–the projected image has to be wider than the human field of vision and the refresh rate should be at least 60 Hz,” Streel said. In Venyo’s case, the image is 220 degrees wide. Fast computers need only nine seconds to reposition the virtual aircraft and yield a resolution of 1.4 feet for details on the ground.
Another feature, Streel said, is mobility. The FTD weighs two metric tons, can travel by road and can be installed in one day. This opens the door to a “pay-per-use” business model, he said. The direct operating cost is estimated at €150 ($165) per hour, which halves today’s typical costs, he said.
Production of the first two FTDs has started at Venyo’s Charleroi Airport headquarters near Brussels, using forward fuselage sections from dismantled 737s. The company, which is exhibiting here in Hall 2B Stand G61 aims to deliver 50 FTDs in the 2015-2020 period.