HAI Heli-Expo 2019 in Atlanta closed this week. We covered the simulation side of this premier helicopter-centered show, which was quite extensive, in a series of video interviews here and in Part II. But, before introducing our simulator videos, a word about an extra we weren’t expecting: eVTOL! The electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing area is new to us, and although the early machines have been announced already, we looked deeper in how simulation and gaming are affecting development. More on this later, so let’s start with an overview of the Expo through the eyes of simulation:
The Bell NEXUS display was hard to miss. The beautiful, gigantic, drone-like “vehicle,” as Bell calls it, was center stage. We interviewed Bell’s Allen Brittain about how simulation can affect development, as it is usually the opposite. That is, simulators usually reproduce an existing aircraft, but in this new field there is a blank-slate situation. How to drive something with 8 engines, tilt-rotors and freedom of choice on how to move into the future? Allen’s answer? Ask gamers! Here he is explaining:
Moving on, we had the time to catch up with a new simulation company from Switzerland, headed by Fabian Riesen. With his company, VRM (VRMotion AG), he is betting on VR, motion, and vibration, to give the rotary trainee the best and most accurate experience while learning to fly a light rotary aircraft. He had a prototype on display and quite an audience around it.
Check Part II for three more video interviews with Merlin, Frasca, RedBird and Platinum simulation companies and don’t forget to browse our video page for more.