Continuing from Part I, our field report looked at innovation, portability and cost of several rotary wings simulators. As we do for fixed wings ATDs, we have initiated collating information about these devices in a comparison table. See it here. This should be of help to those looking to acquire them for flight schools or personal use. At Heli-Expo, we had time to interview three manufacturers deeply engaged in innovative simulation products.
Among them, TJ Simpkins, from Platinum Simulators. Platinum, owned by Pedro Gonzales and based in Carlsbad, California, actually rolled in a beautiful Bell 207 motion simulator mounted in a trailer and including an instructor station. We demoed the sim and can vouch for its high level of detail, great appointment, and a very realistic flight model. Slowing down on approach I managed to get into a very realistic rotor vortex state and relative ground bump. Apart from the VSI reading, the motion made it even more credible. Here is an excerpt from the interview and the demo flight:
Continuing on, we paid a visit to RedBird simulation. Showing the VTO, we asked Josh Harnagel, VP of Marketing, about their motion mechanism. A ball inside a bowl, he explains in this video:
Looking for a Schweitzer 300C simulator? Merlin’s Ken Zimmerman makes it. In his lineup and besides a C172, Merlin produces R22 “convertibles” and the 300C with, as Ken points out, a very realistic flight model.
To complete this field report, an interview with Randy Gawenda, Frasca’s Business Development Manager, who puts it all into perspective in terms of innovation. He discusses how a company like Frasca is continuously looking at leveraging technology to offer more realistic and effective simulation.