Photo courtesy of Virtalis
Virtalis’ Rear-Cabin Virtual Reality Trainer and Helicopter Crew Reality (HCR) product has been commissioned by Thales Australia for delivery to Australia. This delivery forms a key component of the Helicopter Aircrew Training System (HATS) that will be used to train future generations of Australian Navy and Army helicopter pilots at the Joint Helicopter School.
The pilots and aircrew will be trained by Boeing and defense-qualified flying instructors using a combination of Airbus Helicopters EC135s, Thales full-flight simulators and a suite of other synthetic training devices.
Gabriel Gonzalez, Thales program director for the HATS project, said: “The feedback we have received so far has been positive. Virtalis’ two Rear Cabin Virtual Reality Trainers play a pivotal role in delivering training objectives for the program.”
Virtalis was awarded the Rear-Cabin Virtual Reality Trainer by Thales Australia under sub-contract in 2013 due in large part to its HCR product with field-proven capability. HCR provides helicopter crew with a virtual reality training environment in which to develop skills in team-wide communication during complex training missions.
“Our HATS Virtual Reality Trainer makes use of Virtalis’ Cloud-based Visionary Render 2 software platform and features a 100-meter virtual winching system, virtual runway lights and a virtual gunnery system," said Andrew Connell, Virtalis' group chief technology officer. "These functions represent a critical technological advancement."
The Virtalis HATS system is housed within a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) manufactured, wooden facsimile of the EC135 cockpit. Students wearing head mounted displays interact with the HATS virtual environment to practice maneuvers and rehearse missions. The instructors have full visibility and control of the virtual environment. The HATS Rear-Cabin VR Trainer features an underslung load function with remote control engagement and disengagement. In addition, there are vertical replenishment and highlining functions, which support helicopter dynamics with shipping.