Building on its experience of 50 years of visual systems technology, FlightSafety International has significantly enhanced the realism of the aviation training experience by introducing its next generation VITAL visual system.
VITAL now powered by Unreal Engine, employs an extremely photorealistic simulation and rendering, allowing training for the latest immersion content and technology. The fidelity of the data and speed of data rendering allows total realism to an unsurpassed level in flight training devices. FlightSafety, which designs and builds some of the most sophisticated, advanced-technology simulators, has continually improved its technology throughout its five decades of visual system engineering.
Every simulator FlightSafety currently manufactures for sale will be updated to next generation VITAL. The first delivery of devices from Frasca, a FlightSafety company, are expected later this year, while FlightSafety simulators with the new system are expected to be delivered in 2024. Previously built simulators may be upgraded to the new technology.
“FlightSafety is bringing together its vast expertise in design, cutting-edge technology and graphics, and harmonising it with the regulatory requirements necessary to enhance safety and help address the demand for highly trained pilots,” says Michael Vercio, executive vice president, simulation systems. “This is the next generation of fidelity of environment, and it will greatly prepare pilots for what they will see in real-life situations in an unprecedented fashion.”
The next generation VITAL visual systems faithfully recreate all facets of the training experience, including land, water and peripheral features, in addition to what a pilot sees in the air. Getting those background details to be photorealistic keeps pilots in the full immersion of training.
While some systems, including video games, may focus on what is directly ahead for the pilot, this next generation VITAL paints the entire picture, at the same speed of rendering as air components. That difference is crucial for advanced training, and government and defence operations, such as search and rescue or night missions. Weather and precipitation renderings are dramatically enhanced, giving pilots the most realistic experience for potentially difficult scenarios.
With this next development in VITAL, pilots using all of FlightSafety and Frasca's products will experience a consistency of superior technology, creating a cohesive and seamless training experience from ab initio to advanced flight training programmes in business aviation, commercial airlines and defence markets.
“By bringing this cutting-edge technology to all of our training products, including entry-level flight-training devices, operators will be able to train commercial pilots more proficiently, and earlier than the traditional timeline, which will increase new pilot training and operational preparedness,” Vercio goes on.
The hyper-realism presented with next generation VITAL, leveraging Unreal Engine at its core, will also be key in the emerging aviation space of advanced air mobility (AAM) and electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft that are expected to have most flights in urban environments. Accurately rendering and depicting buildings and city components is paramount in training pilots for these areas.