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Loft Dynamics brings VR flight simulation tech to eVTOLs
The VR approach is superior among extended reality training solutions. It allows pilots to quickly integrate new concepts and will generate invaluable data as Dufour develops its eVTOL.
Dufour Aerospace CTO Jasmine Kent with Loft Dynamics CEO Fabian Riesen and Dufour CEO Thomas Pfammatter.
Read this story in our June 2024 printed issue.

As the first and only VR simulator with major regulatory approval, Loft Dynamics is to develop and build its first VR eVTOL simulator for Dufour Aerospace's Aero3 eVTOL aircraft.

Loft Dynamics' expansion beyond helicopter simulators comes at a critical time in the aviation industry: urban congestion and environmental concerns are accelerating global demand for eVTOL aircraft and demand for eVTOL pilots. The industry's capacity to effectively train and scale a new, specialised pilot workforce will be stretched by the intensifying pilot shortage. The need for VR simulators to improve access to the safest and highest quality eVTOL training has never been greater.

"Our partnership with Dufour Aerospace represents a big stride forward in training a wider range of pilots at a time when operators need it most. It also lays groundwork for the eventual certification of our eVTOL simulator," says founder and CEO Fabi Riesen. "We started with helicopters, which are extremely challenging to simulate; the physics, motion and human factors are more complex than in all other aircraft. This is why proving and qualifying our technology in the helicopter market, even beyond what's mandated at the regulatory level, offers a significant advantage as we move into eVTOLs. Our 360°, 3D view as well as highly detailed terrain and cityscape models and realistic ground effects make our technology transferrable and incredibly valuable to eVTOLs. We're thrilled to finally bring this vision to life with Dufour, a company at the leading edge of efficient and sustainable advanced air mobility technology."

Dufour's tilt-wing Aero3 eVTOL is designed to offer the versatility of a helicopter with the efficiency and speed of an aircraft. The Aero3 will be an ideal aircraft for emergency medical services, which require the ability to land in all types of environments and get patients to the nearest hospitals as quickly as possible. It will also serve as an effective low-cost alternative for operators in urban, regional and private transportation markets from air taxi services to VIP transport and deliveries.

Dufour founder and CEO Thomas Pfammatter is an Air Zermatt helicopter rescue pilot who has flown over 4,500 missions and who has extensive experience with the Loft Dynamics VR flight simulation training device, which he describes as 'by far the most realistic simulator I have ever flown'. As Dufour develops the Aero3, Pfammatter observes that Loft Dynamics' simulator technology will allow the company to create a pilot interface with 'unprecedented speed and cost efficiency'. Given the pivotal role eVTOLs will play in the future of aviation, this partnership positions Loft Dynamics at the forefront of flight innovation.

"The VR approach is undoubtedly superior among extended reality training solutions and is critical as we develop a man-machine interface for the Aero3," says Pfammatter. "It allows pilots to integrate new concepts quickly and effectively, including tilt-wing operation and fountain lift and suckdown ground effects at low to zero speeds. Most importantly, it enables our pilots to gain experience in a safe and hyper-realistic environment. This will generate invaluable data as we develop the aircraft."

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