Seeking to package the capabilities of a full flight simulator into a compact design, Tru Simulation + Training has unveiled a virtual reality-augmented system called the Veris VR Flight Simulator.

The system differentiates itself by combining a virtual reality headset with a “fully instrumented cockpit”, general manager Jerry Messaris told FlightGlobal at the Heli-Expo Show in Anaheim. 

“Even with the headset off, it’s got the real aircraft avionics,” he says. “Some folks in this area don’t use real aircraft hardware… but we like that tactile feel and the physical nature of the interaction with the cockpit.” 

The Florida-based company debuted the technology at Heli-Expo on 27 February, disclosing that Bell Training Academy will be the system’s launch customer. Tru says that Bell plans to use the technology for training on the 505 light-single helicopter later this year. 


Source: Tru Simulation

Veris provides “immersive” pilot training without sacrificing the feeling of sitting in a cockpit, according to Tru Simulation 

Veris is not limited to simulating helicopter flights, but the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has approved virtual reality-based flight simulators only for rotorcraft training.

“Certification activities with both the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] and EASA are in process,” the company says.

The Veris simulator includes an electric, moveable base to “produce accurate flight cues and vibrations”. Meanwhile, the VR headset – which replaces a traditional visual projection system – provides a 360° field of view, though peripheral vision is limited, Messaris acknowledges.

“If you move your head you can see farther, but actual peripheral vision directly to the sides is somewhat limited,” he says. “Now, that is changing with the evolution of goggles. New goggles are coming out every six months with major upgrades.”

An affiliate of Textron Aviation – Bell’s sister company – Tru has been building level D simulators, the highest level available, for about 20 years and is “working our way down into the VR market and some of these lower-cost solutions”, he says.

Compared with level D simulators, the Veris system has a smaller footprint and “power requirements are far less”, Messaris says. The system has generated interest from smaller fleet operators that may not have the resources to support a top-level flight simulator.

“Level D trainers are extremely expensive, and the infrastructure and maintenance staff to support them also cost a lot of money,” he says. “A device like this can go into a standard room, using standard power in the building. For small operators who maybe don’t have enough pilots to afford the infrastructure for a level D sim, they’re able to afford this device and bring it to their local operation.”