Cathay Pacific and partner carrier Dragonair will be the first airlines to fit a motion-modifying system to all full flight simulators to make them feel more realistic.

This will allow the airlines' pilots to practise manually-flown manoeuvres, which existing simulators are unsuitable for.

Cathay has signed a contract to equip its entire FFS complement with a patented simulator motion modifying system known as Lm². This has been produced by Sabena Flight Academy Development and is the Belgium-based company's first substantial order.

Lm², developed by aerospace engineer Capt Filip VanBiervliet, is based on a rewritten set of algorithms for simulating lateral motion and accelerations, eliminating the confusing sensory feedback that simulator motion systems currently provide.

VanBiervliet said: "This training tool constitutes a major breakthrough to reduce the risk of loss of control."

Lm² will, according to Cathay test pilot Capt John O'Halloran, enable Cathay and Dragonair to train pilots for high-skill manoeuvres such as crosswind landings, which a normal FFS cannot do effectively because of the limitations of existing motion systems.

O'Halloran said: "Lm² provides improved initial onset cues of the lateral forces experienced by a pilot during almost all manoeuvres.

"During both normal and non-normal manoeuvres, the resulting cues provided the pilot with more realistic and unambiguous illusion that the aircraft was manoeuvring in accordance with the control inputs.

"The false washout cues which can be so prevalent and distracting during simulator flying are also noticeably reduced," O'Halloran added.

He said this makes it suitable for replacing some or all of the base training normally carried out in real aircraft.

Flightglobal has "flown" an FFS fitted with Lm² and reported that it feels significantly more like real flying than unmodified full flight simulators.

Source: Flight International