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Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) has selected VRM Switzerland as the most suitable company for a research partnership and has purchased a virtual reality helicopter simulator. At the Centre for Aviation, the team for Flight Mechanics and Flight Control Systems uses the simulator for projects in its fields of interest (flight mechanics and flight control system) as well as in human factor and human‐machine‐interface. A motion‐based simulator is required because motion feedback to the pilot is fundamental to achieve the required realism in various flight conditions, such as hover operation close to the ground or upset recovery training in general aviation. In addition, it should take advantage of VR technology.
A wide range of research possibilities
The team for Flight Mechanics and Flight Control Systems will use and further develop the simulator for a variety of research and development purposes. “Compared to huge, expensive simulators with large dome screens, a VR device enables an affordable simulation with a small footprint. Virtual reality technology also allows research to be conducted in the fields of human factors and human- machine interfaces,” says Dr. Pierluigi Capone, team leader of Flight Mechanics and Flight Control Systems at ZHAW. The university will use the simulator mainly to simulate helicopters and tilt-rotor aircraft that can hover close to the ground. This requires a high‐resolution visual system and a dynamic motion system to provide the pilot with the required visual references and perceptions. “This is fundamental to the reality of the simulation experience for the pilot” Dr. Pierluigi Capone emphasizes. “The Centre for Aviation has 10 years of experience in research using simulators and supported the development of the Pilatus PC24 with a permanently installed, inhouse developed research and didactic simulator. With the cutting‐edge technology of VRM Switzerland’s product, we found a unique solution enabling innovative research as part of the bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in Aviation,” says Prof. Dr. Michel Guillaume, Head of the Centre for Aviation at ZHAW.
Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW)
The university offers 9 different bachelor’s degree programs. The Centre for Aviation is the only one in Switzerland which offers a degree in aviation. Prof. Dr. Thomas Järmann, Head of Teaching at ZHAW says: «The majority of our lecturers come from the world of business and carry out research and development projects together with partners from the industry. The results flow directly into the lessons and guarantee an up‐to‐date and practical study program. Dr. Pierluigi Capone has a degree of MSc in Aerospace Engineering and specializes in Design and Development of Flight Control Systems for fixed and rotary wing aircraft.