VRgineers delivered European Air Services (EAS) the game-changing mixed reality simulator, which is combined from the latest version of F-16 BLOCK 70 physical cockpit and the XTAL headset. European Air Services, one of the leading players in the European market for pilot training, purchased the simulator as part of its initiative to keep its Air Force up to date with the latest technological advancements, operate a multi-role fighter to fulfil its missions, and support NATO membership. As physical pilot training gets more expensive, this new kind of training platform shortens training time and increases efficiency.
A partnership was formed between VRgineers, Lockheed Martin, and VAE Controls to create the next generation of pilot trainers. The key element in this collaboration was the XTAL headset from VRgineers. The flagship product, a virtual and mixed reality headset with the highest fidelity, 8K resolution, and market-leading 180° field of view available, offering VRgineers a unique advantage in their Synthetic Training Environment (STE) solution. This unparalleled image quality, and superior immersion increases situational awareness and eliminates negative training. The whole simulator is built on a raised platform which provides a sense of g-force and uses Polhemus Viper tracking from a real F-16 which brings a realistic and immersive environment.
Lukáš Rácz, Flight Simulator Operation Manager, Slovak Training Academy has commented:
Training in a mixed reality simulator gives me a realistic training experience comparable to flying in a real plane. Using an F-16 simulator, I can rehearse tactical operations, which would otherwise be impossible to prepare for in the real world except for in a simulated environment. The EAS VRgineers F-16 simulator feels incredibly natural. I was able to fully operate the cockpit with my hands and train in any scenario I could imagine. I am sure that these simulators will change the future of pilot training.
In reaction to this purchase, VRgineers CEO and founder Marek Polčák has commented:
On behalf of VRgineers, we are very proud that we could work with European Air Services and Lockheed Martin on the creation of a new type of F-16 Block 70 mixed reality trainer. This simulator is unique from multiple standpoints. It is the first simulator of its kind in the world, combining wide field of view with a fully functioning cockpit replica that the pilot can interact with. The XTAL headset is cornerstone of this solution offering a market leading 180° field of view and 8K resolution. This unique combination provides a latency free training experience and eliminates negative training.
Jozef Dzuruš, CEO of European Air Services remarked:
Our company provides aviation training for pilots and maintainers. Our company is the only civilian operator of U.S. Blackhawk helicopters in Europe. Our fleet has 24 helicopters which allows us to provide a comprehensive training program. Based on our successful rotary-wing training, we have begun to develop advanced training for fixed-wing pilots. We decided to cooperate with VRgineers to develop the most advanced simulator for the F-16 platform. It is the first simulator in the world which combines a physical cockpit with mixed reality technology. While we were developing the simulator, we intended that this unique technology would be used as part of training programs for F-16 military pilots across European countries.