Vrgineers developed a next-generation virtual and mixed reality pilot training system. The solution consists of the newest version of Vrgineers’ XTAL 3, and Lockheed Martin’s Prepar3D visual simulation platform.

Vrgineers’ XTAL features a 180-degree field of view and two 4K resolution displays, offering clarity and fidelity. It is the first time, said Vrgineers, that a physical cockpit has been fused with a wide field of view mixed reality headset that provides a 1:1 immersive simulation.

Lockheed Martin’s Prepar3D version 5 supports XTAL 3 mixed reality technology out of the box. This combination offers realistic haptic feedback thanks to the ability for users to see their own hands and therefore interact with the physical instrument panel. Cadets find themselves in a completely immersive environment that allows them to train muscle memory. 

Created for the F-15, F-16 and F-35, this platform is now being rolled out for other modern aircraft. The advanced mixed reality capabilities of the XTAL 3 has resulted in it being adopted by Pison Technology as the core headset and mixed reality solution for two distinct Phase II SBIR Program R&D contracts that collectively seek to develop advanced simulation technologies for manned flight simulators, funded by AFWERX for the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy.

“Flying with the XTAL in a full-motion hydraulic sim and rolling in on a low-level bombing run literally felt like I was back in the cockpit, heart rate elevated, mental focus 100% on threat avoidance and target acquisition – incredible,” commented Bryant Church, U.S. Navy Aviator.

As a result of this joint effort, every existing Prepar3D user will experience a seamless transition when switching from data-projectors or display-based simulators to the XTAL. Moreover, Lockheed Martin’s Prepar3D version 5 supports XTAL mixed reality technology out of the box, which unleashes unlimited training potential when used with a physical instrument panel.

“Such a setup, with a fully operational cockpit and XTAL mixed reality solution combined with Prepar3D is less expensive than a standard dome installation and has a smaller footprint,” says Marek Polčák, CEO of Vrgineers. “Thanks to these improvements, time spent in simulators is expected to grow rapidly, saving flight and maintenance costs and improving pilots’ battle-readiness to unprecedented levels,” Polčák added.