The recently formed development partnership between Reiser Simulation and Training and DRF Luftrettung is currently creating a modern training device for rescue hoist training of helicopter crews.

Reiser's expertise in the development of complex and realistic training devices as well as the DRF Luftrettung's years of experience in air and hoist rescue operations are being combined in this development project to create a unique training system for air rescue. An efficient and at the same time high-quality training is the top priority of the development. This will result not only in the development of an aligned training device, but also in the establishment of a framework for efficient and comprehensive training programs in the future.

The expertise of the DRF Luftrettung in air and hoist rescue operations, as well as in the training and proficiency upkeep of hoist operators, result in a demanding specification for the future synthetic training device and in correlating technical requirements. During the development phase, these are incorporated in detail into the design by Reiser Simulation and Training – a project partner that has been developing high-precision training solutions for many years.

"The real world and the virtual world are merging," Martin Keil, Technical Director at Reiser, explains. "This provides us with the highest level of realistic training, because hand movements and operational procedures can be trained as they have to be mastered on the real helicopter."

By means of augmented reality (AR), the hoist operator is not only able to see the helicopter fuselage, but also the outside view through the visual system. In combination with a movement system and the physical and thus tangible winch cable, the training situations are perceived as entirely authentic. With regard to the technical concept, Reiser focuses on a realistic representation of extraordinary flight situations and emergencies as well as on the training of crew coordination. To achieve this, the simulator can be connected to a Full Flight Simulator (FFS) through a network, which allows the entire crew, consisting of pilots and hoist operators, to train their essential teamwork in winch scenarios together. Routine between all those involved is the central factor for success in hoist maneuvers. A special feature of the system designed for the DRF Luftrettung is the mobile version of the simulator. Thus, the training device can be used flexibly as a trailer system at the various locations. The mobile approach and the possibility of connecting it to flight simulators creates the an opportunity to have the cockpit crew and the hoist operator interact in a joint training situation.

“The goal of the joint project is ambitious: To raise safety in training and in air rescue operations to a new level and, at the same time, to further increase the quality and efficiency of training,” explains Jörg Redetzky, Head of Crew Training from DRF Luftrettung.

Martin Keil particularly emphasises one essential technical capability: "We will be able to map so-called Multi-Ship missions. Connecting a Full Flight Simulator with an HHO simulator will not be the only option. In the future, it will also be possible to practise large-scale emergencies with several helicopters, including winch operations - i.e. also on a cross-organisational basis. The experience with disasters in recent years shows that there is a particular need for training here."