Loft Dynamics (formerly VRM Switzerland), has opened the first Virtual Reality Flight Simulation Hub and the company's first North American headquarters, located at the Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO). The hub features the company's Airbus H125 VR Flight Simulation Training Device (FSTD), offering a hands-on way for more pilots and aviation leaders to experience the future of pilot training and the benefits of VR technology at a critical time for the aviation industry.
The global pilot shortage looms large, requiring over 600,000 new aviators in the next 20 years. Existing training solutions, including traditional full-motion simulators, remain cost-prohibitive for the average pilot and are confined to select training centers that can house and afford them. The company believes that by harnessing the power of VR technology, Loft Dynamics' full-motion FSTDs can deliver high-fidelity, immersive pilot training at one-twentieth the cost and one-tenth the size of legacy simulators. The company is gaining widespread adoption among aviation leaders and pilots to scale the next generation of skilled pilots.
"We recognized a significant unmet demand to experience our technology in person in the U.S. Establishing a physical space became the obvious solution, making it more accessible to fly our sims, practice a range of maneuvers, and fully grasp the power of VR technology in this capacity," said Fabi Riesen, founder and CEO of Loft Dynamics. "Our SMO location offers convenient access for a high concentration of pilots and enhances onsite and remote support for our North American customers."
Loft Dynamics expanded to North America in 2021, integrating its simulators at various flight schools, helicopter operators, and global regulatory organizations – from Airbus Helicopters to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The company also announced that the LAPD Air Support Division, the largest municipal airborne law enforcement operation in the world, has initiated the purchase of Loft Dynamics' H125 VR FSTD.
"It's incredibly challenging for any pilot today to realistically train for the dangerous maneuvers and diverse scenarios in which we fly. Learning and mastering the skills and procedures needed to fly under Instrument Flight Rules and to survive an inadvertent instrument meteorological conditions (IIMC) flight is no exception," said Kevin Gallagher, Chief Pilot, Los Angeles Police Department, Air Support Division. "Loft Dynamics' sims use cloud-based software, allowing us to add new and applicable training scenarios regularly. Additionally, the sim's full-motion technology precisely replicates the motion of a helicopter in-flight, while the visual technology accurately simulates challenging flight conditions in a realistic 3D view. These features are critical to providing our more than 50 pilots, who fly around the clock, with the type of conditions and maneuvers they often encounter. With the sim onsite, our pilots can regularly and safely train to maintain proficiency in these essential skills."