The competition is heating up among global OEMs to place initial tranches of eVTOLs into commercial service, with AutoFlight’s activities being among the latest postings in this department. At the same time, the US DoD and other US federal departments are stepping up their activities to determine the safety, cost-effectiveness and mission capabilities offered by different eVTOL airframes. 

Initial eVTOL operators/pilots are being trained in a new generation of flight training devices tailored to support these new aircraft, whether for commercial service or military missions. An attention-getting development in the evolving eVTOL training device sector that caught this author’s attention was SimVIS Simulator Displays’ (SimVIS) visual system solution being offered for rotary/eVTOL training enterprises. 

The secret sauce of SimVIS’s business model in this expanding sector was the company’s identification of a demand for an efficient and cost-effective rotary/eVTOL visual system that “offers an unparalleled field-of-view [FoV].” To point, the company’s MaxVIEW system is said to go “beyond the typical ‘chin-bubble’ view, providing pilots a comprehensive downward perspective,” and with good reasons. As eVTOL concepts of operations mature, they are including the urban terrain, with vertiports designed to be situated in demanding venues, including on top of existing high-rise buildings, repurposed parking garages and other structures, as well as current airports – creating the imperative for accurate scenarios for landing and other low-altitude flight tasks.

Nat Crea, SimVIS Director, pointed out the rotary/eVTOL strategy came about originally with the FAA’s S-76 rotary simulator two years ago. “They already had our ‘standard’ forward view cylinder screen but were looking to improve their chin-bubble view. I suggested adding one more XPlane IG [image generator] and two floor-facing projectors. They liked the idea and the rest is history.”

Acknowledging a traditional dome projection system will give rotary/eVTOL simulators a “decent chin bubble view,” he added, “at a fraction of the price we can provide full-floor coverage with a simple cylinder-forward view and calibrate the matched ground view to create a seamless transition in 2-D, which is what rotary and eVTOL aircraft operators need.” 

Architecture and ROIs

The MaxVIEW visual system architecture includes, in part five HD/4K laser projectors and only two IGs.

External SimVIS S&T suppliers for its rotary/eVTOL package include: Optoma for HD and 4K projector options, Intel for core i9 processors and Nvidia for RTX 4080/4090 family computers.   

Two significant MaxVIEW system attributes include the recent delivery of an 80-degree vertical FoV system – compared to a 50-degree vertical FoV being reported on other systems. And there is the affordability issue. “Pricing for the complete rotary/eVTOL visual system ranges from (USD) 50-70,000 plus shipping and travel expenses,” the director concluded.     

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