Loft Dynamics VR Flight Simulator acquired by Blackcomb Helicopters
July 6, 2023 By Helicopters Staff
Loft Dynamics AG, formerly VRM Switzerland, has expanded into Canada with a first-of-its-kind partnership with Blackcomb Helicopters LP. Loft Dynamics describes itself as the creator of the world’s first and only virtual reality (VR) simulator authorized by a major aviation regulator.
A leading helicopter tour and utility company in the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada, Blackcomb Helicopters will leverage Loft Dynamics’ simulator to increase its flight training capabilities while also removing the inherent safety risks and the carbon emissions of in-flight training. Both Loft Dynamics and Blackcomb Helicopters will be working closely with Transport Canada (TC) to demonstrate the technology’s safety and training value across Canadian aviation.
Blackcomb Helicopters will operate Loft Dynamics’ VR Airbus H125 training device at its Boundary Bay Airport location, in Metro Vancouver. The simulator, developed in collaboration with Airbus Helicopters’ engineers and test pilots, is an exact replica of the Airbus H125 helicopter.
Equipped with a 3D high-resolution panoramic view, dynamic six-degrees-of-motion platform, and full-replica cockpit featuring a unique pose tracking system, the simulator offers realistic and intuitive operation. Notably, it is the world’s first and only VR flight simulation training device (FSTD), having achieved FTD Level 3 qualification from EASA (equivalent to FAA FTD7). This qualification allows pilots to complete proficiency checks, periodic H125 flight training, and operational check rides from the device.
“Our pilots regularly navigate challenging coastal and mountainous conditions, but adequately training for these scenarios is inherently dangerous,” said Chris Haslock, Blackcomb’s Director of Operations. “With Loft Dynamics simulators, we’re able to customize weather conditions, visual cues, and landscapes based on what is typically encountered, so it’s the exact in-flight experience without compromising safety and with zero carbon emissions. It’s a complete game-changer.”
Founded in Whistler, British Columbia, and operating for over 30 years, Blackcomb Helicopters provides heli-tourism, utility, and civil services and operates from bases at Boundary Bay Airport (Delta, BC), Whistler, Pemberton, Squamish, Sechelt, Lillooet, Terrace, and Calgary, AB (Springbank Airport). Blackcomb is a member of the McLean Group of Companies.
“We’re thrilled to partner with a highly respected helicopter operator like Blackcomb,” said Fabi Riesen, founder and CEO of Loft Dynamics. “Our technology has significantly improved pilot safety and skills for companies operating in similarly complex conditions and scenarios, whether it’s search and rescue missions in the Swiss Alps or heli tours in the Colorado Rockies.”