At Heli-Expo 2024 Leonardo will exhibit its new Virtual and Extended Reality Simulator (VxR) for the first time with its motion system. Officially launched at Heli-Expo 2023, the full-scale system featuring a cockpit, motion, and instructor console is now on display on Leonardo’s Stand (6031) and is available for demos.

The Virtual Extended Reality (VxR) benefits from Leonardo’s unique capabilities designing and developing of simulators and mission support solutions to best support operators' needs. The VxR technology has been designed and built with native helicopter data for the highest level of fidelity, leveraging superior design and certification capabilities and genuine flight tests to meet the future Virtual and Extended Reality Simulators and to be compliant with FTD lev. 6/7 FAA requirements. The VxR features a compact footprint to support single-engine (VFR and IFR) and light-twin-engine helicopters, guaranteeing accurate pilot’s perception of the surroundings for single-pilot flight operation, improving training effectiveness and safety and allowing the crew to train on the same mission through interconnected simulators. Based on previously qualified Level D Full Flight Simulator (FFS) data, the VxR leverages real flight dynamics, performance, and cockpit components (allowing interaction with physical cabin/panels through real panels; it provides tactile feedback when using controls for higher simulation fidelity), with a superior out of window visual system benefiting from the stereoscopic vision and reduced size of the visual system. The short-throw motion without a visual dome has six degrees of freedom, and it is fully integrated with the Visual System based on the Virtual Reality Headset. It allows the relevant installation within reduced space, enabling transport and reconfiguration among helicopter models, including AW09, AW119, and AW109 series. The VxR delivers outstanding cost/effectiveness thanks to its reduced footprint and infrastructure requirement, allowing accessibility in those areas where simulation is primarily needed by reducing acquisition and training costs and enhancing operation safety for light helicopter models.

The first two VxR simulators are complete, one in Italy and the other in the USA; the latter, representing the AW119Kx IFR variant, is the one on display at Heli-Expo. Both VxR simulators will be for flight training at Leonardo’s Training Academies in Italy and the USA. Leonardo is working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration to obtain proper device qualification in 2024, initially as a Flight Training Device. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) qualification will be initiated during 2024 with hopes to complete it within 2025; Sales contracts with a number of clients are in discussion awaiting qualification. In addition to the VXR Flight Simulator, Leonardo can provide Data-Driven Training E-Learning to support theoretical training path for light helicopters in an integrated manner.

The VxR is the latest addition to Leonardo’s vastand growing range of simulation devices and technologies developed by Leonardo for the helicopter market, leveraging state-of-the-art solutions in simulation and virtual reality covering flight, mission, and maintenance.