SAF Aerogroup—a leading multinational aviation conglomerate providing pilot training, aircraft operations, sales, and maintenance services to governments and NGOs—announced today its investment in Loft Dynamics’ virtual reality (VR) flight simulation training devices (FSTDs). This acquisition of simulators enhances training programs across the company’s two academies. SAF Aerogroup will operate Loft Dynamics’ EASA-qualified Airbus H125 VR FSTD to safely and sustainably train its wide range of crews. Additionally, it will utilize the Airbus H145 VR FSTD to provide realistic and highly immersive scenario-based training for rescue pilots.

Modern Training Academy for Demanding Pilot Education

SAF Aerogroup’s new Loft Dynamics simulators will be housed at the company’s Tournon base in the Savoie, France and will offer high-fidelity pilot training enrolled in its academy. Students now have access to a first-of-its-kind virtual reality training experience: Loft Dynamics’ unrestricted 360-degree 3D view, which enables precise control of the helicopter according to high-resolution references; a six-degrees-of-freedom highly dynamic motion platform, which accurately replicates the aircraft’s movements and haptic sensations, including the feeling of skids touching the ground; and a proprietary Pose Tracking System that makes cockpit operations intuitive.

"We had never seen this level of precise helicopter replication before, especially when it came to flight behavior. It was an easy decision to invest in Loft Dynamics’ state-of-the-art training solution: we strengthen important skills we wouldn’t otherwise be able to do and do onsite, and we free up onboarding and operations time as Loft Dynamics handles it all,” said Tristan Serretta, CEO of SAF Aerogroup. "Pilots need to be able to train for the variety of scenarios they may encounter, including recovery from a vortex ring state, inadvertent IMC prevention, mountain landing with varying up and downdrafts, or sling load operation—that type of training can’t be done safely and regularly today. Loft Dynamics’ sims fill that critical void for us. This is undoubtedly the future of pilot training, and we’re confident that Loft Dynamics’ technology will help establish SAF Aerogroup as one of the foremost helicopter training organizations in the world.”

Moving Pilot Training and Checking to VR Simulators

“Training and checking in real helicopters come with certain risks and hinder commercial operations. The simulator enables training and checking in a safe environment at any time, independent of weather conditions,” explains Jens Westh, Chief Operating Officer at Loft Dynamics. “Training is made as realistic as possible, allowing for the simulation of malfunctions as they would occur in reality. This forces pilots to take concrete actions rather than just discussing what would be done in each situation. We are convinced that this will enhance flight safety in both the short and long term, in line with the EASA Rotorcraft Safety Roadmap.”

Comprehensive Customer Service makes Simulators Accessible

Loft Dynamics offers comprehensive customer service, which enables every helicopter operator and flight school to benefit from simulator training directly at their home base. “Qualifying an FSTD is complex, time-consuming, and requires specific knowledge,” observes Jens Westh. “Operating the device also presents challenges. We relieve our customers of these burdens and enable them to focus on what matters most: operations.”