The idea may seem incongruous. Transform a plane in its own Simulator, this is what a Nasa research team has just in the United States. The pilot settled into the cockpit, recovering from the virtual reality goggles and takes the air with only vision 3D Simulator-generated images… What good because he uses the device, takes the same risks? The idea is maybe not as absurd as it sounds.
Fly a real aircraft with virtual reality goggles, it is possible
The concept of “Fused Reality” created by the American Systems Technology Inc. (STI) is currently by the test pilots of the research center of Nasa in Edwards, California, and at the school of Mojave test since 2014 pilot. They were able to fly aircraft of type Gippsland GA – 8 Airvan equipped with virtual reality goggles to train to land on a virtual track. The interest of this “semi-virtuelle” approach, is to carry out this training at a safe altitude. The virtual track is displayed at an altitude of 5,000 feet above the ground, which helps the student pilot to miss his landing without breaking wood.
Another interest of the ‘Fused Reality’, to display virtual items in a real sets in overprint. An augmented reality that goes well beyond the simple display of data and symbols such as the modern aircraft heads-up display. The origin of the project, it was to lead the Gunners before virtual targets but it is possible be displayed virtual aircraft to train pilots, including for training to flight training, or refueling, what a modest Airvan is unable to make. In the future, one can imagine that the Navy pilots can practice landing on aircraft carrier without… aircraft carrier.
Use of Oculus Rift to fly would be possible
In 2016, the device will be mounted on a device of type C-12 Beechcraft King Air, a twin-engine aircraft faster than the Airvan, the question being to push the system to its limit in order to verify that it is not dangerous in some cases. System presents a presents a “much less” lag to 100 milliseconds. It relies on virtual reality glasses (HMD) and motion-capture Optitrack camera to monitor the movement of the driver’s head. The system is not directly connected to the aircraft systems, but has its own inertial to have the information on the speed, pitch, and the GPS position of the device.
STI, which uses professional virtual reality glasses does not exclude the possibility of using consumer headphones type Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. The device remains purely experimental and is not certified by the civil aviation authorities. Its designers stress that this should not pose them a problem, knowing that the night vision goggles are already.
Translation : Bing Translator
“NASA Brings Fused Reality Simulation Into Cockpit”, AviationWeek, November 23, 2015
“Fused Reality: Making the Imagined Seem Real”, Nasa, September 29, 2015