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Farnborough 2022: Vrgineers develops flexible, low-footprint flight trainer

The Vrgineers portable reconfigurable flight trainer displayed at the Farnborough International Airshow 2022. The XTAL 3 HMD is on the top of the seat, with the tracking sensors shown as white dots. The infrared detector is mounted on the tripod. (Giles Ebbutt)

Vrgineers has developed a portable reconfigurable flight trainer incorporating its XTAL 3 virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD).

The company displayed the system at the Farnborough International Airshow 2022, and according to company literature, the trainer has been developed for the US Marine Corps (USMC).

Chris Phipps, Vrgineers business development executive, told Janes that the XTAL 3 was the latest version of the HMD. It provides 8K resolution, with a high-fidelity display and 180° field-of-view. Phipps said this provides near-human eye peripheral vision and resolution.

There are two versions of the XTAL 3 – VR and mixed reality (MR). The latter has two pass-through lenses, with a software mask covering the interior of the cockpit. This enables the pilot to see and use all the controls within the cockpit but only to see the virtual world outside the cockpit confines.

The system on display used Bohemia Interactive Simulations Virtual Battlespace 4 as the virtual environment, but it is software-agnostic. Multiple trainers can be networked together for collective training.

The HMD is equipped with several sensors that can be detected by an infrared (IR) sensor to provide head movement tracking. On the display model, the sensor was mounted on a tripod in front of the pilot seat, but Phipps said that alternatively, sensors could be mounted on adjacent walls or ceilings. He added that it was also possible to provide “inside-out” tracking, which removed the need for external sensors.

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