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Air firefighters adopt virtual reality flight simulators

#Air #firefighters #adopt #virtual #reality #flight #simulators

BOZEMAN, MT, July 22, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bridger Aerospace Group, LLC (Bridger) has partnered with Pretoria Engineering (Pretoria) to develop a virtual reality aerial firefighting training program. Air firefighter pilots have to fly in complex environments; However, repeating training for these conditions is impossible outside of flying on a fire. Bridger will provide its pilots with a virtual training environment to better prepare for flight in difficult wildfire conditions and terrain.

Established in 1994, Pretoria specializes in the design of custom aircraft simulators. In 2019, Pretoria launched its flagship project, Sim Your Plane. The program combines a virtual reality headset and custom sensor kits with flight controls, turning private planes into realistic flight simulators.

“Pretoria is a great partner for Bridger. Like us, they are a young, ambitious company trying to improve the future of flight training,” said Rob Dewar, VP of Flight Operations at Bridger Aerospace.

Pretoria creates digital versions of Bridger’s fleet, allowing pilots to train in a realistic environment. They are designing the plugin for X-Plane 12 that will integrate Bridger’s aircraft and the ability to fly aerial firefighting missions. “Once released, X-Plane 12 will be the most realistic flight simulator engine ever made,” said Dewar. “We’re working directly with X-Plane developers as alpha testers, tweaking the plane’s physics and controls on the water.”

The unconventional mission requirements and weather conditions associated with aerial firefighting present various challenges when attempting to simulate realistic flight characteristics. To design the most accurate environment, Pretoria works directly with Bridger pilots to replicate the flight characteristics in the aerial firefighting mission.

Bridger and Pretoria will use a mixed reality environment with pass-through technology to…

Read on GNW: Air firefighters adopt virtual reality flight simulators

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