Low cost visual, audio, vibration, and control loading cueing technologies were implemented on an initially-obsolete flight simulation training device by Vector Training Systems. This resulted in the Carleton University Redeveloped Vector Simulator (CURVS). X-Plane 10 was used as the new simulation environment and appropriate data acquisition hardware and software was used to control mechanical instruments and pilot controls. An ultra-wide-angle triple-channel HD cylindrical projection system was built to replace the original low resolution (800 × 600 pixels) single-channel system. The screen was constructed out of steel tubing and PVC screen fabric. The images from three projectors were blended together to produce a seamless, asymmetric 220° field of view offset to the pilot's side, an innovative feature which gives superior situational awareness to a student pilot practising landing manoeuvres. Vibration cueing was implemented with a seat-mounted vibration transducer driven by a custom engine audio recording acquired from a Cessna 172 aircraft. Control loading was also implemented. This feature increases the realism of the pilot experience by allowing the pilot to become accustomed to feeling the resistive forces from the controls during various manoeuvres. Test subjects noted very satisfactory experiences with CURVS. Control loading and ultra-wide-angle projection systems are invaluable elements to flight training, and greatly increase transfer of training between the simulator and an actual aircraft. However, these technologies are typically only available on expensive, high-end simulators. The innovative, cost effective control-loading and projection technologies implemented in this project will help bring these critical features within reach of a much greater body of student pilots, and enable the creation of more realistic, cost effective training devices in general.

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3rd International Conference on Control, Dynamic Systems, and Robotics, CDSR 2016
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Cameron, B. (Brent), Rajaee, H. (Hooman), Jung, B. (Bradley), & Langlois, R.G. (2016). Development and implementation of cost-effective flight simulator technologies. In International Conference of Control, Dynamic Systems, and Robotics. doi:10.11159/cdsr16.126