Loft Dynamics partners with Dufour Aerospace to develop its first VR eVTOL simulator and meet surging pilot demand

Loft Dynamics produces the only helicopter VR simulators to receive major regulatory approval and is well-positioned to do the same with eVTOL aircraft

Loft Dynamics, a global leader in virtual reality (VR) flight simulation technology, announced its expansion beyond helicopters to include electric vehicle takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft simulators. As the first and only VR simulator with major regulatory approval, the company is leveraging its proven technology to develop its first VR eVTOL simulator for Dufour Aerospace, a leading innovator in eVTOL flight technology. Both companies unveiled the partnership today at Loft Dynamics’ inaugural event, Loft Fest, which brings together the global aviation community. They shared that the Aero3 VR eVTOL simulator is currently in development and scheduled to enter the market in early 2025.

Loft Dynamics’ expansion comes at a critical time in the aviation industry: urban congestion and environmental concerns are accelerating global demand for eVTOL aircraft — and demand for eVTOL pilots. The industry’s capacity to effectively train and scale a new, specialized pilot workforce will be stretched by the intensifying pilot shortage. The need for VR simulators to improve access to the safest and highest quality eVTOL training has never been greater.

“Our partnership with Dufour Aerospace represents a big stride forward in training a wider range of pilots at a time when operators need it most. It also lays groundwork for the eventual certification of our eVTOL simulator,” said Fabi Riesen, founder and CEO of Loft Dynamics. “We started with helicopters, which are extremely challenging to simulate — the physics, motion, and human factors are more complex than in all other aircraft. This is why proving and qualifying our technology in the helicopter market, even beyond what’s mandated at the regulatory level, offers a significant advantage as we move into eVTOLs. Our 360-degree, 3D view — as well as highly detailed terrain and cityscape models and realistic ground effects — make our technology transferrable and incredibly valuable to eVTOLs. We’re thrilled to finally bring this vision to life with Dufour, a company at the leading edge of efficient and sustainable advanced air mobility technology.”

Dufour Aerospace’s tilt-wing Aero3 eVTOL is designed to offer the versatility of a helicopter with the efficiency and speed of an airplane. The Aero3 will be an ideal aircraft for emergency medical services which require the ability to land in all types of environments and get patients to the nearest hospitals as quickly as possible. It will also serve as an effective low-cost alternative for operators in urban, regional, and private transportation markets — from air taxi services to VIP transport and deliveries.

Dufour founder and CEO Thomas Pfammatter is an Air Zermatt helicopter rescue pilot who has flown over 4,500 missions, and who has extensive experience with the Loft Dynamics VR flight simulation training device — which he describes as “by far the most realistic simulator I have ever flown.” As Dufour develops the Aero3, Pfammatter observes that Loft Dynamics’ simulator technology will allow the company to create a pilot interface with “unprecedented speed and cost efficiency.” Given the pivotal role eVTOLs will play in the future of aviation, this partnership positions Loft Dynamics at the forefront of flight innovation.

“The VR approach is undoubtedly superior among extended reality training solutions and is critical as we develop a man-machine interface for the Aero3,” Pfammatter said. “It allows pilots to integrate new concepts quickly and effectively, including tilt-wing operation and fountain lift and suckdown ground effects at low to zero speeds. Most importantly, it enables our pilots to gain experience in a safe and hyper-realistic environment. This will generate invaluable data as we develop the aircraft.”

About Loft Dynamics

Loft Dynamics AG is a market-leading company specializing in VR training devices for helicopter pilots. Founded in 2016, our mission is to revolutionize global aviation with cutting-edge VR flight simulators. Equipped with a 3D high-resolution panoramic view, dynamic six-degrees-of-motion platform, and full-scale replica cockpit with a unique pose tracking system, our simulators provide an immersive, realistic, customizable, and risk-free training experience. By offering a training solution 10 times smaller and 20 times less expensive than traditional simulators, we enhance training accessibility and scalability, empowering highly skilled pilots to meet global demand. As the world’s first and only qualified VR flight simulation training device (FSTD), achieving FTD Level 3 qualification from EASA, we serve leading manufacturers, airlines, operators, schools, and organizations worldwide. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, our team comprises passionate engineers, developers, and aviation experts.

About Dufour Aerospace

Dufour Aerospace develops efficient and ecological aircraft for patient and passenger transport, logistics and public safety. Dufour Aerospace’s designs currently under development rely on the tilt-wing principle. They take-off and land vertically in the smallest space like a helicopter but fly as fast and economically as an airplane. While the propellers are electric-driven, hybrid elements (conventional combustion engines or fuel cells) ensure a sufficiently long range. The first product Dufour Aerospace will launch is the Aero2, an uncrewed aerial vehicle specifically designed for the transportation of critical cargo such as medical supplies of up to 40 kilograms/88 pounds in medium to long range distances. The manned Aero3, featuring a spacious cabin with eight seats and large doors, is the next aircraft in development by Dufour Aerospace.

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