Meet the world’s first LSA flight simulator that uses Virtual Reality technology
The X-ALPHA 200 is a hugely updated version of the original simulator and can now simulate the ALPHA Trainer, ALPHA Electro, Virus 121 and Virus 128 aircraft.
How can we make a simulator suit many different aircraft models ?
We did this in an ingenious way, making a modular central console that is easily changed between the different aircraft configurations.
This takes full advantage of a VR environment and the flexibility it can offer.
When simulating the ALPHA Trainer for example, the pilot doesn’t see the air brakes lever or the brake pedals (from the Virus aircraft). This means you are not distracted by something you don’t use and don’t expect to be in that aircraft configuration.
The hand controls are different on the Virus 121 because it has different levers, including one to operate the constant speed propeller. This feature is not found on the other models that are featured in our simulator. How do you get around having different hand controls and levers ?
Our designers have met this challenge with a removable centre console which features the different control layouts to match the different aircraft, pure genius !
The centre console can be swapped out by simply removing it and disconnecting one electrical connector. When you plug another console in the software automatically detects the console is detected and will also notify you in case you try to fly the aircraft with the wrong centre console. The unused centre console is stored in the luggage compartment area.
The single most important element of our simulator system is Virtual reality.
The X-ALPHA uses VR (Virtual Reality) headset instead of the usual monitors.
This is a huge advantage because the headset allows the pilot a 360 degree view of the cockpit and the landscape. You can lean closer to the instrument panel to read the marks written in smaller font, look through the window and check if the landing gear is still in one peace after the landing or whether the flaps are indeed in the second position and did i mention sound ? Sound comes through the VR headset that replicates the throttle setting and noise of the actual aircraft.
The experience is extremely immersive and just like flying the real aircraft.
The X-ALPHA was developed in cooperation with Pipistrel test pilots and flight instructors and it accurately simulates the behavior of the real aircraft. The simulator can be used for basic flight instruction and currency training, this is not a toy but a real simulator.
The X-ALPHA was first presented to the public at AERO Friedrichshafen in 2017 where it attracted a lot of attention and orders.
Awesome new functionality is the Ballistic Parachute activation.
The parachute lever is tied to a mechanism that simulates the length of the pull and the force involved when activating the ballistic parachut system. The simulation then tells if you used the parachute inside the flight envelope. You can easily reset the parachute mechanism by pulling the parachute simulation reset button in the cockpit.
In addition, the flap lever is adapted to both types of aircraft.
A special mechanism physically limits one of the flap stages when flying the ALPHA Trainer.
The user can easily switch between the two configurations.
Pipistrel has taken into account all the feedback gathered from users of the simulator.
These comments and suggestions have brought the following changes:
The simulator base is visually updated. We got rid of the wood and replaced it with RF. We also lowered it by 3 cm to help people get in and out of the simulator. The base is now even heavier and is already visually more “safe”.
Pedals have more return force to more accurately simulate the real aircraft.
2 speakers are now hidden in the side pockets of the instrument panel and a sub woofer on the back wall (backrest) make sure the pilot hears the right airplane’s sound while transmitting a little more vibration.
Additional fans are installed in the hull for better computer ventilation.