Visual circuit flying with augmented head-tracking on limited field of view flight training devices

2013-09-25T11:28:46Z (GMT) by Roy Kalawsky Luan Le-Ngoc
The virtual reality technique of amplified head rotations was applied to a fixed-base, low-fidelity flight simulator enabling users to fly a visual flying circuit, a task previously severely restricted by limited field of views and fixed field of regard. An exploratory experi- ment with nine pilots was conducted to test this technique on a fixed-base simulator across three displays: single monitor, triple monitor and triple projector. Participants started airborne downwind in a visual circuit with the primary task of completing the circuit to a full stop landing while having a secondary task of spotting popup traffic in the vicinity simulated by blimps. Data was collected to study effects on flight performance, workload and simulator sickness. The results showed that there were very few significant difference between displays, in itself remarkable considering the difference in display size and field of views. Triple monitor was found to be the best compromise delivering flight performance and traffic detection scores just below triple projector but without some peculiar track deviations during flight and a less chance of simulator sickness. With participants quickly adapting to this technique and favorable feedback, these findings demonstrated the poten- tial value of upgrading flight training devices and to improve their utility and pave the way for future research into this domain.