To train loadmasters as well as pilots in the Desdemona, multiSIM developed a simulator for Chinook loadmaster training that is linked to the pilot station over a network . This setup enables for very realistic interaction between the loadmaster and the pilot controlling the helicopter. To the benefit of the loadmasters, they can now be trained in an environment that includes correct dynamic behaviour of the piloted helicopter, and realistic communication.
The simulator consists of a mock-up of the Chinook side-door, including the lower part of the door with the landing stairs. Loadmasters can enter the simulator with all the equipment that they would normally use, like helmets, headsets and safety belts. The outside world is projected by means of 7 projectors and 2 wide screen monitors, providing a horizontal field-of-view of 180°, a groundview, a view at the gears and a view through the left door window.
Using a simulated outside view of the Chinook hull instead of building a full scale mock-up makes the solution extremely cost effective.
Using a mock-up of the Chinook door opening, instead of building only on virtual reality solutions (with VR headsets), proved to be an advantage. In the mock-up, a loadmaster instructor can actually coach the loadmaster on the spot, eye-to-eye, just as they would in an actual flight.
For voice marshalling in high precision spatial tasks, such as sling load operations from the center hatch and hoisting, the VR solution that we developed is optimal.
The D-SIM software connects the loadmaster simulators in real-time to the cockpit station, which can be high-fidelity like the Desdemona simulator or a low-fidelity flight training device (like the Chinook piloting station in the picture below).