Loft Dynamics to build simulators for Dufour Aerospace


Loft Dynamics is now developing virtual reality (VR) simulators for electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft following an agreement with Dufour Aerospace. 

Loft, a specialist in VR flight simulation technology, announced the deal to develop and build its first VR eVTOL simulator at its inaugural Loft Fest event last week. The firms announced Dufour’s Aero3 — the third iteration of the Aero family and the first to be piloted — is in development and that Loft will build the respective VR simulator in parallel.

As the first and only VR simulator with major regulatory approval, Loft has previously focused on the helicopter industry. The transition comes in response to the growing demand for eVTOL pilots as there is a growing need for VR simulators to improve access to eVTOL training.

“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.”

Dufour Aerospace’s tilt-wing Aero3 eVTOL is a perfect fit for emergency medical services which require the ability to land in all types of environments with speed in mind. Dufour claim 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.

Thomas Pfammatter, Dufour founder and CEO, is an Air Zermatt helicopter rescue pilot who has flown over 4,500 missions. He describes the Loft Dynamics VR flight simulation training device as “by far the most realistic simulator I have ever flown”. 

“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.”