The VLRCOE Flight Simulation facility is under construction!
The flight simulator, located in Room 17 of Hammond Building, is being developed by Professor Horn and his research group under funding provided by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP). The visual system, developed by the German-based project: syntropy, has already been built and features a six-channel image generation system projected onto a 5 meter spherical screen. This system offers a wide field-of-view (210° horizontal / 70° vertical) to allow immersed visual cueing, and uses an automatic calibration system for high-precision image warping and blending. The simulator also includes a simulator cockpit based on the BA609 aircraft (now designated as the AW609), which was donated to Penn State by Bell Helicopters. The visual system, operator station, and the cockpit shell can be seen in the photograph below.
The simulator will also include a programmable control loading system and a 6-DOF motion base developed by Servos and Systems, Inc (the system is currently under construction). The facility will be used for research on advanced flight controls and handling qualities of rotorcraft, including control augmentation to allow landing on ships in high sea states, high winds, and degraded visual conditions. An additional ONR DURIP, led by Professors Schmitz, Brentner, and Horn, will integrate a dedicated high performance computing system with the simulator, which will allow very high fidelity aeromechanics computations to be used in real-time flight simulations.