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projectiondesign takes off again with BA

Ian McMurray 24 May 2012
projectiondesign takes off again with BA

British Airways (BA) has upgraded a fifth full-flight training simulator using projectiondesign’s latest ReaLED light-source projectors.

Following on from last year’s initial installation of a simulator based around the projectiondesign FL32 projector, this latest upgrade features projectiondesign’s FL35 WQXGA with 2,560 x 1,600 pixel resolution.

Based on the established F35 DLP platform, the FL35 combines 4.1 megapixels with projectiondesign’s second-generation RealLED illumination technology. The FL35’s LED-based illumination is said to promise 100,000 hours of typical service life.

Like projectiondesign’s previous BA simulators, the new system features three projectors in a design drawn up by the airline’s systems integration partner RSI Visual Systems. The projectors are integrated with the RSI XT4 Level ‘ D’ Image Generator and used for showing ‘Out The Window’ (OTW) content, giving trainee pilots simulations of unprecedented realism in accordance with the Level D airline industry standards.

“Moving up from WUXGA to WQXGA gives a considerable increase in pixels per projector,” said Jeff Everett, President, RSI Visual Systems. “This has the obvious advantage of offering a higher level of display fidelity. For example, it means that a pilot can read signage a greater distance away when they are taxiing around a virtual ‘airport’.”

“We were also able to add another 5 degrees of view because of the extra pixels – giving us 45 degrees in the vertical as opposed to the standard 40 degrees. That has the benefit of increasing the field of view for trainees, which in turn helps to make the simulator more realistic.”

“But it’s not just the number of pixels – it’s what you can do with them that’s important,” he concluded. “and that’s where the RealLED technology really scores because calibration is so straightforward and dependable. The ability to maintain colour and brightness settings across multiple projectors over long periods of time, and without any maintenance required, is huge in our business.”

Located, like the earlier installations, at BA’s Heathrow Training Centre, the FL35s are integrated with RSI Visual System’s RASTER XT4 image-generator – one of the few systems of its kind that can drive projectors at WQXGA resolution with a single-channel output. The finished system is used to simulate the view from the cockpit of an Airbus A320 passenger airliner.

"The FL35 is providing our A320 simulator’s visual systems with high levels of reliability, brightness and resolution,” said Mike Burtenshaw, General Manager, British Airways Flight Training. “BA Flight Training constantly looks to invest in its flight simulators to continue to maintain the highest possible levels of pilot training standards."

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