The Hannover-Langenhagen Airport is the largest airport in Lower Saxony, Germany, handling over five million airline passengers each year. Two revamped flight simulators at the airport, which allow the public to try their hand at virtually flying an Airbus A320 or a Boeing B737, are now each using a Sony 3LCD VPL-FHZ55 laser flight projector, allowing a 130º view from the virtual cockpit.
Situated between terminals A and B, The World of Aviation exhibition offers users control of the plane from the pilot's seat. In a fully functional and equipped cockpit, aircraft enthusiasts can virtually control the machines for one hour. In addition to general public, the flight simulators can also be used for corporate events and training courses, such as for doctors and managers, who can improve their decision-making skills in stressful situations by taking the role of a pilot.
After the 2008 system – which used images from three projectors to simulate the view from the cockpit – was deemed too much of a drain on funds due to frequent lamp changes and inadequate brightnesses, Hannover Airport sought a more efficient system. The system would have to withstand the simulators long operating times as well as offering the clarity of image suited to reproducing details on the runway and in the air clearly and with high contrast. For the panoramic view the operators installed a concave screen, 6.15m wide and 1.80m high, in front of the cockpit windows – meaning the projectors they were looking for had to be able to generate a geometrically correct image on the curved surface.
The airport found the solution in two Sony 3LCD VPL-FHZ55 projectors. The individual images from these projectors are joined together to create a projection that is 6.15 m wide. The projectors were delivered by AVI Studio, a service provider for presentation technology located in Hannover, and installed in co-operation with Sony. "For its flight simulator, Hannover Airport was looking for a project solution that provides an excellent, high-resolution image while simultaneously remaining a worthwhile investment over the long term, due to low maintenance costs and the resulting low operating costs. Our 3LCD laser projectors offer precisely this combination," explained Erik Jäger, key account manager presentation & communication group, Sony Europe.
Additionally, Sony developed the "constant brightness" function for the VPL-FHZ55. This function ensures the brightness remains at a constant 3000 lumens over the working lifetime of the laser light source. Thanks to the distortion-free image quality on the concave screen, the test pilots enjoy a 130º panoramic view and therefore come very close to the reality in the cockpit.
"From our perspective, the implementation and installation by AVI and Mr Jäger from Sony went extremely well. Even working over the weekend we were able to reach everyone involved if there were any problems and arrive at a quick solution. With the Sony solution we can now display an overall image that is even larger than before, and sharper as well," commented Michael Preuß, Director of the World of Aviation, Hannover Airport.