Ryan Aerospace sells three VR helicopter simulators to Royal Australian Navy

Ryan Aerospace sells three VR helicopter simulators to Royal Australian Navy

2-Nov-2018 Source: Ryan Aerospace

Deputy Commander Fleet Air Arm, Captain Grant O’Loughlan, Royal Australian Navy took possession of three Ryan Aerospace virtual reality helicopter simulators earlier this week at an official handover ceremony at HMAS Albatross, Nowra, NSW Australia.

The three simulators will be used by the Fleet Air Arm’s Naval Aviation Prospects Scheme as an engagement tool to attract the interest of aspiring aircrew to join the Royal Australian Navy.

Captain O’Loughlan said that he was impressed with the new simulators and (coming from a helicopter background) somewhat surprised with how realistic they were. He added that it was important for the Australian Defence Force to support local entrepreneurial businesses such as Ryan Aerospace. He said these simulator units will be a valuable asset for Navy in supporting Defence Force recruiting.

Managing Director of Ryan Aerospace, Chris Ryan said he was “delighted to partner with the Navy to develop a bespoke system in conjunction with the highly popular HELIMOD Mark III product launched earlier this year”. The units take advantage of improved capability of virtual reality technology.

Deputy Commander Fleet Air Arm, Captain Grant O’Loughlan, Royal Australian Navy took possession of three Ryan Aerospace virtual reality helicopter simulators earlier this week at an official handover ceremony at HMAS Albatross, Nowra, NSW Australia.
In addition to the HELIMOD Mark III helicopter simulator units, Ryan Aerospace developed a unique accompanying unit comprising a PC and monitor with integrated cabling and head-tracking sensors. This allows spectators to see on a display screen what the pilot is seeing in the virtual reality goggles. The display unit has wheels attached and doubles as a shipping crate by being laid down flat, with the HELIMOD device sitting right on top. This allows staff to push the devices easily to the purposely modified van for transportation.

The simulators have D-Box motion actuators attached to the base and link with the simulation software to provide an even more realistic experience.

It is expected that the simulators will be getting constant use as they travel around the country to various events including the International Air Show at Avalon in February.

The handover ceremony in Nowra earlier this week attracted some significant interest from Captain Fiona Sneath, Commanding Officer HMAS Albatross and Commanding Officers from Fleet Air Arm Squadrons.

Mr Ryan said that in a few weeks, Ryan Aerospace will be participating at I/ITSEC, the world’s largest military simulation and training event in Orlando, Florida and will be taking two devices. The HELIMOD Mark III has attracted a great deal of interest from another International Navy entity who will be participating in a trial program using the product in December.

The HELIMOD Mark III takes full advantage of virtual reality allowing the pilot to look down at the slung load by literally “leaning out the window” like he or she would do in real life.

  • Full immersion in the cockpit with the ability to look around (including directly down for vertical reference / long lining operations)
  • Modular and reconfigurable (aircraft-specific modules and controls can easily be added / interchanged) including  main instrument panels, avionics suites, GPS etc.
  • USB “Plug and Play”. Can be used with a variety of software platforms dependent on the training requirement
  • Cyclic has force trim function with stick shaker option available
  • Pedals have high quality hydraulic dampening
  • Collective has high quality hydraulic dampening and friction control
  • Robust and deployable. Main frame has durable Rhino Coating with recessed, rugged handles for easy movement. Internal parts over-engineered to withstand the harshest of operating environments
  • Retractable wheel system for easy movement available as an option
  • Small footprint. Can fit in a small office, trailer or shipping container and is entirely portable
  • Package deals with PC, configured software and virtual reality headset available
  • Motion platform available
  • Adjustable seat
  • Can also be used with LCD screens or projectors for the out-the-window visuals instead of / as well as the virtual reality headset
  • Scalable
  • Cost-effective / affordable
  • Excellent backup and support
  • Shipping worldwide

Two head-tracking sensors (included in the package) allow the pilot a 360 degree view of the cockpit including the ability to lean out the side of the helicopter and look down.


The HELIMOD Mark III is software agnostic and can be configured with a variety of software packages depending on the training requirement including:

  • VBS3
  • X-Plane 11
  • DCS
  • Prepar3D
  • Titan
  • Presagis products such as HeliSim, Vega Prime, STAGE etc.
  • Arma

Ryan Aerospace can install, configure and license the appropriate software to suit your requirements


The HELIMOD Mark III is portable and deployable making it ideal for small offices, trailers, shipping containers etc. The main base is just 28 inches wide (700mm) and 51 inches long (1300mm) approx.

The HELIMOD Mark III is modular and reconfigurable. The cyclic, collective and pedals can be detached from the main frame and interchanged in just minutes. Aircraft-specific controls are available, either in-stock or by request. Pictured below is the Huey replica collective and cyclic. There are also threaded adjustment points at the front of the main base to easily add instrument panels etc.

The HELIMOD Mark III comes standard with high quality, electronically adjustable anti-torque pedals with hydraulic dampening. This (coupled with the fully adjustable seat) allows almost any sized pilot full access to all controls.


The cyclic has a realistic ‘feel’ not normally found in lower cost simulators. Features and benefits include:

  • Functional force trim
  • Functional hat (trim) switch, trigger and two other Push to Talk (PTT) buttons.
  • Sturdy stainless steel shaft powder coated in black
  • Back-driven control loading available as an option
  • Stick shaker available as an option


The collective has a functional friction control and high quality hydraulic dampening. The standard lever, however, can easily be interchanged thanks to the quick-release system allowing for the fitting of optional, aircraft-specific / replica collectives. Pictured below is the UH-1 Huey collective with functional twist throttle and working buttons, switches and starter trigger.
The HELIMOD Mark III has attachment points on the base of the unit for easy integration with motion platforms such as the D-Box system shown in the image below. The three actuators provide important pitch, roll, heave and vibration cues. This is particularly important when used with Virtual Reality to form congruency between what the pilot sees and his or her vestibular system, thus reducing the likelihood of dizziness or disorientation (simulation / VR sickness). There is also provision for the integration of a Buttkicker low frequency sound system for additional vibration and sound cues.


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