Do Army Helicopter Training Simulators Need Motion Bases?
McCauley, Michael E.
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This report reviews the arguments and the evidence regarding the need for simulator motion bases in training helicopter pilots. It discusses flight simulators, perceptual fidelity, history of motion bases, disturbance versus maneuver motion, human motion sensation, and reviews the empirical evidence for the training effectiveness of motion bases. The section on training effectiveness reviews research from relevant sources, including: Military helicopter, military transport, commercial airlines, general aviation, fighter, and attack aircraft. In addition the author describes a Perceptual Control Theory approach to determining the information requirements for simulator-based training. The author concludes that there is a substantial body of data to support the training' effectiveness of flight simulation in general; that there is virtually no evidence to support the training effectiveness of motion platforms; that motion contributes to in-simulator performance, particularly for experienced pilots; that motion cues may be beneficial for flight training in unstable aircraft and in tasks involving disturbance cues, although the evidence is weak; and that motion, noise, and vibration contribute to the realism of the simulation and, therefore, strongly influence the acceptance of a simulator by the pilot community. There is no reliable evidence that a motion base prevents simulator sickness. Instructional design is more important than physical fidelity for training effectiveness.
United States Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences
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