Why "non-motion" flight simulators?


Many discussions have passed about the simulator to be used but this week we draw a final conclusion. We will stick to the "non-motion" simulators. That is, for this project.

The situation is quite simple. The concept behind the Viper Zero One concept is unique and that makes it hard to find comparable environments and enterprises. Yes, there are several companies active in the field of flight simulation and yes many of them use motion-type simulators. But non of them offer the gaming facilities that we do and most of them aim at the professional aviator.

It is without any doubt that motion puts a lot of physical experience to the overall flight sim concept. That is great! But during our research amongst the variety of client groups we rapidly learned that there is only a small minority that sticks to the motion experience. This is something we need to explain. It turned out that there are two major risks involved in the concept. The first one is motion sickness and the second one is claustrophobia.

Motion sickness

Perhaps it is hard to image but most people tend to get sick if they are immersed into the physical experience of flying. Sudden motions do interfere with the balance organs in your ear sending upsetting information to the brains. This is perhaps a minor issue if the whole experience takes a couple of minutes, like in a roller coaster. But within the Viper Zero One concept the simulated flight takes up to about 50 minutes or more if you book a double time slot. If air sickness does occur with people in an early moment, you can imagine what that means in terms of physical exhaustion. Not to mention the cleaning of the simulators afterwards. And let's be honest, we don't want every participant to prepare in the gym with a physical work-out for weeks in advance to prepare for 50 minutes of simulated flight.

Claustrophobia

This is another phenomenon that needs to be taken into account. The simulators we have selected are "open". That means no canopy will be projected and closed overhead before your virtual takeoff. It was an option to include a full glass canopy but then we learned from other entrepreneurs that people tend to get claustrophobic the moment they find themselves confined to a thight and unknown space. Some people even tend to become short of breath and this all can result into panic attacks. If this risk is present and you add the motion component to the concept…


Do we disappoint certain customer groups with this, yes certainly. But the baseline of the Viper Zero One concept is to have fun and fly your dreams instead of getting sick. So to come up with an experience that suits the majority of the public, we had to decide to leave the motion part of the simulation out of the equation s well as the canopy. This also reduced the costs of the simulators significantly and thereby the necessary investments. With a significantly reduced investment need it makes it far more possible to establish this enterprise. And for those who do not have a faint idea about the costs of motion platforms.... the cheapest suitable for our needs starts at a humble 78.000 Euro's and prices quickly range up to a mere 250.000 Euro's per platform. That excludes the simulator it self and the projection technology.

So there you have it.... the reason to stick to non-motion simulators. Nevertheless, the use of of the large 180 degrees projection screen does immerse the participant in a visual and virtual motion sensation. Most of the participants do experience disorientation during the first minutes of flight. But that is something everybody can easily cope with.


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