In one of the most exciting and prestigious applications of LED technology to date, and after successfully completing a rigorous trial period, the FL32 solid-state ReaLED™ DLP® projector from projectiondesign® has been approved for use in Level D full-flight simulators by British Airways.
The airline took delivery of three FL32’s in May of this year after it was recommended by its systems integration partner RSI Visual Systems. Michael Freeman, managing director of RSI takes up the story:
“BA had been using LCoS projectors for showing what we call ‘Out The Window’ (OTW) content in its full-flight simulators. We were tasked with finding an alternative projector and then integrating it into the existing RSI XT-64 visual systems, with minimal impact on BA’s pilot training schedule.
“We believed that the FL32 would address a number of the issues that BA had with its previous projector. Standard deliverable LCoS projectors are essentially ‘consumer’ products modified for use in flight simulation. BA found that frequent lamp changes, along with regular set ups, are a fundamental requirement of LCoS projectors to maintain consistent image quality.
“By comparison, the FL32 is designed from the ground up to be a professional-quality product that is manufactured for industrial use. Its LED light source means there is no requirement to replace a lamp and the day-to-day maintenance required is minimal. The projector also easily meets the minimum resolution, highlight brightness and black level requirements for Level D qualification, which is currently the most stringent standard for full-flight simulation systems.”
After passing its initial seven-day Level D qualification regulatory testing, the FL32 projectors have now completed an extended 90-day trial with impressive results. Mike Burtenshaw, General Manager British Airways Flight Training comments, “Our requirements for low maintenance, consistent image quality and predictable cost of ownership have all been met; we are very pleased with the performance of the projectors and visual system.”
RSI’s Freeman adds that as well as offering the right technology for the job, projectiondesign also provided indispensable technical support during the design and installation phases. “Our customers trust us to find the right solution, so it was very important to us that projectiondesign was able to make adjustments to the black level and luminance of the FL32 before we took delivery. They continued to support us through the on-site installation and integration with the existing simulator systems, and we receive ongoing support from them whenever we need it.”
Mike Raines, visual simulation manager, projectiondesign, concludes: “Our ReaLED implementation of solid-state illumination technology promises not just reduced maintenance and increased consistency compared with conventional projector light sources, but many other benefits including enhanced black levels and a much greater available colour gamut.
“It is extremely gratifying that such leading-edge technology has been so quickly adopted and approved for use in Level D-certified flight simulation applications – a testament not just to this particular product but to our whole philosophy of providing professional-grade projectors that are brilliantly engineered, fully customizable, and always properly supported.”