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Redbird Downsizes Into Drone Sims

New Training Devices Will Include Virtual Reality Drone ‘Ramp Checks’

Aero-News April 1 Special Edition

Redbird is shifting its focus to the drone market to take advantage of the explosive growth of the industry.

Company founder Jerry Gregoire said that drone sims are less expensive to produce, as they can be run on nearly any personal computer, and the need for full motion is not necessary. “We’ll have scenarios that include both operator-on-the-ground simulating VLOS flights, FPV and BVLOS flights. We want to cover the gamut of drone operations and be ready when the aircraft are authorized to operate in the NAS.”

Options for the sims will include controllers mimicking those included with many of the most popular commercially-available drones from DJI, Parrot, Yuneec and others. That way, operators can train on the type of drone they are actually flying, or learn a new aircraft.

The sims will also include a scenario where an FAA official approaches the operator and asks for his or her FAA credentials during the flight. “We wanted to make this as realistic as possible,” Gregoire said. “It will make those operators aware that the FAA is serious about enforcement of its regulations.”

Gregoire said that the company will be scaling down its production of manned-aircraft sims to take advantage of the opportunities in the drone market. “Drones, and eventually UAT, are the future of the industry. We’ve always been on the cutting edge, and prided ourselves on our agility. This is a natural extension of our business model.”

The Redbird drone sims should begin shipping April 1 at a cost of $1,000. “That is about the cost of most of these drones, so we feel that it will make it affordable for people who are serious about becoming commercial drone operators,” Gregoire said.



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