Russian Aircraft Company's MiG is best known for its fighter planes which have been used by the USSR, China, North Korea and North Vietnam since the beginning of WWII.
These days, the former Government-owned RAC MiG is a publicly traded entity and competes on the open market with its technologies, having more than 1600 of its MiG-29 fighters in operation in 25 countries.
Now MiG is claiming a major first in military aviation with the launch of a 3D flight simulator at the Dubai Air Show, providing volumetric visualization of beyond-the-cockpit space for trainee top guns. The simulator comes complete with the MiG-29's cockpit and actual control systems.
Existing military simulators have a 2D projection system, at best projected on a wrap-around screen, imitating surround environment in the more or less precise manner, but they do not provide volumetric visualization.
As a result, pilots face problems in assessing the distance to the key virtual objects being monitored, as well as size of those objects, making it difficult to perform precisely when flying the virtual fighter in close proximity to other aircraft, in air refueling, or on the approach to a landing strip or aircraft carrier.
Some advanced systems offer better visualization of actual distances in the beyond-the-cockpit space but such simulators are huge in size, and have a limited arc of visibility.
MiG claims it has developed a better visualization system with a much higher level of accuracy from the virtual cockpit. The system produces stereo imagery of the aerial environment using the same type of glasses as are used in 3D cinema to create a far more realistic illusion of real flight, and experience so far suggests even inexperienced pilots can easily assess distances to and dimensions of other aircraft and objects.
Guests at this week's Dubai Air Show can try the 3D MiG-29 simulator for themselves.