What’s Real About Virtual Reality Flight Simulation? Comparing the Fidelity of a Virtual Reality with a Conventional Flight Simulation Environment

Matthias Oberhauser*, Daniel Dreyer, Reinhard Braunstingl, Ioana Victoria Koglbauer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the help of immersive virtual reality technology, novel cockpit systems can be evaluated with pilots in an early design phase. This comparative study investigates the functional fidelity of a virtual reality flight simulator (VRFS) in comparison with a conventional flight simulator. Pilots’ movement time to reach cockpit controls, deviation from the ideal flight path, workload, and simulator sickness are evaluated using an operational scenario. The results show statistically significant differences in heading, altitude, and flight path, as well as delays in operating the controls in virtual reality. Yet, most participants could safely and reliably complete the flight task. For use cases in which adaptations to pace, exposure time, and flight task are acceptable, which is often the case in early phases of the design process, VRFSs can be viable tools for human factors engineering.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-34
JournalAviation Psychology and Applied Human Factors
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Fields of Expertise

  • Mobility & Production

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