The Redbird VTO is the first helicopter trainer capable of teaching hover, autorotations and ground maneuvers at a price even small helicopter flight schools can afford.
Redbird Flight Simulations wants you to learn the toughest part of flying helicopters without leaving the ground—or paying hundreds of dollars per hour. “Flying a real helicopter may always be more expensive than an airplane,” says Roger Sharp, General Manager of Flight Operations for Redbird Skyport, “but there should be an affordable, full-motion trainer that teaches critical skills before burning a single hour in a real helicopter. Now there is.”
Redbird announced at Sun ’n Fun that they are taking orders for the Redbird VTO, a full-motion helicopter skills trainer. Sharp says this is the first sub-million-dollar helicopter simulator capable of teaching hovering, autorotations, and ground maneuvers. The first five VTO orders get an introductory price of $129,900. Full price will be $149,900.
Sharp explained that these critical helicopter skills, particularly hovering, demand motions so small and precise the pilot feels the error before current general aviation simulator visuals can display it. This required an entirely new simulator platform and control design. Visuals are critical to helicopter training, however, so the VTO sports a wrap-around view extending from well above the horizon to down through the skids, as well as the latest generation of the simulation software used by Redbird. As with all Redbird products, the design can be adapted for emulating multiple helicopter makes and models, as well as varied cockpit equipment.
The VTO is not yet certified as A-ATD. However, Redbird guarantees a refund to any customers requiring A-ATD status if certification isn’t forthcoming. “Even if you couldn't log a single hour,” says Sharp, “the cost reduction for training enabled by the VTO will change helicopter training forever.”