FlightSafety International Ups Its Display Game With Vital Upgrade


With a half-century of history developing flight simulators and visual systems technology, training provider FlightSafety International (FSI) has introduced its latest advancement. The next-generation Vital system has been developed by FSI partner Unreal Engine and provides “an extremely photorealistic simulation and rendering, allowing training for the latest immersion content and technology. The fidelity of the data and speed of data rendering allows total realism to an unsurpassed level in flight training devices,” according to FSI.

FlightSafety will now incorporate the new Vital display technology into every simulator it currently manufactures. The first such devices, from FSI-owned simulator manufacturer Frasca, are expected to be delivered sometime this year. FlightSafety-developed simulators with the new system are scheduled to come online in 2024. The advanced Vital technology can be retrofitted to existing simulators installed at FSI learning centers. 

Michael Vercio, FSI executive VP of simulation systems, said, “This is the next generation of fidelity of environment and it will greatly prepare pilots for what they will see in real-life situations in an unprecedented fashion.”

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Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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  1. Congratulations to FSI and Unreal Engine for this advance in technology.

    Having given credit where credit for accomplishment is due, I’ll also say that in my decades and endless hours of simulator training, realistic visual simulation was the least important factor in a successful sim session. I always came out a better pilot for having had to manage fires, electrical and hydraulic malfunctions in zero zero visual conditions than I ever did in the best of visual simulations. What always mattered more than the quality of visuals was if the sim worked well enough to accomplish all the goals of an entire sim session. Finally, key to a great sim session regardless of sim reliability and quality of visuals was always a good instructor. Kudos to most of my sim instructors who over the years met and exceeded my expectations for them. Thank you guys.

    • That was kind of my feelings as well. The utility of a good simulator is its ability to model emergency and instrument conditions, not show you a great view of the mountains you just flew over while in the clouds. It’s nice that Frasca has caught up with Microsoft Flight Simulator, but this sounds more like a marketing & sales tool than a substantive improvement in sim technology.

    • Amen Ryan, always frustrating fluffing up because of the lack of fidelity when doing close to the ground emergencies.