FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 16, 2012
VIENNA, AUSTRIA – March 16 –
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
― Richard Buckminster Fuller
Today, Coanda Aerospace Software GmbH announces the launch of the GNU Aerospace initiative with the introduction of TestPilot.
The dawn of a “new model” of web browser based flight simulation declares the personal computer based flight simulation obsolete.
Fly amongst the “web computing clouds” anytime and anywhere in this revolutionary, massively parallel and distributed web browser based flight simulator. Participate in testing of “real world” next generation avionics systems software destined for use on actual aircraft. Learn how to fly with the vCFI, the virtual Certified Flight Instructor, and leave books, tutorials, manuals and videos behind for “deeply integrated” and “in context” training.
TestPilot is the response to an impassioned outcry of the personal computer based flight simulation community for a “next generation”, sustainable, free and open source flight simulation platform which allows both 3rd party commercial and freeware development. TestPilot restores freedom of consumer choice, and competition.
A firestorm of controversy surrounds Microsoft’s decision to directly exclude 3rd party developers from independently developing add-on enhancements for Microsoft Flight. In order to maintain monopoly control over the sales of add-on products, Microsoft has decided to restrict SDK access thru an exclusive sales agreement. Additional Scenery, Missions, and Aircraft are only available via purchase exclusively from the XBox Live website. Statements from the owners of both ORBX and PMDG regarding their independent experiences in negotiations with Microsoft, document extreme and unreasonable demands, were a condition to participate in the development and sale of Microsoft Flight Scenery and Aircraft content. Many are hopeful that Microsoft will eventually change its mind, and openly release the SDK. However upon reading the comments from ORBX and PMDG, this would essentially undermine Microsoft’s business model, so it seems likely that the SDK will never be made publicly available, nor under reasonable financial license terms.
History of TestPilot:
Originally developed in a research program funded by an airliner manufacturer, to fundamentally redesign the modern airliner cockpit and avionics systems, TestPilot was designed to allow “flight simulation enthusiasts” to test and verify the behavior and performance of the design before the new designs “first flight”. Critical to the success of TestPilot, was the architectural decision to design the new flight simulation engine core with deeply integrated training features which allow any aircraft, helicopter, or spacecraft modeled to have native training capabilities by default. Each and every aircraft will, as a result, have an integrated performance database which shall be utilized by the flight path optimization algorithms during training to identify the required actions to be performed by a student to recover the aircraft to a condition to accomplish the current training goal.
Avionics systems have become so complex that existing practices to perform testing, in order to achieve certification, are no longer capable of scaling to a level to comply with the regulatory requirements. If an aircraft manufacturer, for an entirely new “clean sheet” avionics system design, was required to fully comply with the software development and testing regulations, the total cost for this single activity alone would be 20 billion dollars. All inclusive costs for a new airliner typically are $11 billion dollars. The development and certification of a new avionics system would triple the development costs to over $30 billion dollars! Development costs for the Boeing 787 and Airbus A380 of $11 billion dollars nearly resulted in bankruptcy for these firms. A development cost exceeding $30 billion dollars is an impossibility!
The solution is TestPilot:
Utilizing 200 million flight simulation enthusiasts from around the world to perform flight test activities, the strictest of airliner certification regulations, known as level A, could be accomplished in as little as 5 hours of flight testing by each participant.
Level A compliance allows for 1 catastrophic avionics system failure (loss of aircraft, passengers and crew) in 1 billion operating hours for each airliner model. As an example, the total number of Boeing 787’s manufactured would be expected to fly a combined total of one billion operating hours over their 30 year lifespan.
The key to achieving this breakthrough is the ability to train the participants how to accomplish the specific flight test objective. With training capabilities deeply integrated into the simulation engine, the development of the vCFI, or virtual Certified Flight Instructor became a reality.
Coanda’s primary business activity has been in the development of so called “iron bird”, “engineering mock-up”, and “Human Factors” research simulators.
Coanda has retained all rights to the technology developed under the recently completed research program, and now seeks to harness the power of crowdfunding thru Kickstarter and IndieGoGo to provide this technology for broad use through its source code release under the Free Software Foundation’s GPL software license.
Innovative community crowdfunding business model:
By harnessing an innovative economic model, where customers purchase development hours, rather than software licenses, these same customers will have their names prominently registered in the credits for the software, and are provided with free online services for that major release edition.
This model emphasizes sustainability of the flight simulation community thru open source, and “community building” akin to the Amish practice of “Barn Raising”.
Everyone in the community contributes and plays a role. Either by paying for development hours, or thru service fees. We emphasize freedom and community. This is not “free as in beer” communities take investment of time, effort and capital to build.
To quote Heinlein and Milton Friedman “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”.
“Funders” will have a choice as to which “reference aircraft” will be developed first. Boeing 787, Airbus A380, Airbus A350, or the Bombardier C-Series.
Design your own aircraft :
TestPilot contains all of the tools required to design and model a complete aircraft utilizing the very same technologies the aircraft manufacturers use. Initial aircraft design begins with NASA’s Vehicle Sketchpad (OpenVSP) and is refined to become a full 3D CAD/CAM Parametric B-rep solids based model with full support of DLR CPACS (Common Parametric Aircraft Configuration) aircraft standard taxonomy model. Thermodynamic Engine Modeling as well as electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic systems modeling. Finite Element Analysis to model wing and control surface displacement. Flight Dynamics and Aerodynamic models created with our “AeroCloud” distributed computing services which generate highly accurate Vortex Lattice, Euler, and Navier Stokes CFD (Computed Fluid Dynamics). Import and export of wind tunnel, flight derived, and computer generated Flight Dynamics and Aerodynamic models supporting industry standards for exchange, AIAA Flight Dynamics Model Exchange Standard AIAA-S-119-2011, and Eurocontrol BADA (Base of Aircraft Data).
Support for a wide variety of Scenery/Image Generators:
Choose which 3D scenery engine works best for your needs. One person’s “plausible world” is not plausible for another which requires navigation to ground based landmarks for flight training purposes. Planned scenery engine support: Boeing CIGI, Outerra, Google Earth, Google Earth Liquid Galaxy, Lockheed Martin Prepar3D, Microsoft Flight Simulator X, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004, X-Plane, Flightgear, Coanda Aerospace Software GmbH LiDAR precision SVS/EVS.
A globally distributed peer to peer network provides flexibility in the creation/composition of a constellation of machines to replicate required flight test conditions integrating support for Air Traffic Control, and the orchestration of autonomous aircraft either with piloted or fully automated operation.
For the first time in history, consumers will have full access to the very same avionics software used on commercial airliners. Aircraft manufacturers and Avionics Systems Suppliers will have access to potentially billions of hours of flight testing performed by amateurs before the aircraft leaves the ground for its first actual flight test. Airlines will have access to millions of potential commercial pilot trainees.
Ideally this solution can also be applied to minimize risk and gain confidence for Google Driverless Cars, as well as spacecraft such as NASA’s Orion MPCV capsule, Boeing CST-100 Capsule, and SpaceX Dragon Capsules currently under development.
Contact: Joseph Mangan
CEO and founder
Coanda Aerospace Software GmbH