ACME’s Dynamic motion seats are replica crew seats with electric motion components built inside the seat. The seats look, feel, and function like actual crew seats, and provide cues to emulate sensations felt during the vehicle or in-flight operations.
ACME seats translate simulator acceleration signals into realistic, convincing motion. True Q® seats provide a higher level of cueing, where the motion IS training, for example feeling unique signature sensations such as translation lift between Helicopters vertical and horizontal flight or the difference between a helicopter rotor out of balance or a blade of track.
The seats use a patented electric system with individual motion plates/pans, providing cues directly to the crew’s body. It’s the effect of multiple channels in the seat working seamlessly together that provides complete, realistic, immersive cueing.
The COTS core motion system inside is adaptable to any external seat shape or form so we can provide motion seats for nearly any Military & Commercial simulator.
In fact, we’ve produced dynamic motion seats for training systems worldwide including land vehicles such as locomotives, and Humvee-trucks, helicopters including AH-64, Multiple H-60 models, NH90, CV-22s, and fighter jets including like M346, F-15, F-16, & T-50. We can pair fighter seats with our G-suit system too for additional cueing capability.
ACME’s True Q® motion seats are an ideal way to cost-effectively add realistic motion cueing to any Sim. Motion Seats are much less expensive that motion platforms and offer much greater cueing than seat or platform shakers and ACME seats can provide unique cues such as yaw twist simply not available in platforms or shakers.
Latest ACME Dynamic Seat News
When many people think of a military flight simulators they envision the bulbous enclosure on the gigantic hydraulic legs. Sure, motion platforms are one type of flight simulator. But, there’s a vast range of trainers that are not that complex and not that expensive. There are trainers available that fit right into your standard classroom or even in your offices. These ‘right-sized’ trainers can meet your training needs and your budget.
There’s Many Training Options
Right-Sized Flight Simulators Sophisticated training is possible with just a small cockpit enclosure, realistic controls and instruments, and motion cueing to emulate the feel of flight. For example, the DTT trainer shown on this page is from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The simple cockpit shell is filled with virtual instrument displays and high-fidelity controls. The trainer uses a sophisticated F-16 flight model coupled to wrap around monitors and ACME’s Dynamic Motion Seat for cueing. It’s a convincing, right-sized, right-priced F-16 trainer. AFRL used this trainer to conduct extensive pilot training testing. It’s been digitally linked to other simulators too allowing the pilot in this trainer to ‘fly’ with or against pilots in the same training facility or across the country. It has even been used to fly simulated missions virtually alongside real aircraft flying actual missions. The U.S. Air Force Academy is using a similar but simpler cockpit system with ACME’s motion seat to train cadets in their Systems Engineering classes and to evaluate pilot training tasks. Right-sized simulators can accomplish a range of training tasks. Smaller simulators with motion seats are invaluable for instrument flight trainers where the pilot learns to feel the aircraft but to trust the instruments. Or, smaller trainers can be used for ingress or egress trainers teaching maintenance and flight crews to safely enter and exit the cockpit. Smaller part-task-trainers can train tasks like switchology, and coupled with motion can emulate the challenges of seeing some instruments or controls while under heavy maneuvers.
Crews can buckle right into the True Q® seat just as they would in the aircraft. Pitch, roll and yaw are just a start to the cueing capability. The motion seat can include vertical and horizontal acceleration cues too and vibrations and buffets. Special effects like the feel of flaps or gear extending are possible. So are ground taxiing cues like surface textures, skids, or even flat tires. You can even feel the jet taxiing over the expansion joints between concrete sections of the flight line. It’s that sophisticated!
The Right Motion Seat is Available for Any Light Attack Jet Trainer
Many light jets have a pilot and an observer or weapon officer in the cockpit. The same arrangement is easily possible in a small trainer. ACME’s motion seats support the tandem crew trainer with a special, cost-reducing capability. A single True Q® motion seat computer can drive two ACME motion seats in the same trainer. This advantage reduces overall acquisition and long-term support costs. ACME can help with the right motion seat for your right-sized, right-priced, light attack trainer. The motion seat provides exceptional cueing capability as key component in the trainer.
Fighter jets operate in a dynamic world of banks, climbs, dives, rolls, vibrations, shudders. The jet continuously changes accelerations and G-forces. G-loads are an inseparable part of the fighter environment. Pilots use the cues from the motion, pressure, and vibrations to fly the jet. The flight sensations are part of the pilot’s awareness of the jet’s status and situation. And, G-suit pressure is a companion to the G-loads in flight. Outside of the centrifuge, there is no way to apply flight G-loads to the crew in the simulator. But, G-suit pressure is an excellent way to train sustained G-cues. In flight, G load is either constant, increasing, or decreasing. The pressure in the G-suit starts at specific loads then varies according to G-Load above the pressure onset.
Thus, the varying pressure can be used to cue varying G’s in the simulator. Since the crew knows G-load at the onset pressure for the suit, the crew has a baseline cue. Increasing pressure above the G-suit onset signals that G’s are increasing. Decreasing suit pressure signals decreasing G-loads. The G-Suit pressure scale in the simulator mirrors the pressure scale in the aircraft. So, the amount of pressure in the suit signals the specific G-load. And, specific G’s are training cues. Specific or targeted G-Loads are often elements of the fighter mission. For example, pop-ups from nape of the earth to target, and ordnance release might be limited to specific G-loads. Roll outs from the target or the overhead break in the airfield pattern can also be g-specific. G-Suit pressures can cue the specific G-loads for training.
In fighters, speed (energy) is life. G-Cues can help maintain energy.
In the simulator, it’s easy to lose the sensation of the energy drop in heavy maneuvers. This can lead to holding tight turns until airspeed bleeds off to dangerous levels. Poor energy management habits learned in the simulator can be transferred to the jet. G-suit pressures help reinforce the maneuver’s effects on energy in the simulator. ACME’s G-Suit System for simulators provides exceptional cueing for G-loads. The system is designed as a drop-in option for ACME’s fighter type Dynamic Motion Seats. It’s also available
as a stand-alone system for simulators. ACME’s G-suit system is a complete, turn-key option including compressors, valves, filters, and tanks. Systems are available to support differing needs. The system can support a single G-suit. Another configuration supports twin pilot copilot G-suits working together in the same simulator. Systems can even support multiple, independent G-suits in different simulators. The system uses pressure and vacuum components to rapidly inflate and deflate the G-suit in response to simulated G-forces. The G-suit pressures in the simulator system match the same proportional scale as the G-suit in the jet. The system uses the same computer that drives the motion seat. Integral software translates simulator acceleration signals into specific G-suit pressures.
ACME’s Dynamic Motion Seats are the perfect way to add motion cues to fighter cockpit trainers. Customers can answer other training needs with the seats too. True Q® seats are great trainers for ingress/egress and ejection training. The key is the realism of the seats. ACME reproduces the look and the feel of the actual ejection seats in the True Q® motion seats. The true-to-life fidelity provides the highest level of training. Pull/push forces, and travel distances for levers, handles, and knobs are like those in the jet. Colors, textures, rigidity are like the actual seat too. ACME uses a range of actual aircraft components such as the harnesses, buckles, connectors, restraints and cushions to maximize fidelity. We use Martin-Baker design data under license to ensure the seats are just like those in the aircraft.
On Display at I/ITSEC 2016 – ACME Booths 660 & 665 – M-2HB .50 Caliber Gun Simulator
ACME Worldwide’s (www.acme-worldwide.com) M-2HB .50 caliber machine gun simulator with full force Gun Active Recoil (GAR®) system will be on display as part of Operation Blended Warrior (OBW) Read More, paired with selected technology developed as part of the Office of Naval Research Fast Attack Craft/Fast Inshore Attack Craft (FAC-FIAC) Integrated Training proof-of-concept (https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=kb1lZKcmL5E); Camber Corporation (www.camber.com) was the project’s software/hardware integrator and developed the visual scenes as well as software integration with ACME’s gun simulator; Automated Artificial Intelligence behavior models to control both friendly units and opposing force threats in the scenario are a product of Discovery Machine, Inc (DMI) (www.DiscoveryMachine.com). IMMY, Inc. (www.immyinc.com) will provide a high definition, visual display using their state-of-the-art, Generation 8 Natural Eye Optic (NEO)R Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) wrap-around glasses that boast an amazing 60 degree field of view.
On Display at I/ITSEC 2016 – ACME Booth 660 – F-15 Fighter and NH-90 Helicopter Dynamic Motion Seats
ACME Worldwide’s (www.acme-worldwide.com) NH-90 Dynamic Motion Seat will be on display,.
ACME Participating in Operation Blended Warrior 2016
The National Training & Simulation Association (NTSA) is serving as the sponsor for a Live-Virtual-Constructive (LVC) special event otherwise known as Operation Blended Warrior (OBW) that is being planned for the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation & Education Conference 2016 (I/ITSEC ’16), 28 Nov – 2 Dec, at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), Orlando, Florida. This marks the second year of a planned multi-year event. The first event was successfully demonstrated during I/ITSEC ’15 and included 31 industry and government participants, networked across twenty-two booths on the exhibit floor. In addition to working through connectivity and interoperability issues, I/ITSEC ’15 raised awareness regarding standards, after-action review, and cyber. At I/ITSEC ‘15, OBW was demonstrated using a Humanitarian Assistance scenario during five 90-minute blocks of time, with each block
consisting of three 30-minute vignettes, based on a fictitious country using Southern California as the operating area. For I/ITSEC ’16, these areas will continue to be emphasized as well as emphasizing multilevel security/cross-domain solutions (MLS/CDS) and performance measurements.
Additionally, I/ITSEC ’16 will be open to both US and coalition partners, and may include
remote/long-haul connectivity to the exhibit floor. Coalition participation will be limited to NATO/ANZUS countries and the number of international participants will be limited to 12 or less. Preference will be given to those that will be on the I/ITSEC exhibit floor. The over-arching objectives of OBW include documenting lessons-learned and facilitating identification of hindrances to achieving a true interoperable, plug-and-play environment associated with distributed training. This will allow for development of a strategy for overcoming these hindrances for future distributed training events. The event will consist of multiple exhibit floor vignettes showcasing government and industry distributed simulation capabilities.
Proven Products, Ready Now
Prototypes (or new production designs) begin at step one. Design Step 1 is also Cost Step 1 and there’s lots more potential cost steps ahead on the production highway.
Even for the highest quality products, new designs often need refinement or corrections. Prototypes – the first production asset – need integration and testing. And any issues must be corrected before the asset is ready for release to the world. Sometimes new designs need new tooling or processes for manufacturing the new asset. New designs need new tests and supporting documentation. New designs equal new tests, documents, engineering, more tweaks and corrections. It’s new, new, new, more, more, more… all of which means costs to the customer.
Why bear development costs if a proven production version is available?
Save yourself and your company time, money, and effort: buy the production version, not the prototype.
ACME has proven, production versions of its True-Q® Dynamic Motion Seat systems that cut development costs. But you may ask: What products? Proven by whom? Since when?
Let’s look at the numbers!
11 years of ACME Seats – ACME has designed and produced Dynamic Motion Seats for more than a decade. ACME knows motion seats!
96 Motion Seats Delivered- That’s a lot of seats out there, in use everyday, training crews.
14 Nations use ACME Motion Seats – ACME motion seats are used worldwide. No need to be a lone test case for another vendor. With ACME, you’ll join an international community using True Q® Dynamic Motion Seats.
4 US Military Services Use ACME Motion Seats – Air Force, Navy, Army, and Coast Guard have long used ACME motion seats in their training simulators.
9 Helicopter Seats – ACME makes nine different types of Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) helicopter seats. That’s nine proven products –not prototypes, not engineering designs. Customers can purchase each version by part number without incurring engineering development costs.
6 Fighter Jet Seats – Just like the helicopter seats, these are proven production versions that require no engineering or design effort. These are full fidelity seats that look, feel, and function like the real ejection seats. In many cases, ACME builds the seats from the original ejection seat OEM data under license.
11 Major Customers – Eleven different, major prime contractors have chosen ACME True Q® Dynamic Motion Seats. Several customers have chosen ACME repeatedly, over many years, for multiple simulator orders.
Custom Solutions for Custom Needs
But, sometimes, a specialized motion seat solution is needed. ACME can design and build custom seat systems and types to fit any needs. Even here, customers can save costs with proven, not prototype systems. Each of ACME’s motion seats use the same patented technology at their core. The outer shape of the seat may change but the proven core components – motors, linkages, electronics and software systems – are similar.
So what can this core motion technology be used for? Let’s go look at the numbers again.
24 Different Customer Requests – Customers worldwide have asked ACME for Dynamic Motion Seats. The customer base grows daily.
26 Different seat types proposed– Often customers request unique solutions for motion seat systems. ACME has proposed 26 different types of seat systems. And the requests are not limited to aviation applications. The True Q® technology is great for other vehicles, too. Here’s some examples of customer requests:
2 Locomotive Seats – Locomotive engineer training benefits from realistic cueing too! ACME created motion seats for two different locomotive simulators. We can use this expertise to help with your rail vehicle cueing needs.
Seacraft – The sea is an ever-changing environment. It’s one that can go from safe to threatening in a moment. Feeling the sea state is a key for many maritime trainers. ACME has proposed seats for submersibles, hovercraft, ships, and boats.
Wheeled Vehicles – Customers have a wide range of requests for wheeled vehicles. ACME has seat production versions and designs to answer each need. Customer have asked for seats for buses, cars, military trucks, and even race cars.
by Jennifer Green-Lanchoney
U.S. Air Force Academy Office of Research
12/2/2015 – U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — Cadet researchers at the Air Force Academy are studying the latest technology in motion-cueing seats to improve pilot training.
As a result of a Cooperative Research and Development agreement with ACME-Worldwide Enterprises, the Warfighter Effectiveness Research Center at the Academy was given a dynamic motion seat that will help cadets in the study.
“This simulated motion seat allows us to investigate enhancements to our current cadet flight training programs,” said Lt. Col. Christopher McClernon, research center deputy director for WERC. “We can put students through training in the simulator and then test their real-world performance at the airfield.”
Ken Levandoski, ACME’s business development manager, said simulated flight training is a standard requirement for pilots, but the cadets’ research stands out because of the technology’s ability to simulate real-life flight training on the ground.
“When something malfunctions, you really don’t want the first time they feel it to be in a plane,” he said. “The seat will also give you onset cues. Your body will feel that onset so you know instantly what is happening to the aircraft.”
Cadets in the program are on the ground floor of making this technology a reality, said Cadet 1st Class Jordan Read, a systems engineering major.
“It is our job to build the simulator around the chair,” Read said. “We get trained to weld but that’s the thing with systems engineering. We dabble in all areas, but our focus is human factors, where the project largely lies.”
Cadets are expected to finalize their research methods and be ready to study how training with motion cueing affects cadets’ performance in a powered flight class at the Academy airfield.
“The powered flight class takes cadets who have no experience flying, gives them 10 lessons, and then they are expected to fly solo at the end of it,” Read said. “What we are trying to prove is can we get cadets to fly solo at the eighth lesson instead of the 10th.”
McClernon said the published results of the study will be sent to the Air Force Research Laboratory and several Defense Department contractors.
“From those results, we can hopefully build more efficient training systems that are a better use of our tax payer’s money and produce better pilots,” he said.
1. Onset and Sustained G-Cues
Generally, motion systems provide onset cues by movement. After a moment, the system ‘washes out’ as the actuator moves to neutral for the next cue. This works for onset cues, but not for sustained cues. Motion Seats can provide sustained cues using pressure. The seat’s motion plates tilt and press together to create pressure for sustained cues. For example, in a simulated climb, the seat’s backpad and pan converge for a compression sensation.
Open the simulator throttles and feel the back pan push forward to feel the vehicle gaining speed. Chop the throttles or touch the (air) brakes and the backpan slides back. The effect mimics the crew’s forward inertia as the vehicle slows. Applying the brake and decreasing the throttle magnifies the effect.
3. Malfunction Cues
Vehicles operate in a world of continuous bumps, jostles, and vibrations. Some of the motions are normal events like a bumpy road, a bit of air turbulence, or the feel of the engine vibrating. But, some sensations mean something less benign—perhaps a malfunction or an emergency event. Identifying the difference (and training for it) is key.
Motion seats can provide recognizable, signature sensations for the crew. For example, the simple jostling of a bumpy, normal flight. Or, like the rotating thump of an unbalanced clothes washer that signals a main rotor issue. ACME motion seats can provide up to 20 of these special effects – each unique and recognizable.
4. Harness Loads
The seat belts or aircrew harness are a personal, right-on-the-body motion cue. Their embrace tightens or loosens as the crew and the vehicles move. The belts feel much tighter during sudden braking or as the jet pushes over the top into negative g’s. They loosen as the crew sinks into the seat under hard acceleration or increasing g’s. They lock under sudden inertia or press during lateral or inverted moves. The motion seat can include actuated belts to mimic and cue these same effects. The Motion Seat harnesses work just as in the vehicle. They can lock, ratchet in during retraction, or tighten/loosen during maneuvers. They can also lock out with sudden, jarring motion. All just like in the real world.
Contact should be felt! The touch or impact is a critical cue to the crew. Did the jet touch down on the runway? Did the truck hit an obstruction? Is the ship bumping against the pier? In combat knowing if the vehicle gets hit by enemy fire is crucial. Impact effects provide important cues like:
- Magnitude – Did that hard landing damage the helicopter skid?
- Direction – Did that hit come from the side or from behind?
- Character – Was that a sudden, heavy thump of initial impact or a long shudder as the car skid down the barrier?
An impact’s Magnitude, Direction, and Character are all specific training cues. The motion seat emulates these to help crews recognize and respond immediately.
6. Environment Effects
Environment includes a range effects and cues about the aircraft or vehicle. Some examples include:
- Weather Environment Effects (turbulence)
- Terrain Environment Effects (slippery ice)
- Location Effects (flying behind an aerial tanker or in formation)
- Proximity to the Ground Effects (hovering or thermal effects)
Each of these effects can be felt in the motion seat. Environmental cuse also include engine buzz, the rumble of tires or tracks across the ground, airstream noise on the airframe, and more. Motion seats can provide these cues to build an immersive, realistic ‘environment”
7. Tactile Controls
Some seat types include controls, and levers, buttons, or switches that are crew interfaces. Ejection Seats are a good example that have several levers and handles. Accurate force and feel of the controls–the tactile feel- are important training cues. The feel of these items in the simulator develops muscle-memory for how the controls feel and operate. The muscle memories transferred to the aircraft. Inaccuracies between the simulator and trainer controls, include tactile cues, can cause major impacts. ACME ensures that the levers and handles on the motion seats are accurate.
- Controls are located accurately
- They look, feel, and move like the actual equipment.
- The controls lock and unlock correctly, and have the proper breakout and actuation forces.
- Just like the motion sensations, the tactile feel of the motion seat emulates the feel of the real world equipment.
Feel all 7 elements and more in an ACME Dynamic Motion Seat!
To be honest, motion platforms for simulators can cost millions of dollars. Those long actuator legs are not cheap and must support, and move, a lot of weight. Often, the entire simulator with cockpit and the visual system are perched up on the platform. The simulator will contain very expensive electronics including projectors that are heavy. Consider that all those electronics are moving and shaking on the platform. Perhaps constant shaking isn’t optimal for electronics?
Cost and complexity don’t stop with the platform itself. Motion platforms can cost millions more in infrastructure costs. Many simulator motion platforms are gigantic and need big support buildings. The actuator legs may need special floors stressed/reinforced for massive, dynamic loads. Motion platforms often need a drawbridge to reach the elevated simulator then fold away. That’s more cost and complexity.
For many customers, cost and complexity counter their training needs and budget. Motion Seats can be great, budget-saving, motion cueing alternatives for simulators.
Motion seats fit right into the cockpit in the same envelope as the actual seat. They look, feel, and function like the actual seats. And, all the motion occurs inside the seat itself. No need to elevate or move the cockpit or the simulator. No hydraulic power units to drive the actuators. No giant facilities, no drawbridges, no specially constructed floors. And, fixed based sims mean electronics remain safe, secure, and stable.
And most importantly: Motion seats cost a fraction of the cost of motion platforms.
Motion Seats provide a full range of cues including pitch, roll, yaw, accelerations, onset and sustained g-cues and more. Feel the full flight in a motion seat. Motion seats can include actuated harness cueing too. Actuated harness give direct-to-the-crew load sensations from sudden decelerations or negative g’s.
They’re world-class cueing devices that offer many training advantages over motion platforms. Dynamic Motion Seats do very well replicating yaw or sideslip in the simulation. They are good at tactile and tiny/fast motions like vibrations. They are very good at providing the important motion cues like translational lift or ground-effect hovering. And they’re built for providing the needed cueing for back and forth transitions to inverted/upright flight. Motion seats are excellent for exactly these cues. There are many cues that can only come from a motion seat.
Motion seats can be fit into any simulator from simple part-task-trainers to the most complex weapon system trainers. Motion seats can even be complementary to full motion platforms. They can provide cues for any vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft simulator.
Motion seats are a great option for simulator motion cueing without needing full motion platforms. ACME can help with motion seat systems that meet your training, cueing, and budget needs.
ACME Worldwide Enterprises, Inc. is under subcontract to provide True Q® Dynamic Motion Seats (DMS) for the two UH-72A Lakota Synthetic Flight Training System (SFTS) Trainers for the Army National Guard (ARNG). Under the subcontract, ACME will provide two DMS shipsets consisting of pilot and copilot motion seats and supporting electronics to Fidelity Flight Simulation Inc. (F2SI). The subcontract includes options for up to six additional shipsets of motion seats.
The seats will be integrated into F2SI’s UH-72 cockpit within the 53’ enclosed trainer trailer and work in concert with the trainer’s visual, audio, and control loading systems to provide a realistic, immersive training environment for UH-72 crews. ACME will deliver the first two motion seat shipsets in early summer 2015.
The UH-72 motion seats join ACME’s line of helicopter motion seats featuring patented all-electric motion technology. True Q® motion seats are high fidelity seat replicas that look, feel, and function like the actual aircraft seats and provide realistic motion cueing throughout the flight envelope.