Cr3DKG0WIAAC-OO.jpg_largeThere was no shortage of education and insight at Interdrone 2016, but there were also plenty of companies that were showcasing a new product or update. One of those companies was Little Arm Studios, as attendees had the chance to try out their Zephyr drone-training simulator. Our team even took the time to check it out for ourselves.

News about the Zephyr is available via the press release below, but I wanted to gather some further info about how the Zephyr came about and what specific environments will benefit the most from using it. Cory R Acey, Business Development Manager at Little Arms Studios, was kind enough to answer a few of those questions.

Jeremiah Karpowicz: How did the team at Little Arms Studios come to realize there was a need for enterprise-grade drone pilot training simulators?

Cory R Acey: We began to see a need when we were developing our Fire & Rescue training simulator, IVIS, and were showing it at the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC). While exhibiting at the conference, we made a connection in the drone industry who opened our eyes to a major deficit in the sUAS simulator market. After making an assessment of the products that had previously dominated the market, an enamoring vision of a new drone simulator was born, one that would offer more than just a way to kill time on a rainy afternoon. We wanted a simulator that is more than just a simulator, but an industry leading enterprise training powerhouse that would utilize a proprietary learning management system to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of instructors around the world. We wanted to create an intuitive hands-on learning experience, with multiple precision-tuned flight physics models, and graphic ascetics that will have people mistaking their computer monitor for an outdoor-facing window. Our team is set out to be the disruptive force in the market, the drone simulator that builds relationships with its clients and uses their feedback and suggestions to consistently improve the quality of the product. It’s time to ditch your “what you see is what you get” simulator and become part of the growing community of pilots who are receiving the support and service that they deserve.


Can you tell us a little bit more about the 50 enterprise customers and drone professionals who participated in Zephyr beta trials? What sort of markets and industries were those people working in/focused on?

We had a wide variety of commercial user types in our beta test. The organizations and professional operators who participated in the beta spanned across most of the segments in the drone industry including cinematography, inspection (bridge, powerlines, telecom towers), first responders, aviation schools, colleges and universities.


What environment (universities, training programs, enterprise, etc.) do you envision will find the most benefit from the Zephyr in the short term?

Any large scale training program will get the most out of Zephyr at this time. A significant amount of effort was put towards the development of our learning management system where individual progress is tracked and reported to users and instructors through our web portal. This gives instructors the ability to let students practice, complete training modules, and receive a grade based on their competency. Until now, flight instructors would have to look over their student’s shoulder while using a simulator before trusting them on a physical aircraft. Instructors now have the ability to log on and view a report on each student with details on over ten different flight metrics. We have seen a number of classes where students are only able to fly one at a time; with Zephyr, as long as there are computers, every student can practice while others are operating the physical drones. We do have the individual license for people who are not concerned with the learning management system, Zephyr still tracks your progress.


Where/how can users get a sense of what sort of info they’ll be seeing and learning about in the simulator?

There is a preview video on our website at that shows off some of the features and graphics. We currently do not have a public demo available but may add one in the near future. Organizations may request a risk-free trial license at no cost by contacting Cory Acey at [email protected].


Little Arms Studios to unveil Zephyr, its cutting-edge drone training simulator, at InterDrone 2016

September 1, 2016 - Manassas, VA - Little Arms Studios, a market leader in enterprise-grade drone pilot training simulators, is excited to announce the unveiling of its Zephyr drone training simulator at this year’s InterDrone conference in Las Vegas September 7-9, 2016.

“Zephyr is a result of a long and intense development effort, and we are excited to finally make it available to the sUAS community after integrating functions and capabilities suggested by more than 50 enterprise customers and drone professionals who participated in Zephyr beta trials,” said Kyle Bishop, CEO of Little Arms Studios. “As proven during the trials, Zephyr has immediate, wide-ranging uses for universities and community colleges with growing drone curriculums, aviation schools that train professional drone pilots, public safety and disaster relief agencies, and enterprises with industry-specific needs and applications.”

Based on feedback, Zephyr will have many new features such as an updated drone physics model, improved usability, visual updates, expanded controller support. This is on top of the other unique features Zephyr offers, including a learning management system that allows instructors to track trainees’ progress to ensure learning objectives are met and skills are developed, and a host of other administrative features that are important to enterprise customers. “Zephyr is currently far ahead of other drone pilot simulators currently on the market, and we are committed to maintaining our competitive lead over other drone simulators by working directly with aviation schools and institutions, major drone suppliers and enterprises,” said Stewart VanBuren, CTO of Little Arms Studios.

InterDrone, also called the International Drone Conference and Exposition, will be held September 7-9, 2016, at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Little Arms Studios executives will be available at Booth 808 to discuss Zephyr and any other drone-related questions or requirements you may have.


About Little Arms Studios

Little Arms Studios, a rapidly growing company headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, is a leader in providing cutting-edge drone and public safety training simulators, customized mobile apps, and software solutions involving gamification, 3-D modeling and augmented reality features for enterprise customers. Little Arms Studios is associated with the Virginia Serious Games Institute and is backed by Rezon8 Capital & Advisory Group, a Virginia-based private equity firm. For more information, visit