The training courses in the aviation industry are known for their rules, procedures and protocols. Providing knowledge and keeping it up to date is therefore a complex task. In particular because many training courses require physical installations. Virtual reality offers a solution for these obstacles, in a virtual environment where endless practice can take place. In this article you can read how and why 5 aviation companies use virtual reality for faster, cheaper and safer training of personnel.

Why VR training for aviation?

Virtual reality training offers many advantages at a lower cost, first of all, virtual reality training offers advantages for safety. In virtual reality you can practice endlessly and make mistakes that would have catastrophic consequences in real life. This ensures safer training and a safer workplace.

The second advantage is that the training can be done anywhere and that aircraft do not have to remain on the ground. Finally, VR training courses can be made more efficient, adapted and rolled out. These benefits lead to faster and better trained staff at some of the cost.

1. KLM | VR training for Pilots

KLM has developed training under the wing of Cityhoppers for pilots flying short-haul flights. The VR training courses consist of 3 parts, a virtual cockpit, a 360º instruction video and a virtual walkaround

The parts of the training are part of a Type Rating Course, where pilots learn the controls of the specific aircraft. The first application is the virtual cockpit, here the pilot really sits in the cockpit and sees all flight control panels so that he can practice the control of the aircraft. The second application is an instructional video in 360º, here the pilot watches a flight from the cockpit. Finally, there is the virtual walk-around, where the pilot can familiarize himself with the aircraft and the controls.

KLM makes more effective use of the limited time that pilots have to train, and saves on the costs of keeping aircraft clear. The pilots also benefit greatly from the training. KLM therefore wants the training to be EASA certified. The training may then replace parts of the standard training, such as the classroom instructions and “textbook learning”.

2. Avietra | Cabin crew VR training

Avietra is a company that provides safety training for airlines.

The employees are trained In a 360º video where a simulation is made of the cabin in an airplane. The training covers topics such as “pre-flight preparations”, the boarding process, and emergency and safety training. Thanks to the controllers and the VR glasses, the movements and interactions of the trainee are applied in the VR simulation.

In the training, a supervisor can adapt the situations to the training needs of the airline. It is very important that the trainee has a lot of room to move, because many physical actions are performed.

The VR training courses are provided all over the world by various airlines. Major airlines use Avietra’s VR training courses, such as Qatar airlines, Lufthansa and American Airlines.

3. Airbus | Virtual engine training

Training in the aviation industry is bound by many rules. If an employee wants to train on a real aircraft, he must work under the supervision of an instructor with a lot of experience. This is an effective but expensive and time consuming way to train. Airbus has therefore developed a standalone VR training to improve engine maintenance training.

This new training has been developed with Air France Industries and KLM Engineering, they have also developed the VR engine startup training for Airbus. The training is developed according to the in-service aircraft maintenance procedures and operational scenarios. This training reduces the exercise required and provides better flow and application of the theory lessons.

The virtual engine maintenance training is first used for the A320, and is then used to realize training for all commercial aircraft.

4. Rolls Royce | Aviation Engineers VR Training

Air traffic will double in 2036 compared to 2020, so more technicians will need to be trained to service the growing number of aircraft.

Rolls-Royce has marketed the largest engine to date. Transportation and maintenance requires the engine to be split into several parts and requires many technicians. VR training means that more technicians can be deployed at a time, with fewer resources. During the training, the engine is mounted in an airplane and loose parts are mounted in the engine. The first advantage is that the engine does not have to be physically present, secondly, the trainees do not have to be physically present.

Chris Cholerton, the President of Rolls-Royce hopes to use VR in various areas in the future. The training courses are much cheaper, more efficient and easier to organize. The training is also doing well with the employees, according to the Engine Product Support Services survey that the Rolls-Royce VR training is the best training.

5. Boeing | Astronaut VR Training

The airline company Boeing is using virtual reality to prepare astronauts for their journey to space. The training covers all aspects of their mission, from takeoff and disconnection to landing and all steps in between.

The spaceship used for the flights is called the “Starliner”. Normally flies are on autopilot, but pilots must be well prepared for unexpected problems. Boeing use the Varjo VR-2 headset. The first completely immersive headset, where you can see and grasp objects from the “real world”, but also sit in a digital environment.

Boeing has set the 2-week home isolation rule, but the VR training does not require complicated hardware, so the astronauts can continue training in home isolation. Boeing has announced that the training will be used intensively from next year.

Discover the possibilities for VR training?

We developed various virtual reality training courses and AR applications and our team is therefore very experienced. Are you curious about the possibilities of VR training for your organization? Then contact a VR Agency right now!

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