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Augmented Reality: The Game Changer in Aviation Training

An aircraft cannot fly safely without a group of extremely skilled crew members on board for optimal maintenance of flight conditions. Therefore, it is of utmost priority that these crew members can access necessary training. The thumb rule of aviation training is that the process should include dealing with diverse scenarios that can arise during a flight. The last decade has witnessed a revolutionary rise of Augmented Reality (AR) in the aviation industry as a tool to train individuals. It also, to some extent, seemingly determines the future course of aviation training. The technology has become so widespread that the aggregate investment in AR directed aviation training is projected to be over billion dollars in the 2020s.

The global economy has been looking to increase operational efficacy and safety training measures via the use of new technologies, and this has accelerated the pace at which AR has been adopted in recent years. AR will have a significant influence on the aviation business, where training is of crucial importance. Rapid progress is being made in the field of AR technology today, and its impact is being seen in fields other than aviation.

By enabling the development of novel mixed reality environments that serve as a medium for acquiring job-related skills, AR has the potential to revolutionise aerospace/aviation training. Using machine vision and computer graphics technologies, AR creates a mixed reality world where physical and digital things coexist in seamless, three-dimensional settings. The use of AR (AR) to create augmented sceneries inside a highly remembered framework may supplement human information processing, and this supplement can manifest itself in training efficiency relevant to a broad range of work-related activities. It is very uncommon for training facilities to run short of high-priced resources like engines and other necessary components for the trainees to practise on. AR allows for immersive on-the-job training that may boost productivity. They may take the course as many times as they want at no extra cost in order to master the material.

The technology can be utilised in numerous ways. AR generates real-time data regarding navigation, terrain, air-traffic and weather with relative ease and therefore facilitates the decision-making process. This technology has demonstrably enhanced the quality of take-offs and landing by mitigating/reducing risk factors associated with flight. The fundamental ability of AR is to fetch and present accurate information when needed. Pilots access the visual representation of this information, often over-layered in three-dimensional graphics, which is not only straightforward to comprehend but also easy to retain.

Training ground staff using AR is a possibility. Maintenance staff may employ interactive inspection guidelines with digital arrows and labels to guarantee that their task is completed without a trace of mistake, and aviation engineers could use AR glasses to mimic and test installation operations.

In the aviation industry, Manifest is used by ground staff using AR headsets like Magic Leap or Microsoft HoloLens to complete jobs and record proof of any problems or anomalies. The Job Board keeps a record of all relevant job information, including proof and ratings, so that it may be accessed and reviewed from anywhere at any time. The United States Air Force, for one, has discovered that by adopting Manifest, the most experienced aircraft maintainers can train new employees without actually being present, resulting in a much shorter training period and a higher rate of success for the trainees and a greater number of always-ready aircraft.

Improved precision and uniformity in training, as well as in regular maintenance and inspection, are all ways in which Manifest’s AR work instruction software for aeroplane maintenance improves security. With Manifest, both commercial and private aviation maintenance technicians may use AR to better check and service their planes. Manifest’s comprehensive help information complements the app’s hands-free work instructions. Based on the findings of a recent USAF research, it is clear that the Manifest AR platform may greatly increase technicians’ precision and productivity in their work. Technicians who used Manifest made 53% fewer mistakes/discrepancies, whereas technicians who used conventional techniques were 57% more likely to wrongly install artwork than technicians who used Manifest. There was no appreciable lag between conventional and AR material in terms of job completion timeframes, and there were also no appreciable gains in efficiency due to the addition of AR.

Before a flight takes off, the crew needs to satisfy several specific conditions. The head mounted display (HMD) integrates AR and produces a “virtual checklist”. Once the pre-flight checks are done, the head mounted display fetches the runway related information and guides the pilots to their respective runways. The extensive use of this technology in the training process develops a feeling for different pre-flight scenarios; thus, allowing them to deal with these situations efficiently. On the other hand, when acquiring the craft of landing a flight, the AR-technology can offer assistance for demonstrating the correct path. Due to landing and taking off being the riskiest parts of flying, it is of incredible use to be capable of training with this technology. AR systems can assist to address emergencies when the flight comes closer to the ground, instruct pilots regarding the necessities and mitigate substantial threats of landings and take-offs.

Two pilot projects were created by Japan Airlines to test the viability of AR (AR) education for professionals in the aircraft sector. Both the flight crew and the engineering staff use HoloLens, but each has its own custom application. An AR (AR) cockpit or an immersive engine model allow learners to understand how everything works from a variety of perspectives without the need for mock-ups or printouts. With the use of AR, aviation training may be made more interesting and participatory for students. Learning with AR improves long-term retention by decreasing the amount of material lost between instant recall and long-term retention assessment by seven days. Due to human variability, the possibility of enhanced learning performance, and considerable reductions in training time, more study in the area of AR applications for training is important.

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