In the aviation sector, a proper personnel training is critical. Passengers’ lives are at stake while flying, so both the flight deck and cabin attendants must be prepared for any eventuality. Airlines often utilise so-called “hard simulators” – full-size cockpits that perfectly reproduce actual aircraft or their specific sections – to educate their cabin and flight deck workers. Flight simulators aren’t the only thing trainees do. For even licensed pilots, it is necessary to do a simulated flight every few years to keep their licence current. Changing aircraft requires pilots and flight crews to undergo a specialised training programme. First, students get a crash course on the aircraft’s technical characteristics. Afterwards, students practise flying in a simulator before taking to the skies in a specific aircraft. A broad range of applications for virtual reality (VR) shows promise for the airline sector as a whole.
In the aviation sector, VR is mostly used for pilot training.
Examples of how VR can be used to teach pilots have been provided by Dymora, Kowal, Mazurek, and Roman, four professionals in the relevant field, in their study under the title “The effects of Virtual Reality technology application in the aircraft pilot training process”. VR-based training increased the percentage of accurate responses by 21–32.7% when compared to conventional training techniques, allowing for an average of 90% accuracy. A virtual cockpit appears inside the wearer’s eyes after donning the VR goggles. It’s all about the pre-start routine in this situation. There is a display board above the instruments that shows the tasks that need to be performed. Vive controllers are used to control virtual gloves, which are used to interact with the world. Your fingers are placed in a precise motion when you press a controller button. A virtual glove motion using just the index finger is recommended due to the cockpit’s diminutive size. With an open hand, you risk coming into contact with several objects at once.
A VR-based training programme is being used by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
VR may substantially speed up and simplify airline employee training in aircraft exterior inspections. Wearing an HMD, staff may realistically walk around an aircraft, discover current flaws, and verify that all relevant safety equipment is properly fitted. The ground crew’s VR training is critical to passenger safety. Through the use of VR, the ground crew may practise locating and correcting any fuselage or wing faults or other aircraft issues. Thanks to the immersive VR technology, the ground staff will be ready for anything that might happen.
VR is used by Pratt & Whitney, an American producer of jet engines, to teach its workers to fix aircraft engines.
Repairing expensive and complicated aeroplane components like engines requires a significant investment of time and effort. If you don’t have access to a computer, you may still benefit from VR. Using VR headsets, engineers may spend as much time honing their abilities on whatever aero-plane model they like. Engineers may see inside or around an engine using VR. In addition, they may use VR to explore virtually any specific aspect. Training engineers to deal with certain engine types and models may be considerably reduced in cost and time using immersive technology. With VR, the whole training process is speedier and more cost-effective.
aViatoR, a VR smartphone app, recreates a plane’s interior with the help of virtual passengers.
Passengers’ safety and comfort are the responsibility of the cabin staff. Instead of reading instructions, advice, and explanations, a cabin crew may practise their skills in virtual surroundings. “aViatoR” allows airlines to develop their own cabin crew training programmes to guarantee that their team is well-prepared for high-risk circumstances or merely anxious, intimidated or disgruntled guests. A variety of cabin features and passengers may be manipulated by trainees in various training situations. Cabin crew members may quickly grasp the plane’s fundamental structure and equipment using VR technology.
VR technology allows flight attendants to experience a plethora of different situations while on the job. With the use of this, a flight attendant’s abilities in risky or unexpected circumstances may be honed. Because flight attendants initially practise in virtual cabins and with virtual passengers, airlines may save money on training while still ensuring the safety of their brand. Through the use of VR, students may practise handling stressful circumstances like a sick passenger or an onboard fire that they would encounter in the real world. When passengers are in danger, they may help them stay calm by learning how to deal with stress.
It is now possible to simulate emergencies on a flight deck using VR.
To fully handle the situation in the cabin, the flight deck and cabin crew must establish good communication. It is made feasible by effective communication between the flight deck and flight attendants. VR may substantially assist the flight deck in learning the required communication skills to rapidly respond with the cabin crew in an emergency when operating an aircraft. Instead of doing a lot of paperwork, flight deck workers now utilise customised electronic flight bags (EFBs) to effectively accomplish flight management responsibilities. Putting an EFB in a fire sock while flying an aircraft, on the other hand, requires excellent coordination and communication between the flight and cabin personnel. VR technology makes it possible to simulate these kinds of situations in a safe virtual setting.
Virtual reality (VR) is not just a cool tool to use in the marketing section. Based on the multimedia development of computer visions of things, space, and events, VR is a mirror of the artificial world made with the use of IT technology. It may be both a representation of the current world (computer simulations) and completely fictional. Users of VR devices often don a head-mounted display (HMD) or goggles powered by a computer, gaming console, or smartphone. Several airlines have already used VR to demonstrate the concept’s feasibility in training staff. 3D surround sound is often used to boost virtual transmissions. VR may become a reality with the help of sophisticated software and sensors.