Aircraft Maintenance Technology

OCT 2018

The aircraft maintenance professional's source for technological advancements, maintenance alerts, news, articles, events, and careers

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Page 44 of 63 45 at the Asia-Pacific Aviation Training Symposium (APATS). That is the primary basis for this article. Virtual Reality Training conference presenters have been talking about the terms virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) for a long time, more than a decade. The presenters were often college research professors, engineers from commercial labs, or training system developers from the large airframe manufacturers. They often spoke about the developments for the Department of Defense, or for other well-heeled organizations, that conduct high volume training that justifies significant financial investment. Of course, there can be high return on training technology investment when there are many students or when the use of real equipment is simply not feasible. Conference presenters would often show pieces of the VR/AR technology but few were fully developed and in daily use. Today the demonstrations are fully completed and used daily throughout the industry. VR is “for real” in selected aviation maintenance training applications. Simply defined, VR is like the real world (reality). It is “almost” like the real world, thus the term virtual. That means VR offers a multi-dimensional view that makes our senses believe we are seeing the real thing. That definition could include the baby boomers’ toys, like the “View Master,” to the modern day affordable, toy-like, headsets, to large rooms with VR displays. The VR air traffic control towers or 360-degree domes for flight simulators are large room examples. VR does not have to be completely immersive in a virtually real-world environment. Aviation maintenance VR permits users, right from a computer screen, to walk around or into an aircraft, to open the cowlings, to perform many line check activities, or even delve into the internal workings of any system. Commercial airframers have the very best VR systems for use in the factory-training courses. Such systems are applicable to individual solo students or can supplement classroom instruction. Currently, most new airliners VR will be at your fingertips. Alternatively, convince the manufacturers to accommodate some of your technical trainers for instructor recurrent training. That is an example of industry-school collaboration. Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology has developed its own version of VR with a virtual Cessna 182. It has over 6,000 photographs, with additional graphics and videos to depict many common C-182 maintenance tasks. Appropriate instructional system design must guide the required level of VR. That is true whether it is for small aircraft maintenance training, a large turbine engine teardown, or an A380 line maintenance check. Extremely sophisticated, fully immersive, VR is likely necessary for high sales volume commercial games. Relatively low volume maintenance training likely requires a lower level of AUGMENTED REALITY on a handheld device. AN AUGMENTED reality message on a virtual reality screen. AIRBUS

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