Students working to become mechanics for Dassault Falcon business jets have begun using virtual reality (VR) to help with their training.
VR headsets can be used to view a mock-up of the types of aircraft the trainee mechanics will be working on, which are based on the original CAD drawings for a high degree of accuracy. The advantage of this is that multiple students can be trained simultaneously, when they would not all be able to fit into the tight confines of the aircraft in real life.
Also, as demonstrated by one of the trainers, it is also possible to demonstrate the inner workings of parts such as the inside of the aircraft wing, which would not usually be practical to demonstrate in reality, due to the size of the part and how difficult and time-consuming it is to assemble and disassemble.
The CAD-based mock-ups allow for the different components to be colour-coded for clearer identification during learning, but the system also has many high-quality HD photographs of the aircraft, allowing the students to see both the CAD mock-up and what it would look like in real life.
As seen in the below video of the Dassault VR mechanics (care of Aviation International News) It is also possible to isolate a particular system, such as the electrical system or engine system and show the entire aircraft, while highlighting just that system.
Dassault is not the first to use VR for training. The National Crime Scene Cleanup Association (NCSCA) are developing a system called ‘Safe Training VR’ to train on topics such as dealing with hazardous materials. Of course, VR is already being used extensively in the healthcare industry for various applications including training, such as the VR technology being used to train future dentists in Leeds, UK. Naval aviation is also discussing how to apply VR for training purposes.
You can watch a video on the training systems below, another example of how VR is changing the game for education in the school room and beyond. For more on VR in Education check out these VRFocus stories and features.