Qatar Airways to train engineers in VR for Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine maintenance

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Qatar Airways is continuing to embrace virtual reality (VR) for training as the first participant in the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engine maintenance programme.

The state-owned flag carrier of Qatar, which flies a fleet of more than 250 aircraft to over 160 destinations worldwide, is no stranger to VR. The airline was a launch partner of RampVR.

Its new partnership will see Qatar Airlines engineers receive Rolls-Royce Trent XWB refresher training in a virtual environment.

The Trent XWB, which powers the Qatar Airways A350 fleet, is Rolls-Royce’s largest engine and must be separated before engineers can transport it for maintenance and repair.

Using HTC Vive VR equipment, Qatar Airways engineers will train to separate the two parts of the engine in a virtual setting, which the airline says will reduce the complexity and cost associated with working on a real engine.

Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar Al Baker said of the new training programme: “Qatar Airways is an airline of the future, and we constantly strive to deliver innovation in every area of our business. Our ultimate goal is to provide our customers with a quality on-board experience every time they travel, and by adopting the latest technology in our engineering department, we aim to ensure that they arrive at their destination smoothly and without disruption.”

“We are very excited about the new virtual reality training tool offered by Rolls-Royce and we are proud that they have chosen Qatar Airways as their global launch partner.”

“At Rolls-Royce we are designing, testing, and maintaining engines in the digital realm, so it makes sense that we bring cutting-edge technology to our training programmes.”

Chris Cholerton, president of civil aerospace at Rolls-Royce

Chris Cholerton, president of civil aerospace at Rolls-Royce, added: “At Rolls-Royce we are designing, testing, and maintaining engines in the digital realm, so it makes sense that we bring cutting-edge technology to our training programmes.”

“In the same way pilots complete elements of their training in a simulator, certain engineering tasks can be taught through virtual reality. Qatar Airways was the first customer to take delivery of the Trent XWB, and their forward-thinking vision across their business makes them the perfect launch partner for this technology.”

Qatar Airways is also using RampVR from IATA to simulate real air-side conditions for ground handling and service operator training. That partnership has been in place since August 2018.

Image credit: Qatar Airlines