CAE launches new VR flight simulator for military pilots

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Canadian training company CAE has launched a new virtual reality (VR) simulator for military pilots.

Quick read

➨ The trainer comes complete with headset, haptics, physical flight controls and more

➨ The simulator forms part of a suite of digital learning tools and training media designed to streamline pilot throughput

➨ The solutions address ‘the very real challenges many militaries are facing to increase pilot throughput efficiently and cost-effectively’

The story

CAE, which develops training solutions for the civil aviation, defence and security, and healthcare markets, launched its Sprint VR trainer at the Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation, and Education Conference this week in Florida.

The CAE Sprint VR trainer—forming part of the new CAE TRAX Academy—comes complete with headset, haptics, physical flight controls, an image generator and virtual coach, in addition to leveraging real-time insights and standardised evaluations (Rise) for objective grading and assessment.

Joe Armstrong, vice president of global business operations for product and solutions, commented: “Global militaries are faced with a current and growing challenge to produce pilots faster and more efficiently without impacting the quality standards that military pilot training has become known for.”

“Today’s digital technologies such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence and data analytics are enabling a new approach to pilot training that is more self-paced and tailored to student learning. As a leading training systems integrator, the CAE TRAX Academy is CAE’s answer to redefining how military student pilots learn, practice and then perform on the journey to becoming a pilot.”

The CAE TRAX Academy is a suite of digital learning tools and training media designed to streamline pilot throughput from the start of undergraduate pilot training.

First, student pilots use digital tools such as a mobile app and VR-enabled courseware to learn and understand required training tasks and procedures. They practice what was learned in the Sprint VR training device, which uses the virtual coach to provide immediate and actionable instruction, as well as Rise to assess progress and measure achievement in mastering the required task or procedure.

The CAE Sprint VR trainer
The CAE Sprint VR trainer

Finally, students perform what they practiced and demonstrate proficiency in a higher-fidelity simulator, which also leverages CAE Rise to help instructors validate student progress.

According to CAE, its new VR trainer enables student pilots to practice training tasks, procedures and maneuvers in an affordable, immersive virtual environment.

Realism and fidelity in the CAE Sprint VR trainer have been enhanced through a full cockpit acuity and interaction, incorporating haptic feedback and using the CAE Medallion image generator to render database content.

Philippe Perey, head of technology in the defence and security business, said: “Last year we launched the Project Digital Intelligence research and development programme to innovate in developing next-generation training solutions. The CAE TRAX Academy and CAE Sprint Virtual Reality trainer are examples of our digital transformation applied to pilot training and addressing the very real challenges many militaries are facing to increase pilot throughput efficiently and cost-effectively.”

Spending on training in immersive technology is set to soar in 2020, with International Data Corporation predicting an outlay of $2.6 billion.

Image credits: CAE

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