Virtual reality and the Air force

The Air force is another branch of the services where virtual reality has been used to great effect. Again, it is used for training purposes where complex skills and techniques are taught in a controlled setting.

Flight simulators

Flight simulators are the most recognisable example. They are used to train pilots across all branches of the forces and to great success. They are used to teach flying skills, how to deal with an emergency and communication with ground control.

Flight simulators vary in the type of software they use but their structure remains the same. They take the form of an enclosed unit which is mounted on a hydraulic lift or an electronic system. This unit is able to tilt, move or twist to replicate the movements of an aircraft. The unit also contains force feedback and responds to actions taken by the trainee pilot.

For example, the pilot will move the joystick to enable the simulator to change direction. As he/she does so the simulator provides force feedback through the joystick which allows the pilot to feel the simulator mimicking the actions of a real aircraft. The pilot adjusts his/her movements in accordance with that feedback.

The simulator will contain a series of monitors which display images of a virtual landscape, for example a battlefield scenario. These images are presented in exactly the same way as if viewed through the windows of a real world aircraft which require the trainee pilot to react accordingly.

The simulator is set up to match a real aircraft. The fittings, equipment panel and other elements are in exactly the same place as they would be on a real aircraft.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *