Airbus relies on augmented reality to train pilots on procedures

Lufthansa Group sera le client de lancement de l’outil d’entraînement virtuel aux procédures conçu par Airbus. © Airbus

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The Airbus Virtual Procedures Training (VPT) system allows the familiarization and practice of augmented reality procedures from home. Gaining efficiency by better controlling training costs, but also attracting new audiences are the challenges of augmented reality training.

In addition to being integrated into the design processes of prototypes and parts for aeronautics, virtual reality also makes full sense in maintenance training. Training and education with these new digital tools is just as important for cabin crew as it is for future pilots.

This is the bet undertaken by Airbus which, in November 2015, decided to create a cross-functional department within the group, charged with exploring the potential of virtual and augmented reality. Since then, various entities of the aeronautics, defense and space group have used immersive technology in several fields.

Virtual reality, an effective lever for optimizing airline pilot training costs. ©Airbus

VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) are used by engineers to design 3D parts. In addition to design considerations, technology is also used in the business approach. Customers can walk through a virtual cabin of the A350 and decide on its layout, from the seats to the lighting and floor covering.

In terms of training, virtual reality offers many advantages. Compared to conventional courses that are given in a room in front of an audience, this technology offers the possibility of a comprehensive, personalized course with a more practical and less theoretical aspect.

In addition to the considerations of facilitated learning, virtual reality makes it possible to capture a new audience, familiar with these technologies.

At the end of 2019, Airbus unveiled a new VR tool, this time dedicated to pilot training. The virtual procedure training system, called the Virtual Procedure Trainer (VPT), ​​immerses the trainee in a fully interactive virtual cockpit. Every switch, lever and control can be used, with the tool helping to follow the correct sequence.

According to Airbus, its VPT makes it possible to avoid the use of an expensive flight simulator, enabling training within the flight school as well as remotely. The training tool is designed to be flexible, available both in applications using a virtual reality headset, but also on PC and iPad.

With VPT, trainees can train alone or as a team, with another trainee connected to the same interface.

Airbus, which presented the VPT during the recent European Airborne Training Symposium, took the opportunity to announce that the Lufthansa Group will be the launch customer for the new training tool developed by it. Thus, Lufthansa Aviation Training will provide training for Lufthansa Group airlines on procedures related to the A320 family.

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