The Air Force is revolutionizing the way airmen learn to be aviators

AUSTIN, Texas ? In a classroom at the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Austin, Texas, a visitor climbed into one of 20 stations lining the walls and strapped on a virtual reality headset.

Instantly, he was transported into the cockpit of a Navy F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet. Over his right shoulder he saw the wing loaded with missiles. The whine of the Hornet?s engines and chatter from instructors piped directly into his ears.

Throttle, stick, heads-up display, instruments, the battlespace ? it was all there, in a 360-degree display, everything down to the handle for the ejector seat between where his legs would be.