CAE launches new virtual reality trainer

WASHINGTON ? As the U.S. Air Force looks increasingly toward virtual reality for speeding up and cutting the cost of pilot training, Canadian defense firm CAE is stepping forward with own courseware and virtual reality system with the hopes of attracting interest from the U.S. and international militaries.

CAE will debut its CAE TRAX Academy curriculum and Sprint Virtual Reality trainer this week at the Interservice/Industry, Training, Simulation and Education Conference. Throughout the show, the company plans to conduct T-6 flight demonstrations using both products.


Inside the Air Force’s Plan to Revolutionize Pilot Training

When Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson visited AFWERX’s Pilot Training Next program in Austin, Texas, last year, she watched as trainees took flight from the seats in front of her — through the use of virtual reality. It piqued her interest enough to ask service officials to explore ways that similar flight simulator programs could be introduced to high schools to get young students involved in the nation’s endeavors to create more pilots.


AFWERX, AETC Look to Improve AI Capabilities in Second Pilot Training Next Class

The Air Force is hoping to improve the capabilities of the artificial intelligence coach in the second Pilot Training Next class, which will launch in the next few weeks. Pilot Training Next is a collaborative effort between Air Education and Training Command and AFWERX?the Air Force?s innovation hub. The goal is to find more efficient ways to train the next generation of pilots.


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.

These Air Force Trainees Spend Less Time In the Cockpit, More Time In Flight Simulators

In a makeshift classroom in Austin, Tex., 20 hand-picked airmen may represent the future of Air Force pilot training. They’re spending less time in the cockpit and more time in front of screens.

They’re the first participants in Pilot Training Next, an experimental program that relies heavily on virtual reality and artificial intelligence tools. The first class graduated this month.

“We haven’t really changed our pilot training for at least 20 years,” said Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson. “Yet technology and our understanding of how adults learn has changed quite a bit.”

The Austin classroom houses two rows of flight simulators. But they’re a far cry from the $2 to $3 million-dollar ones the Air Force normally uses. Each unit is made from an enhanced Windows PC, an HTC Vive headset, a gaming joystick and throttle. They cost about $10,000.

Airmen earn their wings in 6 months with modern pilot-training program

The Air Force is working to streamline and improve pilot training by using virtual reality and modern teaching methods.

The first graduates of Pilot Training Next ? a six-month program at the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Austin, Texas, designed to accelerate the learning curve to becoming a pilot ? are slated to pin on their wings Friday, Capt. Jeff Kelley, a T-6 Texan II instructor, told Stars and Stripes in a recent phone interview.

?We believe that pilot training can be done faster, better and cheaper,? he said of the program, which is searching for inefficiencies in an Undergraduate Pilot Training program that has seen little change in more than half a century.