1.VIRTUAL REALITY MAKES AEROSPACE DESIGNING AND MANUFACTURING SIMPLE.
Major aerospace manufacturers now frequently use virtual reality as an engineering tool, and three-dimensional visualisation systems are frequently used to support design reviews. In a recent development, the avionics firm Rockwell Collins chose to create its own 3-D visualization system, first to execute digitally what was traditionally done physically, visually examine new hardware designs to gauge their suitability for fabrication. The goal of this innovation was to create the Virtual Product Model (VPM) in order to identify manufacturing issues early in the design cycle, when new avionics boxes were still on the computer screen and before expensive prototypes had been made. The primary requirement is to virtually carry out the manufacturability assessments that were previously done manually using physical prototypes.
Without requiring specialized skills or significant money, computer-aided design (CAD) systems translate product data into 3-D and place it in a virtual environment. An engineer can handle a virtual model of an avionics box using 3-D glasses and a motion-capture system, evaluating it from every angle, and making sure it can be produced in the factory or fixed on the job. During a design review, several people can examine the 3-D model collaboratively, or it can be given to specific engineers to view in 2-D on desktop computers.
Since VR offers a setting that is exactly like the interior of the physical mock-ups that are constructed for each aircraft during the design phase, it makes it possible to visualize and interact with aircraft CAD geometry. It is also possible to move elements about in their installed positions, get past barriers, etc., in addition to visualizing CAD representations of the parts.
The following things benefit the most from it:
- Design of the flight deck,
- Accessibility or Maintainability testing
- Assembly planning
In this approach, virtual reality (VR) improves the efficiency of the aircraft design process, enabling successful manufacture. Engineers may now examine and explore jet engine components in-depth in simulations that have been built. Learning resources are offered via virtual reality, resulting in more frequent advancements in the aerospace sector.
- DESIGN INTERFACE
Data packages and sub-assemblies are provided for training simulators (Aircraft parts, equipment and Simulation Packages). High-level expertise in the fields of electronics that are highly integrated, weather-resistant, and reliable has been established by avionics and simulation. Real-time, on-board software with a high level of safety is included. Integration of the features into on-board systems and engineering or training simulations is also achieved.
Even though flight is widely regarded as the safest form of transportation, there are still several safety concerns in commercial aviation, particularly during take-off and landing. In addition to providing an environment that is equivalent to the intricate aeroplane mechanics employed during the design phase, virtual reality (VR) can assist with visualizing and interacting with the aircraft. Before implementing any process in reality, one can use this to envision it and make any necessary changes. VR thus validates the design of aircraft, which results in product manufacturing.
In this day of fierce competition, businesses want to take every possible measure to draw in and keep clients. In order to improve the client experience with the brand, they want to offer the greatest services possible. Therefore, businesses can employ VR to enhance their customers’ in-flight experiences. Passengers who find it difficult to endure lengthy flights or who are terrified of flying are given VR headsets. Virtual reality (VR) headsets have a high-definition screen with a full audio and video experience, which has the power to divert attention from one’s current circumstances and transport the user to a more relaxing setting. It allows for eye-specific self-adjustment and offers a more enjoyable and light flight experience. Airlines have already begun using VR headgear to force passengers to view 3D and 2D movies or plays, and they have noticed an increase in passenger happiness.
2. EFFECTIVE TRAINING FOR PILOTS USING VIRTUAL REALITY
Virtual reality pilot training assist in introducing the flight deck crew (pilot and co – pilots) to the cockpit and educating them on the skills required to react effectively and manage even the most challenging situations. Pilots can become familiar with the cockpit controls and various situations they can encounter while flying by using a virtual environment and head-mounted displays
Before operating an aircraft, pilots must be properly prepared and trained. They must spend countless hours practising for this in flying simulators. The flight simulators are substantial, expensive training tools. Pilots must therefore have the correct instruction. The amount of traffic at airports prevents real-time training for pilots. As a result, the aviation sector typically finds that actual training environments need a lot of time and resources. This necessitates the use of virtual reality, which incorporates the actual airport atmosphere.
The pilot’s natural and risky inclination when a plane overshoots the final approach for a landing is frequently to tip up the aircraft in order to slow down and land. It’s one of the main reasons accidents happen, particularly with small aircraft. The plane can easily enter a stall and crash if its tilt is increased as it is slowly approaching a touchdown.
What if, however, the same error had occurred at 5,000 feet?
Fused Reality, a novel head-mounted virtual reality technology created in collaboration with NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, can assist military, commercial, or even amateur pilots in training for such potentially hazardous situations in the air while posing significantly less of a risk.
Virtual reality has been used by pilots for training on the ground for a while, but fixed-place ground simulators have their drawbacks. One benefit is that there isn’t much of a fear aspect because you aren’t actually doing it. Bruce Cogan, an aeronautical engineer at Armstrong, notes that if you make a mistake, you can always try again by pressing the reset button. Additionally, the simulator, according to him, is only as good as its code. “It’s difficult to simulate how an aeroplane feels. Even if you might be teaching a pilot how to land, if the simulation’s dynamics are poor, it won’t be very helpful and might even be dangerous.
The brand-new simulator attaches to any aircraft and superimposes a virtual reality scene over the exterior environment. According to Cogan, “you genuinely get the characteristics of the particular aeroplane you’re flying.” This implies that both exterior influences, such as crosswinds, and internal ones, such as how the aircraft handles, are genuine. You can practise this landing operation at 5,000 feet using the software’s virtual runway, which ensures that even if you make a mistake, the aeroplane won’t be damaged. You can go try once more.
- BENEFITS OF FLIGHT TRAINING
- Depth perception
- 360 degree vision
- Scalability and modularity
Due to the reduced need for massive hardware components and the potential for modularity, the adoption of virtual reality as a crucial component of the flight training process has considerable cost-saving potential. Not only can virtual reality training cut expenses for aviation schools, but trainees are also more likely to pick up information more quickly and effectively, as well as retain it better.
3. ASSISTANCE IN MAINTENANCE
Remote maintenance support can be provided via virtual reality. By using this, maintenance employees could receive instructions while they are working, thereby increasing job efficiency. With their distant co-workers, they can even transmit live images and video. VR thus boosts productivity and offers a quicker fix. With this, we may determine that virtual reality is emerging as a new trend, particularly in fields that involve intricate learning processes and need that appropriate safety precautions be taken. A better manufacturing process, easier employee training, better aircraft maintenance, and reduced hazards to human life are all benefits of using VR technology
In order to improve labour productivity, Japan Airlines employed Google Glass for their maintenance operations. While a result, maintenance workers could hear advise and direction as they worked. Additionally, they may send their distant colleague a picture or a live video feed. VR maintenance assistance can speed up repair times and improve work productivity. Hence, when aviation and virtual reality collide, one can only speculate about what fascinating new features may be made possible.
4. TRAVELLER FRIENDLY AND ENTERTAINMENT BASED
Commercial airlines are always looking for fresh approaches to enhance passenger satisfaction. One of them might be implementation of virtual reality. VR headsets can be used to keep passengers lively and comfortable during the flight. They would experience full video and music without any interruptions with the help of this approach. This is especially useful for people who are terrified of flying because it allows them to quickly escape to a calmer environment. This type of entertainment system is already being used by Air France. To enjoy 3D and 2D movies or TV shows, their passengers are given VR headsets.
For instance, first-class features could be put into virtual reality for economy travellers to experience the roominess of a first-class suite. The advantages could even be as straightforward as giving the impression of extra legroom to trick the passenger into believing there is more room than there truly is. VR might offer a window seat on both sides of every seat in the aircraft. The experience might possibly take it a step further by simulating a private plane to give the passenger the impression that they are the only ones on board.
People frequently experience discomfort while flying as a result of other passenger’s noisy conversation, children crying, or just the aircraft’s background sound. Therefore, it may be difficult for some people to unwind and rest. Although wearing headphones might reduce noise, it’s not always simple to ignore your surroundings, which can be particularly tiresome for passengers travelling long distances. But even on a completely packed flight, a VR head-mounted display and headphones can offer travellers the ideal escape to unwind and take a break. Passengers using virtual reality headsets can watch 360-degree videos of the most recent football game they missed or dreamscapes to make them fall asleep in no time.
Airlines might collaborate with travel service providers to advertise products while customers are travelling to their destinations in order to help compensate technology costs. For instance, if a passenger is headed to a beach, the in-flight VR experience may offer a snorkel or scuba diving experience with the option to book the trip before landing.
5. REAL TIME FIELD MAINTENANCE AND SAFETY
- AIRCRAFT INSPECTION
Airlines and ground staff can learn and improve their flight inspection skills in a secure environment using virtual reality training. In order to completely minimise the possibility of a failure during operation, Virtual Reality (VR) for Aircraft Inspection offers training on diverse situations of aircraft inspection on all types of aircraft. The headset sets teams on a visual airport area and enables them to interact with virtual aircraft replicas and perform a visual inspection of a virtual aircraft in a cargo bay or on an apron.
- CABIN CREW
In addition to making sure that everyone is comfortable, cabin crew members are also in charge of maintaining safety. The cabin crew is responsible for checking that all necessary equipment, such as flash lights, fire extinguishers, and life vests, are present and in good working order before take-off. They have to keep an eye out for smoking and unusual passenger behaviour. Additionally, before take-off, flight attendants must demonstrate all safety procedures.
Cabin crew can learn how to handle challenging real-life events like medical emergencies, an impending crash, or hijacking through a virtual environment by replacing classroom training with VR training. Cabin crew members can make mistakes in virtual training and learn from them thanks to immersive VR technology, which ultimately enhances on-site job performance.
Virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and other modern technical advancements have benefited practically every industry in the world today, and the aerospace industry is no different.
Adopting such technical advancements will have a significant impact on a variety of areas of the aerospace sector, from enhancing learning resources and improving aircraft maintenance to enhancing the production process and enabling employee training. Thanks to Virtual Reality for making the impossible, now possible.