Virtual Reality

Educational VR Panels for a Flight Academy

Challenge

Airline safety studies mention that proper crew actions and well-coordinated work are essential factors to prevent air accidents. Even with the most advanced tech and enhanced aircraft controlling systems’ quality, poor pilot qualification and chaotic actions can transform a minor issue into a living nightmare.

With these things considered, proper pilot training becomes a critical factor in eliminating severe flight concerns. For these reasons, our customer, a training aviation academy, looked for ways to improve their existing educational curriculum and database with next-gen educational materials for their trainees. Their primary concern was the hindered visibility and interaction of 2D media, unacceptable for teaching the specifics of helicopters’ systems.

This time, OTR’s task was to create engaging VR smartboards complete with interactive visual content that would be used to prepare pilots to control helicopters and demonstrate how the aircraft’s systems operate.

Solution: Description and Key Capabilities

Solution:
VR education panels for pilot training
Industry:
Training and education
Tecnologies:
С/С++, VR
Methodologies:
Agile
Project Duration:
15 weeks
Project Team:
2 developers (C++), 1 electronic engineer, and 1 MP

To comply with the initial concept, we suggested creating a group of eight smart VR training panels. Each panel included actual helicopter sticks and controls, with their animated content based on the real MI-17 performance.

To comply with the customer’s requirements, we had to consider several essential factors to be put into practice:

Visual layouts and simplicity of operation. The product should be equally user-friendly for teaching staff who comment on each item and students who absorb that info
Comprehensive coverage of helicopter system control
Clear indication and advanced animation
Universal controller with the expansion card
Info received from controllers is stored on a memory card to evaluate trainees’ progress

Enhanced with the VR tech, training panels must be equally convenient for both parties, lecturers and students to equip educators with suitable explanatory illustrations, and facilitate the training process for pilots by making it more entertaining.

Development Approach

Given the complexity of the initial request, our team decided to go with the concept of creating a combination of VR training study materials. The initial idea originated and was drafted by our in-house experts. VR education panels provided high detail visualization paired with easy access and great visibility of otherwise hard-to-demonstrate elements.

The thorough choice of the solution’s architecture and hardware let our experts deliver the set of training panels in a very short time. Our team developed a one-size-fits-all controller for all panels, which also sped up the implementation process for every single panel.

OTR was responsible for the whole process starting from writing the tech spec, design, development, and to the final debugging of the VR solution.

Results

VR Smartboards for Helicopter Training

Having proven themselves as an effective medium to increase pilot performance, the VR education panels now form a vital part of our customer’s educational strategy. They have witnessed a substantial increase in performance indicators, with the progress of studies speeding up by 15%. Graduates are also showing better results in practice — the number of positive feedback went up by 10%. Following the above, the academy has climbed five positions in aviation educational institutions ranking.

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