October 11, 2018
The aerospace industry has experienced significant changes over the past years, as a consequence of technology advancements and market responses. The rise of air travel, a supply of new aircraft orders and the regular renewal of business aircraft will further contribute to the growth of this market.
Obtaining that predicted growth will demand an increased focus on innovations which will provide larger customization, as well as enhanced durability and cost reduction, without compromising on comfort or security.
One such innovation is most certainly VR technology, and it will affect different spheres of the aerospace industry, leading to more opportunities for its improvement and development. These are some examples of the use of virtual reality in the aerospace industry and its benefits.
Engineers’ learning tool
Aerospace engineers don’t have accessible that many studying materials. They often need to wait for some complex structure to become available as a learning tool
With the help of VR technology, their learning process would go much faster since it creates a virtual environment that allows engineers to view that composite structures and learn how to manage them well.
Design and manufacturing
VR enables visualizing and interacting with aircraft CAD geometry because it provides an environment that is identical to the inside of the physical mockups which is built for each aircraft during the design phase. Likewise, apart from the visualization of CAD representations of parts, it’s possible to move elements around their installed position, reach around obstacles, etc.
It has the most beneficial impact on:
– flight deck design
– maintainability or accessibility verification
– assembly planning
In this way, VR verifies the aircraft design process and makes it more efficient which leads to productive manufacturing.
Pratt & Whitney is a tech company that develops training tools in VR. They’ve created simulations where engineers can walk inside a jet engine or view jet parts separately and study them.
Virtual reality makes learning tools available, so there will be more frequent progress in the aerospace industry.
Virtual reality can facilitate training of flight personnel, and stimulate the real teaching environment.
It can provide complete and thorough training for astronauts, pilots, cabin or ground crew so that they would have real experience and even better than a traditional one.
VR technology creates a detailed virtual environment so trainees can feel as if they were in an aircraft or a hangar. They can interact with the system and in that way get the practical experience and acquire knowledge.
Another benefit of this kind of training is that it reduces costs since there’s no trip to real aircraft hangars and airplanes are free to fly if needed. Also, virtual reality makes a safe training environment, so there’s no risk that anyone will be hurt.
Another significant use of VR technology is remote maintenance assistance.
Japan Airlines used Google Glass for their maintenance operations with the purpose to increase work efficiency. As a result, maintenance staff could receive advice and guidance by audio while they were working. Also, they could share a photograph or real-time video information with their remote colleague.
Using VR as a maintenance help can increase work efficiency and provide faster fix solutions.
Commercial airlines are constantly looking for new ways to improve their services and enhance the flying experience of their passengers. Using VR can be one of them.
During the flight, passengers can be entertained with VR headsets. In that way, they would get full video and audio feeling without any distraction. This is especially convenient for passengers who are afraid of flying because it is a perfect escape into the more relaxing environment.
Air France has already begun using this type of entertainment system. Their passengers get VR headsets to watch 3D and 2D films or TV shows.
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Nowadays almost every industry is reshaped thanks to up-to-date technological advances, such as virtual and augmented reality, or artificial intelligence, and aerospace industry is no exception.
Embracing those technological advances will have a considerable impact on many spheres of the aerospace industry, starting from improving the manufacturing process, facilitating personnel training, all the way to enhancing learning tools and refining aircraft maintenance.
About the Author:
Jacob Dillon is a professional writer and distinctive journalist from Sydney. Being passionate about what he does, Jacob likes to discuss stirring events as well as express his opinion about technological advancements and evolution of society. Find Jacob on Twitter and Facebook.