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How VR and AR are Propelling Aviation Maintenance Training into the Future.

The aviation industry is prepared for a transformation as new technologies like Virtual and Augmented Reality become more widely adopted for maintenance training. VR/AR tools allow for immersive simulations that can enhance learning in ways traditional methods cannot.

A 2021 survey by Aviation Week found that 88% of MROs plan to adopt VR/AR within 5 years as the technology matures. This shows strong industry momentum. (Aviation Week, 2021)

Here are some of the exciting emerging trends in their application to aircraft system training, troubleshooting, and repairs.

Enhancing Visualization of Complex Systems

Being able to visually explore aircraft engine components from every imaginable angle through VR can help technicians better understand intricate internal workings (Lamb et al., 2020). Research from Boeing found that VR training led to 23% higher scores on a turbine engine test compared to physical study alone (Jensen & Konradsen, 2018).

Practicing Rare and Hazardous Scenarios

According to a 2019 Transportation Research Board survey of 150 MROs, 68% have used or plan to use VR/AR for training scenarios too risky for traditional methods, Technicians can learn emergency protocols without putting themselves or the aircraft in danger. Difficult tasks can be repeated until perfected.

Broadening Training Despite Location

For airlines operating globally, sourcing qualified instructors across regions poses a challenge. However, VR allows centralized subject matter experts to conduct lessons virtually for distributed student cohorts. This enhances training consistency and reaches more learners cost-effectively.

Streamlining Onboard Processes

Forward-thinking carriers are embedding AR features into tablets or smart glasses for mechanics on the hangar floor. Integrated technical manuals, checklists, and even live expert support could help speed aircraft turnarounds while avoiding common human errors.

VR/AR will continue proliferating across the MRO and MTO industries as technology improves and costs decline. As the sixth industrial revolution takes hold, these tools may soon become standard in developing the skilled and confident aviation maintenance workforce of the future.

Is your organization implementing this technology, and how? Leave us a comment.

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