The US Army is going above and beyond in the use of technology to train its helicopter pilots. But they are not using sci-fi technology or something that we have never seen before.
No. They are betting on technology that we have been using ourselves for some time. And that includes VR (Virtual Reality), on a rather new Army program called the “Aviatior Training Next” (ATN) program.
Ryan Aerospace mentions the program as “experimental, yet innovative, new way to provide helicopter pilot training during the primary phase using the latest in virtual reality (VR) technology and high-end, commercially available helicopter simulator equipment”.
Exactly the market the company has been placing itself for some time. So much that the company was awarded a contract to supply 31 HELIMOD MARK III helicopter simulators for the US Army at Fort Rucker, Alabama.
In case you don’t know it, that’s the world’s largest helicopter training facility!
Managing Director of Ryan Aerospace, Chris Ryan said he was “delighted to partner with the US Army and prime contractor SAIC to work on this ground-breaking project.”
The system is supported by an after-action review software package that automatically assesses, grades and logs the student’s performance.
The project is multi-faceted and many teams are working together to ensure the best possible outcome. A dedicated team based at West Point (The United States Military Academy) will be conducting a thorough research project to objectively assess the outcomes of the project and report back on ways to improve it even further. The experiment will run until mid-2020, upon which the US Army will decide if this is a valid means of training.
All 31 systems have been delivered and installed ahead of schedule and the US Army Aviators have commenced the experimental training.
Ryan Aerospace has been working with Precision Flight Controls (PFC) based in Sacramento to support the project.
For more information about Ryan Aerospace, visit their website.