Boeing Center uses virtual training for Navy planes

(TNS) – On a tour of Boeing’s new Training Development Center for Navy aircraft, Captain Matthew Pottenburgh eagerly donned virtual reality glasses and picked up controllers, nodding his head while s ‘amazed by his new virtual environment.

“In the front wheel well!” ” he said. “It’s like you’re on the plane.”

After a few minutes, he took them off smiling.

“Jon, you have to do it,” he told Captain Jon Spore, a colleague at Naval Air Station Jacksonville. Spore hesitated, “No, I’m fine.”

They were on site Tuesday as the company showcased its new Boeing Jacksonville Training Systems Center of Excellence, where it is developing maintenance training systems for military aircraft, including the Navy’s P-8 Poseidon fleet at NAS Jacksonville.

The systems, which mimic this aircraft in great detail, are designed to allow those who will work on aircraft to learn virtually. They will let them make mistakes without risk. And they’ll let them virtually face issues they might never otherwise see with hands-on training on real airplanes.

It’s a perfect solution for new maintenance crews, said Pottenburgh, Commodore of Wing Eleven at the naval air base.

“This is how they learn,” he said. “They grew up with cell phones, they grew up with video games, their brains are wired that way. Now our training has caught up.”

The new Boeing Center is on Lake Gray Boulevard, off Blanding Boulevard, just north of Interstate 295 and not too far from NAS Jax.

Greg Krekeler, senior director of training systems engineering and government services at Boeing, said the site will soon also develop software for flight crews, including a full motion flight trainer and tactics trainer. weapons.

The training systems will then be placed at the Navy base, where training can take place on large touch screens and with virtual and augmented reality systems.

Instructors using the equipment can create faults in virtual airplanes, so students can solve problems they might not otherwise be able to see in a real airplane, Krekeler said.

Then they can do it again, as many times as needed.

Pottenburgh said virtual training was going to be a “game changer” away from hands-on training on real planes.

“Frankly, the more complicated procedures, which we don’t do very often, now they can do them whenever they want. If a sailor does an incorrect procedure on the flight line, it could damage an aircraft,” he said. he declares. “Here they could do it all day and learn what it looks like and what would happen to a plane, and it costs us zero dollars.”

Boeing also has facilities at Cecil Airport where it maintains and modifies Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, among other functions. The company says it will soon innovate on a new hangar and offices there to consolidate and expand its services.

The new hangar will have nearly 270,000 square feet of space, while the offices will be over 100,000 square feet. This is expected to open in January 2024, adding 400 jobs planned to the 350 already at Cecil.

© 2021 Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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