There’s perhaps no industry where simulation is more pertinent than aviation, as airlines and manufacturers will want only the most capable hands controlling multi-million dollar aircraft.
These simulators are constantly being overhauled and redeveloped as new versions of passenger jets are announced, such as the Dreamliner or Airbus A380. Manufacturer Boeing have recently unveiled the supplier of their new simulator for the next generation 737 aircraft, TRU Simulation + Training.
The company will design full-flight simulators, flat-panel training devices and desktop trainers to assist pilots at all stages of development. It’s expected that the simulators will be ready in time for 2017, when the 737 MAX and Next-Generation 737 are first delivered to customers.
Even though the new 737 aircraft are essentially revisions of the earlier models, there can often be substantial differences when it comes to the internal mechanics and control system. For example, many new models incorporate different display interfaces and button locations which pilots need to be familiar with.
“Our flight training assets – including our state-of-the-art full-flight training suites – provide customers the benefit of Boeing’s knowledge and expertise while incorporating the highest standards in technology and simulation,” said Sherry Carbary, vice president of Boeing Flight Services.
“We are pleased to be working with TRU Simulation + Training to deliver that high level of quality and fidelity to our customers.”
Both companies have stated that higher fidelity is desired in the simulators, in order to deliver a more compelling experience for pilots.
It’s likely that virtual reality headsets could become a desirable option over the next few years, especially given the need for higher quality simulations. These devices could easily be updated, with new aircraft simulations delivered digitally to pilots all around the world.
For now, pilots will need to continue using the large, physical simulators which they currently train on.