in Aerospace

Rolls-Royce partners with Qatar Airways to trial VR training tech

Posted 15 April 2019 · Add Comment

Qatar Airways is to be the global launch partner of Rolls-Royce’s new Virtual Reality (VR) training tool, as its engineers become the first in the industry to receive VR training for Rolls-Royce Trent XWB Engine Maintenance.


Copyright Qatar Airways


The new tool is designed to provide engineers with Rolls-Royce Trent XWB refresher training in a virtual environment without the need for a physical engine to work on. Qatar Airways is the first airline to trial the  new technology as part of its engineering training plan, with its engineers being the first in the industry to experience this cutting-edge tech.

The Trent XWB, which powers the Qatar Airways A350 fleet, is Rolls-Royce’s largest engine and must be separated before engineers can transport it for maintenance and repair. Using HTC Vive equipment, engineers will be immersed in the process, using sight, sound and touch to separate the two parts of the engine in a virtual setting, without the complexity and cost of a real engine.

Rolls-Royce, President – Civil Aerospace, Chris Cholerton, said: “At Rolls-Royce we are designing, testing, and maintaining engines in the digital realm, so it makes sense that we bring cutting-edge technology to our training programmes. In the same way pilots complete elements of their training in a simulator, certain engineering tasks can be taught through Virtual Reality. Qatar Airways was the first customer to take delivery of the Trent XWB, and their forward-thinking vision across their business makes them the perfect launch partner for this technology.”

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr Al Baker, said: “Qatar Airways is an airline of the future, and we constantly strive to deliver innovation in every area of our business. Our ultimate goal is to provide our customers with a quality on-board experience every time they travel, and by adopting the latest technology in our engineering department, we aim to ensure that they arrive at their destination smoothly and without disruption. We are very excited about the new Virtual Reality training tool offered by Rolls-Royce and we are proud that they have chosen Qatar Airways as their global launch partner.”

The Rolls-Royce Virtual Reality training platform trial follows Qatar Airways’ first venture into the world of Virtual Reality when it became IATA’s global launch partner of RampVR in August 2018. The award-winning system, pioneered by IATA, utilises the latest virtual-reality technology to simulate real air-side conditions for ground handling and ground service operator training. The RampVR system is being used by Qatar Airway’s Talent Development department to train their ground operations teams.

The Trent XWB is Rolls-Royce’s largest engine. Such is the scale, it must be separated before engineers can transport it for maintenance and repair. Using HTC Vive equipment, engineers are immersed in the process, using sight, sound and touch to separate the two parts of the engine in a virtual setting.

Previously, an engine would have been transported to Doha to be used for the training, or Qatar Airways would have provided an engine in service, with the risk of damage to equipment and valuable flying time lost.

While not intended to replace any practical training, Rolls-Royce sees valuable applications for Virtual Reality, particularly when it comes to refresher training.

Steve Buckland, a Customer and Product Training Manager at Rolls-Royce who developed the VR training programme said: “Virtual Reality has a valuable application here. It’s going to save time, money, and frees up engines that could otherwise be on aircraft, keeping passengers moving.

“The future is exciting. We’re looking at creating holograms of an engine that we can use to teach in a classroom, or Augmented Reality that can be overlaid over a real engine to show technical information. Nothing will beat learning with an engine and this will never be replaced, but new technology is allowing us to be innovative with the ways we teach engineers.”

Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of more than 250 aircraft via its hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA), to more than 160 destinations worldwide.A multiple-award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Business Class’ by the 2018 World Airline Awards, managed by international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Business Class Seat’, ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’ and ‘World’s Best First Class Airline Lounge’.

Qatar Airways has launched a number of new destinations recently, including Gothenburg, Sweden; Mombasa, Kenya and Da Nang, Vietnam. The airline will add a number of new destinations to its extensive route network later this year, including Lisbon, Portugal; Malta; Rabat, Morocco; Izmir, Turkey; Langkawi, Malaysia; Davao, Philippines; and Mogadishu, Somalia.

 


 

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