Dassault has introduced a new immersive maintenance training course that puts trainees in a 3D virtual Falcon jet.
The system has been designed over the course of the last three years, with trainees using a computer that is hooked up to virtual reality googles. A motion sensor at the side of the computer picks up hand movements, allowing students to access menus, as well as move around the aircraft.
Originally the Falcon training focused on EASA Part 145 maintenance approvals, with 370 trainees taking the course in the six years from 2007 to 2013.
But the manufacturer transitioned from Part 145 to Part 147 in November 2013, with a further 370 trainees completing the course until now.
The training room at the company’s Bordeaux facility is set up with 10 work stations where people can be trained simultaneously. An instructor sits at the top of the table, and retains overall controls of the virtual Falcon.
When students first put on the goggle they are in a virtual world with a 3D model of a Falcon in front of them. Each section of the aircraft can be removed, allowing students to look in intricate details at each of the component parts of the aircraft. Whilst the instructor talks, he also has the opportunity to bring up photographs of individual parts so that students can see both the virtual and physical images of the parts they are looking at.
Dassault say that one of the advantages of holding the training sessions in Bordeaux is the proximity to the production lines.
The training room itself is located in a production hall that houses Falcon 2000 models. Being so close to where the aircraft are built means that trainees have access to aircraft as they are being built, giving them unique access to aircraft systems, without having to take apart an aircraft.