Support: Sometimes Old School Is Still The Best School

Archives

December 14, 2016: While computer powered military simulators get most of the media attention there is still a need for more mundane and less sexy mechanical simulators. For example, one of the more difficult jobs for crews of transport aircraft is learning how to efficiently handle cargo loading and unloading quickly (as in a combat zone or even under fire). Thus the U.S. Army and Air Force have long had ground based simulators what are basically parts of discarded aircraft with all the mechanical components used for loading and unloading cargo restored to working order so trainees (new recruits or veterans learning to use a new system) can safely and cheaply practice getting vehicles (combat and transport) safely loaded on and then quickly gotten off fixed wing or helicopter transports. These simulators are accurate enough to allow maintainers to practice their troubleshooting and repair skills without taking an actual aircraft out of service.

Simulators have also been built (some since the 1960s) so helicopters crews can practice loading or unloading personnel (including casualties) or equipment from hovering helicopters. Some simulators include weapons, so that operators can get used to operating machine-guns and autocannon from doors or side mounts on gunships. The validity of all these simulators is constantly tested as newly trained aircrew do the same jobs from an actual aircraft. If there are any flaws in the simulator setup they can be quickly detected and fixed.

Nevertheless computers are beginning to play a larger role in training for aircraft crews and aircraft maintainers. The new VR (Virtual Reality) computer equipment coming onto the commercial market (for entertainment) have shown themselves to use useful for some ground training tasks, particularly maintenance. Using an expensive (more so than the commercial stuff now available for gamers) VR headset a maintainer or crew member could go around a virtual aircraft and open panels and find or troubleshoot typical (or rare) problems. While not as accurate for loading and unloading practice a VR system would be useful for testing new designs or modifications of existing equipment.

 


Article Archive

Support: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close