For years, FlightSafety International has provided the best hands-on maintenance training in the industry.
Now, the leader in aviation training has pivoted into the cyberworld, offering a new way to interact with components – through virtual engine training. In collaboration with Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC), FlightSafety has developed state-of-the-art training technology to interactively visualize the engine and explore it down to the component level.
The result is a revolutionary method that improves efficiency, facilitates hands-on procedures for all students, enabling a more immersive and comprehensive training environment. This revolutionary technology has been recognized by AIN as the winner of the Top Flight Award 2021 in the Maintenance Innovation category.
Creation of the program
For more than 10 years, a deep relationship has been cultivated between FlightSafety and P&WC, in support of P&WC Engine training programs. This collaboration expands the simulation of real-world operator scenarios, enhancing the training experience while ensuring the validity of build specifications in production. As motors evolve, so do virtual motor drive models.
The team used the same advanced virtual technology found in game engines. In the same way video game players were able to manipulate in-game elements across multiple axes, the engine trainer virtual allows instructors and students to view the engine and the many individual components in any position or group of systems, in 3D and complete clarity.
Increase productivity and accuracy
Virtual motor trainers provide a degree of interactivity that is not possible with heavy, hard-to-move physical motors. Technicians can gain a more intimate familiarity through interactive cutaway views of the engine, seeing how components and gears work together.
The technology allows students to perform hands-on maintenance procedures such as parts replacement, x-rays, and relocation functionality, further allowing students to view dynamic cross-sections of almost any engine part.
Virtual engines allow maintenance tasks to be simulated in guided, step-by-step processes, allowing students to virtually disassemble and perform various line replacement unit changes in a simulation.
Incorporating the virtual experience into standard maintenance courses gives technicians a complete picture of how each component works, complementing hands-on and classroom instruction.
Test and inspect virtually
One of the biggest functionality enhancements with virtual motor trainers is the ability to simulate a motor inspection during endoscope training. Virtual engines are synthetically modified to represent varying degrees of damage found in a P&WC turbine engine. Students are challenged to assess engine damage and are graded on engine health and dispatch ability.
It is a similar concept to FlightSafety’s simulator training for pilots, where potentially hazardous scenarios can be safely simulated for pilots to hone their skills. With virtual endoscope training, students can more easily see many more types of damage or signs of wear than they could on a physical component. Most physical models are present only as ideal-state engines, depriving technicians of what they are likely to experience in real-life scenarios on the line.
The fidelity of the virtual motor trainer is such that some regulatory bodies have approved the virtual motor trainer as an evaluation method for up to 50% of hands-on motor training. This tool allows students to respond to requirements more quickly and efficiently, thus adding value to the training provided.
FlightSafety currently offers virtual engine training for P&WC equipment at 12 locations, including the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France and India. The courses cover the PT6, PT6A, PT6E, PT6C, PT6T PW206, PW300 and PW800 series. The innovative program continues FlightSafety’s commitment to creating the best-trained technicians in the industry, equipped with practical and strategic knowledge.