Air Refueling

By using emerging technology combined with the new standards for pilot training, the 97th OG at Altus AFB has partnered with Specular Theory to train the nation's next generation of C-17 Globemaster III and KC-135 Stratotanker aircrew. 

Specular Theory won a Direct to Phase II SBIR contract with Altus AFB to develop immersive courseware and training solution to teach Air Refueling for student pilots and boom operators at the FTU (Formal Training Unit). We used our immersive training tools and technology to create multiple VR training products, leveraging our commercial successes for a mobile and PC VR app for the Air Force needs.  

For this Phase II effort, we delivered immersive courseware and a full VR Flight Simulator to teach pilot training concepts at a higher velocity than traditional methods can achieve such as assigned reading, classroom lectures and computer based training.  

As soon as a student puts on the VR headset, they are transported to the cockpit of a C-17, KC-135, or a KC-135 boom operator pod. Using live-action 8K imagery, visual overlays and expert narrated voiceover, students get a VR experience that’s identical to the real thing.

89%

Of students felt the Virtual Reality Training experience helped them feel confident and more prepared for their actual fights 

70%

Of students felt the VRT helped overcome a significant challenge, make a task less difficult, or help them learn concepts better

65%

O students found it extremely helpful to experience other aircrew perspectives

Testimonials

"When you put on the VR headset you are immediately sitting in the left seat of the C-17or KC-135. This immersion gives students a sense of realism [from inside the aircraft] that can be really hard to replicate. And this training doesn't just apply to pilots, it can be used by future mobility aviators nationwide"

U.S. AIR FORCE MAJ. ROBERT BUCKLEY, 97th TRAINING SQUADRON DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

"Students will see exactly what instructors often spend countless hours working with them on. [For example,] showing a student a particular visual reference or advanced refueling concepts are displayed within seconds. The best part, they can view this as often as they need to, when they need to. The student doesn’t even need to leave their lodging accommodations"

U.S. AIR FORCE TECH. SGT. JAMES KING, THE 97TH OG VERTIGO SECTION CHIEF

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