Qatar Airways and Rolls Royce have just partnered in launching a new Rolls Royce virtual reality training tool for its Rolls Royce engines. Qatar will be the first airline in the world to launch the trials for the groundbreaking new training technology in its engineering team as parts of its commitment to cutting-edge innovation.

The virtual reality training tool is designed to be used by engineers working on the Rolls Royce Trent XWB aircraft engines. It will be used with the engineering company’s Trent XWB refresher training program under a virtual environment without including the actual physical engine in the training process. With the partnership, the Qatar Airways engineers will be the first in the industry to trial the new cutting edge VR training technology.

Rolls Royce Virtual Reality Training for Engineers
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Rolls Royce Virtual Reality Training for Engineers

The Trent XWB is the Rolls Royce designed engine that powers Qatar Airways’ A350 fleet. It is the largest engine by Rolls Royce and has to be separated before it can be transported for repair and maintenance by engineers. With the new virtual reality rendering, engineers will use HTC Vive virtual reality headset to immerse themselves in the process through rich visuals, sound and touch so as to separate the parts of the Rolls Royce engine within a virtual environment. The advantage of rendering this in virtual reality is that they are able to train in these tasks without grappling with the cost and complexity of training with a real Rolls Royce engine.

With global airline passenger numbers expected to double by 2036 and the high requirement for capacity that this will entail, the aviation industry is on a crash program to train as many engineers as possible to meet the future challenge. More well-trained engineers will be needed to maintain and repair the expected rapid rise in the number of aircraft as well as their engines.

When it comes to producing new aircraft maintenance engineers, the traditional practical training will still form the backbone of the training but the incorporation of virtual reality will help meet the training gaps and bridge the shortfalls in engineers. Rolls Royce is currently on an ambitious program of instituting Virtual Reality into its engineering training programs as part of the engineering company’s IntelligentEngine vision of the future.

Qatar Airways had been selected as the launch partner of RR’s new intelligent virtual training platform and the airline will be receiving the training with the pioneering Rolls Royce Trent XWB engine. Qatar was the first airline to take delivery of these engines and has had a forward-thinking vision that puts innovation at the forefront of its operations.

Like many other engineering companies globally, Rolls Royce sees virtual training as the next frontier. The company believes certain engineering tasks can be simulated in a virtual reality environment and is taking active steps to make this a reality.

The Rolls Royce virtual reality partnership is not Qatar Airways first foray into virtual reality training. In August 2018, the airline was a global launch partner for IATA’s RampVR VR technology that simulates real air-side conditions for both ground handling and ground service operator training.  The RampVR platform is used by the Talent Development Department at Qatar Airways in training the airline’s ground operations teams.

The RampVR platform is an award-winning IATA plug-and-play virtual reality solution for the ground operations. The virtual reality solution utilizes high-spec VR hardware and software in training ground operations professionals. It offers practical training in a very realistic virtual environment without the hassle and risks of disrupting actual active operations at the ramp.

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