Thrust Vector Enhances Pilot Training in Virtual Reality

The virtual reality will continue to thrive and grow as new use cases are discovered. Thrust Vector, one of the many ambitious VR startups in the world today, is building an in-cockpit training system. By using their VR hardware, people can learn to fly an airplane under various circumstances regardless of the weather outside.

Thrust Vector Heads Down an Interesting Path

It is not all that often one sees pilots wear a virtual reality headset. In the case of Thrust Vector, there is a method to this perceived madness. The startup wants to allow pilots-to-be to undergo rigorous training under specific weather conditions. To do so, they have developed a new VR experience which renders the position of the airplane in-flight under the virtual conditions.

To offer this type of experience, the company uses Oculus Go headsets. Trainees wear this headset as they effectively fly a plane, which sounds a lot scarier than it really is. Several successful in=flight tests have been performed, as can be seen from the video below. Giving trainees an option to explore different flight scenarios without having to rely on external circumstances is a vast improvement over how such training ventures are to take place today.

By using the power of the wireless Oculus Go, this experience remains cheap and lightweight first and foremost. Combined with the data from Mapbox and the Unity world engine, accurate rendered maps can be introduced. As such, it creates a very immersive aspect for pilots to explore, although there is still plenty of room for future improvements.

It is worth noting this is not a solution pilots should use on their own accord. Instead, pilots should always be accompanied by a safety pilot to take over if any trouble arises along the way. By actively conveying information between the pilot and the safety pilot, a secure testing environment can be created. A pretty interesting venture, although the FAA may prohibit the use of this technology in the future.

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By JP Buntinx

JP Buntinx is a FinTech, VR, and Bitcoin enthusiast living in Belgium.