April 25, 2023 – Vrgineers, a provider of next-generation virtual and mixed reality (VR/MR) pilot training systems, has announced that as the result of long-term cooperation with Razbam Simulations, the companies’ new F-15E Strike Eagle trainer will be showcased for the first time at the IT2EC show in Rotterdam this week.
Vrgineers stated that the companies wanted to provide affordable reconfigurable COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) trainers to the U.S. Air Force, and are now able to do so through the combination of Vrgineers’ Portable Trainer and XTAL 3 VR headset and the F-15E Strike Eagle model by Razbam. The F-15E Strike Eagle model was released earlier this year and is available to users of Digital Combat Simulators.
The concept allows Air Forces to train cooperation and mission rehearsals using the most advanced and affordable solution currently on the market, according to Vrgineers. Portable Trainers are easy to deploy (under 30 minutes) and convenient to transport. The device offers high levels of immersion thanks to the use of the XTAL device, a VR headset with 4K resolution and 180 degree field of view (FoV).
Vrgineers stated that growing demand for pilots, acceptance of virtual pilot training to ensure aviation safety, and the need to reduce the cost of pilot training are all major factors as to why the company is seeing a rapid increase in the use of COTS trainers, whether as a part of enhancing Pilot Next, RVCT, or other advanced training programs.
“We estimate that by 2030 every pilot will have one of these trainers at their disposal, and will be able to use them from home at any time. By connecting to a centralized synthetic training environment using a secured VPN, pilots will be able to continue their training regardless of any restrictions, such as those witnessed during COVID,” added Marek Polcak, CEO of Vrgineers.
On the hardware side, the F-15E Strike Eagle platform utilizes throttle and stick replicas from an F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet. The rest of the instrumental panel and cockpit is all virtual, with switches, buttons and knobs controlled and manipulated via hand tracking, allowing pilots to access full capabilities.
Vrgineers noted that the current platform is not suitable for procedural training due to the lack of needed features for training muscle memory in pilots. However, the company is working on a mixed-reality version of the F-15E trainer, which aims to be presented for the first time at the I/ITSEC in Orlando later this year. As a result, the mixed reality setup would allow for full 1:1 training, according to Vrgineers.
“The integration we did with Vrgineers simulators enables all the features of our model to become an ultimate training solution and offers a cost-efficient solution to all F-15E air forces and operators,” said Ronald Zambrano, CEO & founder of Razbam Simulations.
In addition the above noted features, the F-15E model also integrates TALON AI, an AI-powered co-pilot that can handle tactical tasks such as target locking and navigation. This advanced assistance is another step to help increase the training curve and support the training of complex tasks before a mission.
Vrgineers will be showcasing the F-15E Strike Eagle training platform from Booth #A31-A33 at IT2EC in Rotterdam, Netherlands this week from 24-26 April. For more information on Vrgineers and its VR and MR pilot training systems, please visit the company’s website.
Image / video credit: Vrgineers / Razbam Simulations
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Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past five years.