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Is XR ‘Taking Off’ for the Commercial Aviation Industry?

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Here's how airlines plan to leverage immersive tools to keep clients safely in the skies

The commercial aviation industry has earned a crucial ally in its operations. According to Allied Market Research, augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) aviation markets are expected to reach $23.6 by 2031.

Following the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, aviation companies will have to recover and approach the next decade with fresh approaches. Getting passengers back in friendly skies will take immense effort, namely as airlines struggle with the Boeing 737 MAX 8 grounding and the current upskilling crisis.

Extended reality (XR) tools will allow manufacturers, airlines, and customers to leverage immersive tools capable of empowering the commercial aviation market. Aerospace firms such as Boeing and Airbus can advance manufacturing capabilities for an already backlogged series of orders.

Conversely, airlines can train the next generation of pilots with cutting-edge flight simulation solutions for rapid upskilling. Additionally, customers can view tourist destinations with mixed reality (MR) headsets to plan their next getaway.

Which Commercial Aviation Firms Offer XR Solutions?

According to some of the latest initiatives, here is how the commercial aviation industry is employing AR, VR, and MR solutions:

Commercial Aviation Training

Varjo, a Helsinki-based tech firm, has been leading the charge in training solutions with its recently released Aero headset. The enterprise-first device offers some of the most advanced simulation tools to train pilots with minimal setup.

Major organisations such as the European Aviation Safety Administration (EASA) have certified the solution for deployment to any global location. With a graphics-intensive PC, select NVIDIA graphics processing unit Varjo Aero headset, and simulator module, pilots can train to industry standards with equipment meeting strict aviation regulation standards.

This saves companies massive amounts of money on training pilots, allowing professionals to train ‘on the fly’ with the world’s most advanced equipment. Operators can purchase whole training solutions for frequent, scalable instruction, eliminating the need for costly pilot simulation centres.

Remote Guidance for Inspections

In addition to training, commercial aviation firms are also leveraging AR systems to boost turnaround times for aircraft inspections. For example, Taqtile completed its Hangar 51 accelerator programme to facilitate remote guidance tools for airports.

Inviting around 75 companies to participate in the accelerator, Taqtile collaborated with the International Airlines Group (IAG) to demo digital transformation tools for aviation repair and maintenance operations.

The 10-week course instructed aviation staff on using its Manifest platform. Trainees could use Microsoft HoloLens 2 and Magic Leap headsets, as well as tablets and smartphones for the platform.

With the immersive kit, workers could overlay manuals, holograms, and video guides on physical aircraft repair walkthroughs. Such immersive tools dramatically reduced repair times, personnel deployment costs, and equipment downtimes.

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