Rolls-Royce and Qatar Airways to use virtual reality to train engineers

Darren Wood
By Darren Wood April 16, 2019 12:50

Rolls-Royce and Qatar Airways to use virtual reality to train engineers

Rolls-Royce and Qatar Airways have teamed up for the first time to use virtual reality (VR) to train its engineers.

While practical training will always be the main focus, aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce said it was is working on ways to incorporate VR into its engineering training programmes, as part of its IntelligentEngine vision.

“At Rolls-Royce we are designing, testing, and maintaining engines in the digital realm, so it makes sense that we bring cutting-edge technology to our training programmes,” said Chris Cholerton, Rolls-Royce president, civil aerospace. “In the same way pilots complete elements of their training in a simulator, certain engineering tasks can be taught through virtual reality. Qatar Airways were the first customer to take delivery of the Trent XWB, and their forward-thinking vision across their business makes them the perfect launch partner for this technology.”

Qatar Airways engineers are the first in the industry to receive the training, using Rolls-Royce’s Trent XWB engine, which powers the Airbus A350.

The Trent XWB is Rolls-Royce’s largest engine. Due to its size, it must be separated before the engineers can transport it for maintenance and repair. Using HTC Vive equipment, engineers are immersed in the process, using sight, sound and touch to separate the two parts of the engine in a virtual setting.

Previously, an engine would have been transported to Doha to be used for training, or Qatar Airways would have provided an engine in service, with the risk of damage to equipment and valuable flying time lost.

Qatar Airways Group chief executive Al Baker added: “We are very excited about the new virtual reality training tool offered by Rolls-Royce and we are proud that they chose Qatar Airways as their global launch partner.”

Darren Wood
By Darren Wood April 16, 2019 12:50