The Drive online publication interviewed former British Air Force pilot Dan Robinson, who is now working with Red 6 on an unusual project in California. It is a technology based on augmented reality (AR) that has the potential to revolutionize military pilot training in America.
One of the main tasks of the developers is to recreate the Russian and Chinese combat fighters as closely as possible. This has been supported by the USAF and Lockheed Martin.
Current methods of training pilots are far from perfect, says Dan Robinson, who served for ten years in the RAF. During training battles, for example F-16s simulating the Su-57 and J-20, is greatly simplified. Additionally, using real aircraft for training is very expensive.
So the idea was born to create semi-aircraft for enemy aircraft in flight. In California, the pilot met two experts in virtual and augmented reality and asked if it was technically feasible.
Dan Robinson said, “They looked at me like I was crazy and said, ‘Absolutely not,’ I asked why?” They said: “Because augmented reality does not work in the open air, nor does it work in a dynamic environment.”
However, in the end, they did manage to do so. True, the developers started with a static object. A 3-D cube measuring 152 by 152 meters was created, “hovering” in the southern California sky. Representatives of the pilot school were invited the air force to conduct the test. Even the pilots were able to fly through it.
The next step was to simulate a virtual carrier aircraft KS-46. It looked real, and the testers were even able to “insert” the fuel rod into the tank of their plane.
“It was pretty cool,” says Dan Robinson. Then Red 6 managed to “intercept” the hypothetical Su-57 in the sky. And they are now training in air combat with the Russian fighter.
“When (the representatives of the air force) saw it, everyone was stunned,” the developer says. As a result, the U.S. Air Force agreed to support the project. Lockheed Martin also demonstrated the new technology and agreed to invest in the startup. ”
As Robinson explained, the augmented reality simulator would not only allow the creation of high-quality models of Russian and Chinese aircraft, but also simulate battle conditions when the enemy is quantitatively several times larger than the U.S. forces in the air.
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