KLM trains its crew with virtual reality (Video)

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In the post-pandemic world, industries are increasingly moving towards innovation, including in the aviation sector. It is a trend that has been adopted by many companies, including KLM Royal Dutch.

Last year in Seoul, the company presented Flying v, the plane of the future. This year, the company's focus is to take Virtual Reality (VR) to the next level.

Through VR technology, KLM employees are trained to do their job, from cleaning crews to cabin crew, baggage handlers to pilots and engine technicians.

KLM has developed a training program with the help of virtual reality

Over the last 100 years, KLM's entrepreneurial spirit and desire for innovation have played a pioneering role in the aviation industry. The company's efforts have focused on improving products, services and ways of working, both for customers and employees.

Virtual reality is one of the technologies currently used by the company to achieve this, mainly for employee training. With the help of virtual reality, KLM prepares the cabin crew for emergency procedures, such as extinguishing a fire on board.

Also, for pushing an aircraft or for attaching a passenger bridge, the company uses the VR experience without the need for the physical presence of an aircraft. Also through VR, KLM instructs the cleaning crews in the external stations, when there is a new type of aircraft used on the route.

For example, by viewing the Boeing 787 in virtual reality, the crew was able to clean the aircraft 15 minutes faster than the initial estimate, without mistakes.

Pilots trained in the virtual cockpit of KLM aircraft

KLM pilots operating flights on Embraer 175 and 190 aircraft use virtual reality to learn standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the specific type of aircraft they are hired to fly.

Part of SOP training is exploring the cab through touch screens with an instructor and using posters for visual reference. Other elements of this training are done in a flight simulator.

To facilitate training, but also to reduce costs, KLM virtual reality experts have developed a virtual version of the Embraer E175 / E190 cab. The virtual cabin is an exact copy of the aircraft, with all selectable switches and buttons. Thus, pilots prepare for various situations, including emergency procedures, such as engine fires or passenger evacuation.

Because the VR model is made to the actual dimensions of the aircraft, pilots can develop muscle memory, which is very important in procedures that require fast action.

KLM uses Oculus Quest 2 for Business for cabin VR training and HTC Vive Pro for flight safety training. Type training push back is done with the Valve Index headset.

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