Lufthansa Aviation Training (LAT) and 3spin have received an award for the best e-learning tool 2019 in the category Virtual Reality. The award will be presented by an independent jury of the industry magazine, eLearning Journal at the didacta education trade fair in February 2019. A VR training module enables pilot students of LAT’s European Flight Academy (EFA) to experience the route and geographical characteristics up close and immersively before their first cross-country flight.

The Visual Flight Rules (VFR) training module jointly developed by Lufthansa Aviation Training and 3spin allows flight students to interactively experience and train the airspace structure and the recognition of landmarks from the air before their first cross-country flight in a VR environment. Using virtual reality glasses developed and provided by Samsung, the student pilots first follow a virtual briefing in which 360-degree film shots are combined with 3D-animated objects. The new training module allows the students to experience the airspace and its structure immersively, independent of time and location. Afterwards, a virtual flight takes place around the training airfield in Goodyear, U.S.,where the students have to recognize and target landmarks.

"Virtual reality is a trend-setting technology for training, because it addresses not only semantic memory but also episodic and motor memory, and is therefore more quickly and sustainably memorized by the learner," said Thomas Hoger, co-owner of 3spin.

The project was accompanied and evaluated by psychologists from the Technical University of Berlin. The results of the study exceeded the expectations of Lufthansa Aviation Training: users of the VR tool achieved a 15 percent better overall performance in subsequent real flight missions while simultaneously reducing the stress level.

Lufthansa Aviation Training is examining other possible areas of VR application in the fields of flight training, simulator training and safety and service training.