American Airlines has partnered with AkzoNobel Aerospace Coatings to deliver virtual reality (VR) training to its apprentice painters, as well as upskill its employees.

The platform will enable American’s users to train in a virtual paint booth. The system replicates a customer’s production environment and multiple coating systems, allowing team members to complete the aircraft coating process.

AkzoNobel’s platform can be customized to deliver different paint specifications for customers’ needs, such as the thickness of the paint required for the coating, inconsistent coating quality, paint overlap, and more. The system measures the operator’s workmanship skills feedback is given immediately, allowing trainees to react quickly and address their technique.

Specific to American, AkzoNobel programmed the airline’s nose landing gear cylinder into the system. Already the first cohort of 13 painters have begun training with the system.

AkzoNobel’s Technical Services team supported American by going through the process themselves, “suiting up”, sharing techniques, and their overall experience of using the platform.

“Typically, when a customer asks for training, we have to provide significant quantities of paint, much of which is wasted,” Matthew Amick, Global Technical Services Manager at AkzoNobel Aerospace Coatings, said to Aviation Pros. “By effectively moving the spray booth into the classroom, we completely eliminate waste, reduce costs and unnecessary shipping, and prevent volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from being released. There are also no costs associated with cleaning the spray guns, or the additional VOCs releases from the solvents required, or providing the panels needed for wet paint training. It’s a ‘win win’ for all involved.”