Visionary Training Resources (VTR) is partnering with Florida Tech’s College of Aeronautics to integrate virtual reality (VR) technology into the classroom.

A VR headset loaded with VTR’s proprietary software, FlightDeckToGo, will be introduced into the college’s Advanced Aircraft Systems Course, which provides students with an overview of the systems used in air transport category aircraft and focuses intently on the Boeing 737 NG, said Warren Pittorie, assistant professor and chair of flight education at the College of Aeronautics.

The system, featuring a 3D rendering of the flight deck of a Boeing 737 NG, will allow students to utilize VR flight deck familiarization modules with the guidance of checklist and procedures training to augment traditional learning materials such as PowerPoint slides, diagrams, and videos. It will be rolled out later this spring.

“The integration of eye tracking and the ability to interact with flight deck controls through the use of wireless handheld controllers makes FlightDeckToGo far superior to others that we have used here at Florida Tech,” Pittorie said. “The VTR headset is also completely portable and doesn’t need to be tethered to a high-powered gaming laptop or desktop computer. This means that it can be easily used in any one of our classrooms or labs.”

VTR visited Florida Tech in spring 2023 to demonstrate a headset to flight students and instructors at FIT Aviation, the university’s off-campus flight school. The feedback from both students and instructors was overwhelmingly positive.

Throughout the semester, students will be asked to provide feedback on the usability of the headset as well as offer their opinion of how or if the VR technology strengthens their knowledge of advanced aircraft systems. This information will be shared with both VTR and other faculty at the College of Aeronautics so that additional instructional technology can be incorporated into traditional classes, Pittorie said.

“FlightDeckToGo by VTR will not only make our classes a more enjoyable experience, but it will better prepare our students to operate transport category aircraft that they will operate just a few years after they graduate from Florida Tech,” Pittorie said. 

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