Boeing has developed an interactive augmented training solution that allows maintenance personnel to assist and train others on aircraft maintenance in real-time without being physically co-located.
The company’s solution was recently demonstrated at RAAF Amberley where technicians wore Microsoft HoloLens 2 mixed reality smart glasses which merge holographic augmentation with the real world to allow them to use hand gestures instead of a traditional keyboard and mouse. The technicians performed a critical maintenance task on a C-17 with oversight from the US-based Boeing Recovery and Modification Services (RAMS) team which couldn’t travel to Australia due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
For the task, the RAMS team provided remote real-time training and guidance, sent technical drawings and documents as holograms, and supported the maintenance task while Amberley-based technicians worse the HoloLens headsets.
“Boeing’s augmented training operations and maintenance solution allowed the RAAF to achieve crucial maintenance tasks on the C-17A safely and ahead of schedule despite the impact of COVID-19, utilising novel support mechanisms such as HoloLens,” 36SQN Senior Engineering Officer (SENGO), SQNLDR Dr Evan Oscar Smith said in a statement. “In doing so, we also demonstrated that this task is within 36SQN’s native capability moving forward. This is an excellent outcome.”
Boeing’s C-17 Field Services Manager, Glen Schneider added, “Boeing’s interactive augmented training operations and maintenance solution allows RAAF aircraft technicians to interact securely and in real-time with SMEs and engineers to provide remote support for the completion of critical maintenance tasks, representing significant travel-time and cost savings for our global customers.
“The solution will enable our field engineering team to have eyes and ears with the maintenance team on the ground in any location to provide them with real-time, trouble-shooting support, instead of them having to resolve complex tasks via phone, email or wait for a rescue mission,” he added.
A Boeing statement says the trial will continue into 2021, and that multiple C-17 operators had expressed an interest in using the remote solution.