Artificial intelligence and virtual reality will play key roles in training the aviation maintenance technician of tomorrow. Choose Aerospace is part of a recently formed industry consortium that will study beneficial ways to apply the technology and develop specific tools based on its research.
The effort is backed by a $2 million research grant from the National Science Foundation awarded to project leader Clemson University. Choose Aerospace will work along with Clemson and participants Purdue University, Southern Illinois University, Greenville Technical College, SA Technologies, NSF National Center for Autonomous Technologies, Aviation Technician Education Council, Frontier Airlines, AAR, Republic Airways, Atlas Air, Stevens Aerospace, Vericor, AMFA, and Lockheed Martin.
Choose Aerospace's specific roles include forging a partnership network with aviation maintenance industry stakeholders and provide guidance on the development and refinement of aviation maintenance education resources and a hybrid curriculum that can leverage the new tools.
Examples of the tools could include virtual-reality headsets that allow a technician to "see" an engine and conduct repairs without ever leaving a classroom. Such tools augment hands-on aspects of technical training by providing cost-effective ways to learn and practice skills.
"A sustainable, diverse workforce pipeline is more than just people," said Choose Aerospace Executive Director Crystal Maguire. "Access to the most advanced tools and technology will play key roles in ensuring tomorrow's maintenance technicians are prepared to meet the demands of a fast-growing industry. Choose Aerospace is excited to work with such a diverse group of partners and support Clemson University's efforts."