VR Trainer Coming in 2022 for the Jolly Green II Combat Rescue Helicopter Crews

Sikorsky Jolly Green II 11 photos
Photo: Lockheed Martin
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Its official name is HH-60W, but we’ll most likely get to know it as the Jolly Green II. The future combat rescue variation of the mighty and well-known Black Hawk is currently being developed and tested by Sikorsky and the U.S. Air Force (USAF) for deployment in the coming years. This week, the program just got a major push forward.
As the manufacturer’s teams and USAF pilots are hard at work testing the machine, a decision has been made about how the helicopter’s future pilots will learn to fly it. And for that, a virtual reality trainer will be built by CAE USA.

The company announced this week it had been selected for the task of coming up with a virtual reality/mixed reality (VR/MR) aircrew trainer, one that should be ready sometime in 2022.

Designed to “immerse the entire crew into an integrated virtual environment” by using a VR headset for each of the airmen that make up the crew, the trainer will feature some of the helicopter’s physical components, including cyclic and collective grips and gun mounts.

These will be integrated with a virtual reality cockpit and the rear compartment of the helicopter to provide an experience as close to the original one as possible.

To be developed for the USAF Air Combat Command, the trainer will be deployed at the Moody Air Force Base in Georgia next spring. It, however, could move from there, as it will be designed to be transportable.

As for the actual helicopter, the Jolly Green II (named so in honor of the Vietnam-era choppers that delivered American troops into the heat of the battle) features an improved fuel system that doubles the fuel capacity of the machine, allowing for longer mission times. The most modern array of sensors, defenses, weapons, and cyber-security are also on deck.

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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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