Don’t Risk Expensive Equipment: Train Maintenance in a VR Cave

AEROCAMPUS Aquitaine trains maintenance crews in a simulation VR cave

AEROCAMPUS Aquitaine’s simulation cave for maintenance training.

AEROCAMPUS Aquitaine is using ESI Group’s IC.IDO Virtual Reality solution to train their maintenance staff in a simulation VR cave. What makes this project interesting is that simulation technology, traditionally used to optimize products during the design phase, is being used in the service and support phase of the product lifecycle.

The Cave uses a joystick, powerwall and 3D glasses to bring aeronautic maintenance professionals and students into an immersive virtual world. The system can also connect to VR systems around the globe, allowing for collaboration on maintenance tasks and learning.

To reduce the risk to actual operational aircraft, the software also lets staff experiment with new maintenance techniques in real-time. Additionally, working on a VR aircraft will ensure that the staff is learning to fix the most up to date designs. This is a much better alternative to training with decommissioned aircraft.

Since 2011, AEROCAMPUS Aquitaine has become a leader in the EU with respect to training aeronautic maintenance staff. This led to a consortium created at the 2013 Paris Air Show aimed at creating a simulation VR cave to train maintenance staff. The consortium included ESI France, P3 ingénieurs (an engineering firm), Immersion (3D VR firm) and the Bordeaux aeronautic maintenance institute and technology center.

“Virtual Reality is a fantastic technology providing the most interactive teaching experience possible,” said Jérôme Verschave, Managing Director of AEROCAMPUS Aquitaine. “Not only does this new technology make learning fun, IC.IDO also enables the experimentation of real-life physics and the realistic rehearsal of maintenance procedures, without having to provide costly aircraft parts. Virtual Reality is ideal to keep up with the latest training data as it offers a greater reactivity with respect to frequent changes in aeronautic parts or processes.”

Source ESI Group.

Written by

Shawn Wasserman

For over 10 years, Shawn Wasserman has informed, inspired and engaged the engineering community through online content. As a senior writer at WTWH media, he produces branded content to help engineers streamline their operations via new tools, technologies and software. While a senior editor at, Shawn wrote stories about CAE, simulation, PLM, CAD, IoT, AI and more. During his time as the blog manager at Ansys, Shawn produced content featuring stories, tips, tricks and interesting use cases for CAE technologies. Shawn holds a master’s degree in Bioengineering from the University of Guelph and an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.