A Bargain in Texas:

Sheppard Air Force Base, near Wichita Falls, Tex., teamed with the Southwest Research Institute to turn an old A-10 flight trainer into one that offers the latest A-10C model cockpit. The effort, which cost $200,000 and took six months, employs virtual reality to provide the “feel” of the C model to help train A-10 weapons and crew chiefs. Base journalist Victoria Brayton reports that the system employs the Generalized Operations Simulation Environment program. SRI senior research analyst Malachi Weirpts, says, “This is the first time a virtual environment has been combined with the constrained environment of an actual aircraft.” The old simulator still has the original basic A-10 cockpit, but students “see” the C model.