Spare the Rod, Fly the Sim

Aircrew aboard a C-17 simulator successfully “refueled” for the first time from a KC-135 simulator, which was crewed several states away thanks to experimental software developed by Northrop Grumman, the company announced Dec. 2. “This feat affirms that we can master the simulation of ‘the last 50 feet’ of aerial refueling, which is a fundamental and unique capability of our mobility Air Forces and a linchpin to joint power projection at intercontinental distances,” said Col. Peter Eide, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center head of simulations at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. Engineers linked a C-17 simulator in Texas, a KC-135 cockpit in Florida, and a boom-operator’s station in Oklahoma for the real-time demonstration using the Air Force’s Distributed Mission Operations test network in late October, according to the December release. “This sets the stage for modifications to our simulators with a potential savings of up to $66 million annually with the movement of additional training from live fly to the simulators,” Air Mobility Command’s distributed missions operations chief Sean Carey added.