Vance AFB, Okla., is the first base to receive the Virtual Image Takeoff and Landing XI, a new high definition flight simulation program for joint specialized undergraduate pilot training students, according to an Oct. 23 release. Students at Vance will begin using the new simulators on Oct. 27. The new system isn’t full motion but does “give students a more realistic feeling of motion due to [the] domed screens,” states the release. “T-6 students will receive much better training with this upgrade,” said Lt. Col. Joseph Roche, a 5th Flying Training Squadron instructor pilot and simulator instructor. The upgrade is “a giant step into the 21st century,” added Roche. The new simulators provide “much improved capabilities like undated terrain elevation cuts, which allow more realistic and peripheral visual cues,” Roche said, and more accurate airport cues, like beacon lights, approach lights, and taxiway configurations. Realistic conflicts, like multiple aircraft, adverse weather, and environmental conditions, also are more easily incorporated into training scenarios with the new technology, states the release.
While some of the Air Force's newly announced changes will happen quickly, it may take most of Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin's tenure in the job to accomplish the rest, he said in a Brookings Institution event Feb. 28.