New ‘VR’ flight simulators join Hill’s F-35 fleet

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HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – Two new virtual reality F-35 simulators are currently under construction at Hill. The highly advanced systems are surrounded by an 11-foot-tall translucent dome, positioned in a blackened room to ensure pilots have a realistic sensory experience, while 25 projectors display a 365-degree image around them while in “flight.”

“The high-definition image is so realistic, pilots can feel like they’re moving even though their simulator cockpit is stationary,” said Nathan Hill, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Training Systems Manager for the simulators here.

The F-35 pilots assigned to Hill’s 388th and 419th Fighter Wings rely on simulator training to augment actual training sorties and spend 3-6 hours on the ground in virtual flight each month.

As software upgrades are added, the simulators will allow pilots to fly virtual war games with other pilots around the globe.

The new simulators will be completed this summer, bringing the total number at Hill to six.

The simulators are operated and maintained by 13 simulator pilots and technicians from Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems.

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