CSE498, Collaborative Design, Spring 2020
Computer Science and Engineering
Michigan State University

United Airlines is one of the world’s largest airline companies. Headquartered in Chicago, United operates 4,900 flights a day from 362 airports worldwide.

Prior to each of these flights, technicians perform an aircraft walkaround to identify potential defects and issues with the aircraft. Training for this task is mainly done on the job, with little control over the types of defects or issues that can be demonstrated.

Our Virtual Reality Aircraft Walkaround software mitigates this problem by allowing technicians to be trained through virtual reality simulations on iPads and Oculus Quest headsets.

Virtual Reality Aircraft Walkaround features both user training and testing modes. In training mode, the technician performs a guided walkaround in virtual reality. Defects appear on the aircraft with popup boxes that display information about what the technician should look for in that location.

In testing mode, the technician spots and marks defects in an unassisted walkaround. After the technician completes the walkaround, a report that provides a summary of the technician’s performance is generated. The report is saved for instructors to assess a user’s progress. The technician is given the opportunity to return to the aircraft and review any mistakes.

A variety of aircraft models are available for both training mode and testing mode walkarounds. Each aircraft has a number of preset scenarios with predetermined defects. In testing mode, the technician may also choose a randomized scenario that spawns different defects on the aircraft each time.

Our software allows United Airlines to train technicians quickly, effectively, and cheaply.

Our software is developed with the Unity game engine. Scripts are written in C#, and the reports are saved using Unity Analytics. The software is available on both the iPad and the Oculus Quest.