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Nellis AFB, Nev., opens pilots' virtual training center
by Ed Adamczyk
Washington DC (UPI) Aug 24, 2020

A training center enabling pilot training in both live and virtual environments opened at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., the Air Force announced on Monday.

The Virtual Test and Training Center, ceremonially opened last week, will "house the future of joint aerial combat training," an Air Force statement said.

The Center's first missions will be conducted in early 2021, when it will become a squadron assigned to the Nevada Test and Training Range, one of two military training areas at the base.

The capabilities of the VTTC will include platform-specific counterterrorism and live-fire exercises, as well as incorporation of multi-domain and near-peer threats across air, space and cyber domains, Col. Dean Caldwell, director of the USAF Warfare Center, said in the statement.

Since live and virtual training environments will be connected, the need for numerous aircraft and crew to arrive at a singular location will be reduced, lowering costs.

"The VTTC is a great complementary piece to live-fly sorties," said Peter Zupas, USAF Warfare Center analyst. "It will allow personnel to increase the number of sorties that otherwise wouldn't be regularly available to them in live-fly. However, simulators are no substitute for live-fly operations."

The Air Force regards the use of advanced virtual simulators as a cost-effective and crucial element in pilot training. In July it announced plans to adopt a virtual reality trainer for B-52 Stratofortress pilots.

Also in July, Lockheed Martin announced that it linked communications between F-35, F-22, F-16 and E3 airborne warning planes in a simulated environment

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New Flight Simulator game takes off with French studio in cockpit
Bordeaux (AFP) Aug 18, 2020
Many aircraft are still grounded due to the coronavirus pandemic, but would-be and real pilots took to the virtual skies on Tuesday with a cutting-edge update of Microsoft's venerable Flight Simulator game. The bestselling title dates all the way back to 1982 - when home computers had less processing power than a graphics card today - and Microsoft tasked French developers Asobo Studio with giving it the first overhaul since 2006. Two of Asobo's co-founders even took flying lessons over the pa ... read more

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