Japan's Boeing 767 tanker (photo : JASDF)
ST. LOUIS -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] and development teammate ACME Worldwide Enterprises delivered the first Remote Aerial Refueling Operator (RARO) Trainer to the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) on Oct. 12.The RARO II trainer supports the Boeing KC-767J Tanker aircraft by simulating the revolutionary system that allows boom operators to refuel aircraft while sitting near the tanker cockpit at a console outfitted with an array of cameras and remote controls. Older tankers require boom operators to maneuver the boom while looking out the back of the tanker, through a window, at the receiving aircraft.
The JASDF's first three KC-767J aerial refueling tankers -- all featuring Boeing's advanced aerial refueling boom and RARO II system -- achieved Initial Operational Capability earlier this year and have been placed in an active air wing. A fourth tanker is scheduled for delivery in early 2010.
"Even with the superior advantages of the RARO II system, aerial refueling is a complex task that requires intense attention to minute details," said Mark McGraw, Boeing vice president, Training Systems and Services. "This trainer simulates the real-world environment with high-fidelity receiver aircraft models and a wide range of weather conditions, aircrew skill levels and potential malfunctions. The realism of this device allows our customer to save the operational and environmental costs associated with training in actual aircraft."
The trainer fully replicates the KC-767J RARO II station, controls, instruments and digital cameras, and provides high-fidelity images of the tanker's lower fuselage, the refueling boom, and the receiver aircraft. This system fully replicates the day, night and near-infrared views from the KC-767J's camera arrays to enhance depth perception and provide pinpoint control.
Additional RARO II capabilities replicated in the trainer include fuel system displays and fault recording, advancing the device's training capability beyond refueling connections alone.
The software for the RARO II trainer is designed to eventually support Distributed Mission Operations so that the trainer can interact with tanker and receiver trainers being piloted by other students or instructors, directly and in real time.
Since 1994, ACME Worldwide Enterprises Inc. has met customers' simulator and training needs with complete engineering services, training system logistics support, and a range of innovative products. ACME offers unparalleled expertise with air to air refueling trainers and has developed several innovative products including the Gun Active Recoil (GAR®) system that provides simulated weapon recoil and targeting for aircraft door gunner and armed military vehicle trainers, and our state-of-the-art, True Q® Dynamic Motion Seats for aircraft, watercraft and many other vehicle simulators.