F-35 Lightning II JSF

The US Air Force’s (USAF) Academic Training Center (ATC) is using the DiSTI-built aircraft systems maintenance trainer (ASMT) to train 33rd Fighter Wing pilots on the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, US.

DiSTI was selected by AAI Services to jointly develop the ASMT under a contract awarded by the aircraft manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, to provide ATC with an innovative training method, besides enhancing student throughput prior to the aircraft being fielded.

Lockheed Martin weapons instructor, Brian Vohl, said: "The desktop trainers such as the aircraft systems maintenance trainer, requires each student to follow the procedures of checking out virtual tools, reading the maintenance checklist, and individually performing each task."

DiSTI president, Joe Swinsk, added: "It produces highly realistic virtual training, reduces development time and costs, and gives the students a way to become familiar with the aircraft before they lay their hands on one for the first time."

The ASMT offers highly-realistic simulated training for student maintainers on ground operation, maintenance, fault isolation, and testing procedures in an interactive three dimensional virtual aircraft environment.

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The simulator features 12 student stations and one instructor operator station, which provides real-time status of all student activities, enabling instructors to effectively monitor a large number of students, increasing training throughput and quality.

As a subcontractor, the company accelerated the conversion of Lockheed-provided computer aided design data to produce a high-fidelity and interactive virtual maintenance environment for the ASMT.

33rd FW Commander Colonel, Andrew Toth, said: "This is hugely significant for all services because we are getting our maintainers prepped for when we are fully stood up for F-35 training in the near future."

Following delivery to the ATC, the trainer has helped maintenance students gain their first certificate of completion in the F-35’s basic familiarisation courses for structures, avionics, weapons and crew chief career fields at Eglin AFB.

Image: USAF’s first F-35 Lightning II JSF aircraft on its way to Eglin Air Force Base. Photo: courtesy of Staff Sgt Joely Santiago, US Air Force.