Empowering Flight Instructors with Extended Reality Authoring Toolkit

Extended reality (XR) based training effectively enables trainers to utilize 3D animated visualizations, enhancing the understanding of complex concepts. This approach extends its advantage into aviation weather education. A major challenge, however, lies in the reluctance of instructors to adopt technology due to their limited digital expertise. This hesitation creates a significant barrier to integrating XR into educational methods and practices. The complexity of XR authoring tools, which often require programming skills for detailed motion control, contributes significantly to this issue.


To address this, Iowa State University (ISU) and Western Michigan University (WMU) are collaborating to develop a novel XR authoring toolkit. Tailored for aviation weather training, this toolkit is designed to be user-friendly for flight instructors, regardless of their level of computer proficiency. Specifically, the authoring toolkit can be utilized for scenario-based training activities, complementing traditional teaching methods such as textbooks. This integration allows for a more immersive and interactive learning experience, enabling instructors to create realistic weather scenarios from which students can navigate and learn.


The anticipated outcome of this research is to facilitate a shift from technology-driven to content-driven development, empowering flight instructors to effectively engage with scenario elements in aviation weather training. By bridging the gap between technological complexity and user-friendliness, this toolkit and its development framework would have the potential to significantly enhance the way aviation weather education is delivered.

circular logo for the federal aviation administration
Pegasus logo with the letters PEGASAS and an airplane


Dr. Eliot Winer (ISU)

Prof. Lori Brown (WMU)

Dr. Geoff Whitehurst (WMU)

Jiwon Kim

PhD Student in Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering