Assessing benefits and costs of alternative aircrew training simulators for the C-17 military transport

by William Stanley

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At the request of the U.S. Air Force, The RAND Corporation examined the benefits and costs of incorporating motion systems in C-17 flight simulators and suggested a general framework for assessing simulator motion requirements. The analysis screened alternatives to identify potentially attractive motion devices, constructed alternative simulator cases with only the motion devices varying from one case to another, assessed important benefits and costs, and used a "scorecard" method to compare benefits and costs. The cases ranged from a simulator using a six-degree-of-freedom motion platform to one with no motion. The costs of motion platforms appear warranted when measured against likely benefits. The study results are assisting in the development of simulator motion requirements for the C-17 and other new systems. The analysis framework permitted the multidisciplinary study team to effectively integrate and present a mix of qualitative and quantitative results.

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