Whilst these conceptual aircraft of the future will undoubtedly share many of the stealth and other technologies of fifth-generation aircraft like the F-35, their evermore complex sensor, communication and weapons systems are certain to place even greater demands on the pilot, making training those pilots even more challenging.
The US, UK, France, Germany, Japan, China and Russia have already announced the development of a sixth-generation aircraft program.
In order to manage increasing amounts of data at the same time as flying the aircraft, sixth-generation pilots are set to become increasingly interoperable with the aircraft itself. The integration between human and machine will be one of the dominant features in sixth-generation fighter jet development.
Tim Davies, AERALIS strategy director, commented, "Whilst concepts and designs for the next generation of combat aircraft are still being formulated, debated and tested, the AERALIS Training System is leading the way in putting the pilot first and maximising his or her ability to fly and operate increasingly complex aircraft in preparation for the next evolution in combat aircraft system design."
Much of the required skills can be learnt in a benign classroom or simulator environment, but the AERALIS training aircraft will enable trainee pilots to bring all the elements together – receiving, interpreting and reporting information while flying in possibly poor weather conditions or over difficult terrain.
By incorporating in-cockpit monitoring tools that can track eye movements and measure stress levels in a number of different ways, AERALIS will be able not only to facilitate the training of individual pilots but also build an anonymised database that will significantly enhance the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of future pilot training programs.
AERALIS is a recently formed British company developing a new class of military and aerobatic jet trainer aircraft that will be leased as part of a complete pilot training system.
Adopting a unique modular concept built around a common, long-life fuselage, the AERALIS suite of jet trainers will be fully customisable in terms of engines, outer wings and avionics, enabling end-users to configure their fleet of training aircraft to match the precise needs of their trainee pilots at any point in time – from basic through to lead-in fighter training.
The AERALIS pilot training system will be delivered by instructors who have a full understanding of the technical, physiological and psychological stresses that pilots will be required to manage as sixth-generation fighter aircraft develop.
AERALIS has already built its own highly experienced team and is currently working with a number of leading aerospace and defence industry partners to refine and deliver its inclusive offer, which is set to significantly reduce the present cost of training fighter jet pilots.