Japan Airlines rolling out HoloLens mixed reality training system for mechanics and flight crew trainees

Dave W. Shanahan

Microsoft, HoloLens

In a more in-depth look at the WPC 2016 announcements, Japan Airlines (JAL) looks to create a first-class experience for its customers and its employees too. JAL created two pilot programs using the Microsoft HoloLens to provide additional training for engine mechanics and for flight crew trainees looking to advance their careers to become co-pilots.

Koji Hayamizu, senior director for JAL’s Products & Service Administration Department, believes there are limitless applications.

“We believe that HoloLens can contribute to the safety of our business, which is the most important criteria for airlines. We believe HoloLens has advantages and potential. The more I learn, the more I believe that we can utilize the characteristics of HoloLens for the unprecedented customer experience, not just focusing on the internal purposes such as training.”


Previously, flight crew trainees relied on training manuals and videos to learn the vast layout of cockpit instrumentation panels and engine systems. Hayamizu believes the flight crews’ experiences using HoloLens will help change “trainees’ intellectual memory to muscle memory.”

Engine mechanics will have a detailed hologram in front of their eyes that will display engine components, cockpit devices, and dashboard switches that they can manipulate themselves, with visual and voice guidance provided through a HoloLens program.

According to Hayamizu, getting real-world, hands-on experience is tedious and often time-consuming just to schedule a time to work on an actual aircraft. JAL can cut down on the time it takes to train a mechanic and the mechanic can work in any environment, whenever they need to study.

While JAL is testing out these pilot programs, they have received positive feedback from teachers and JAL trainees. Sometime soon, Hayamizu believes it will be “possible for us to bring a whole aircraft into the classroom” with Microsoft HoloLens.