Try out RAF SkyTech Augmented Reality Screens at Insomnia 55

Insomnia Gaming Festival announced that the RAF will be present at Insomnia 55 and demonstrate some of their really cool technology. At Insomnia 55 you’ll be able to try out the RAF’s augmented reality screens and play a campaign challenge with five missions to complete.

For those who don’t know who RAF is, they are the Royal Air Force and is United Kingdom’s aerial warfare force. They were founded towards the end of World War One on the first of April 1918 and is thereby the oldest independent air force in the world.

This is without a doubt a clever recruiting trip for the RAF, but at the same time it gives normal gamers the ability to try out some of the really advanced training gear that the RAF has at their disposal. Gamers have trained themselves to react in split seconds while they distinguish between friend and foe. They got endurance for long sessions without breaks and have a visual recognition for detail that most other people don’t have. As such it’s just natural for the RAF to take a peek  at Insomnia for new talent. A win-win situation in my opinion.

Will you be heading to Insomnia 55 and if so, will you be trying out the RAF SkyTech?

British Royal Air Force Shows Off Upgraded Chinook Helicopters


The British Royal Air Force (RAF) has invested £1 billion into upgrading its fighting fleet, and that includes purchasing 14 new CH-47 Mark 6 Chinook helicopters.  The RAF has received the first three helicopters from Boeing and training for the new helicopter is currently underway.

Boeing UK and the RAF want to see the Chinook work as a battlefield workhorse, and the twin-engine, tandem rotor aircraft will serve as a valuable tool to resupply ground troops, transportation and logistics.

The helicopters have forward-looking infrared radar (FLIR), defensive systems, and a monolithic airframe designed specifically for the UK.  The digital flight control system will also allow the helicopter to operate better in dusty and otherwise turbulent environments.

Here is what Air Chief Marshal Pulford noted in a statement:

“Chinook has proved itself time and again on operations, most recently in Afghanistan.  The new Mark 6 variant will ensure the Chinook fleet is able to continue to play a key role in future operations, wherever they may be.”

Purchasing military equipment is big business from private contractors, and the spending continues – the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan revealed the need for newer, more specialized aircraft and weaponry.  The RAF is expected to receive the remaining order of Chinook helicopters before the end of 2015.

Thank you to LiveScience for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of the U.S. Air Force

Royal Air Force To Use 3D Printed Parts For Their Tornado Jets

3D printed things have been the thing since 3D printers came out. There is no limit, except your imagination of course, to what you can make with them. This apparently is also the case for the Royal Air Force (R.A.F.) which started using 3D printed parts for their Tornado jets. And no, this is not a joke.

This move has saved the RAF £300,000 and is said that it could save them million of pounds in the next three years. The parts printed out span from protective covers for cockpit radios to support struts on the air intake door, and even protector guards for Power Take-off shafts. BAE Systems is the responsible for printing out the parts for the RAF.

Up until now, four squadrons of Tornado GR4 aircraft received the 3D upgrade and it is reported that many of the parts cost less than £100 to manufacture, leading to an estimate of £1.2 million in savings by 2017.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33wIEBb9yoU[/youtube]

“You can manufacture the products at whatever base you want, providing you can get a machine there. If it’s feasible to get machines out on the front line, it also gives improved capability where we wouldn’t traditionally have any manufacturing support.” said Mike Murry, HEad of Airframe Integration at BAE Systems.

Thank you T3 for providing us with this information
Image and video courtesy of T3

Wargaming Donates £75k For RAF Museum Education Centre

Wargaming, the online developers for the worldwide MMO game, World of Tanks, has announced it will be donating £75k to the RAF Museum in Cosford, Staffordshire.

The donation will be used to fund the building of a new education centre at the museum, as well as funding exhibitions at both the Cosford location and in London.

The RAF is currently restoring a Dornier 17 German bomber plane and those visiting the museum will be able to see the plane in action on their smartphones using augmented reality, as well as taking part in other interactive exhibits.

When asked why a gaming company should feel the need to sponsor a museum, Wargaming boss, Victor Kislyi said:

“Wargaming is passionate about military history, so we jumped at the opportunity to help be part of a truly historic endeavor.”

The benefits to the RAF Museum itself are obvious. It’s Director General, Peter Dye, beamed that the funding will allow it to tell an historical story in an innovative way whilst:

“Augmented reality, mobile applications and the use of user-generated content are new developments for the Museum and we are excited about exploring their possibilities.”

The funding announcement coincides with the beta-testing of Wargaming’s newest MMO game, World of Warplanes.

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