KC-135 Boom Operator Partial Task Trainers (BOPTT)


Project Overview: The US Air Force uses only two KC-135 boom operator trainers to support all their boom operators. Originally developed in 1978, these two trainers received a visual system upgrade in 1990. Even with this system upgrade, the aged technology impacted the trainers’ effectiveness and reliability. In addition, one of the two trainers was out of service due to a combination of outdated technology, unreliable performance, and age. These circumstances put a tremendous amount of pressure on the fragile, remaining trainer supporting the Air Force’s entire worldwide boom operator training needs. ACME’s upgrade gave new life to these legacy trainers.

ACME SolidWorks™ Rendering of  KC-135 Air Refueling Boom Operator Trainer

ACME SolidWorks™ Rendering of
KC-135 Air Refueling Boom Operator Trainer

Upgrade Details: ACME accomplished a supportability upgrade to the two trainers that increased reliability and sustainability while also increasing training realism. The modification incorporated cutting-edge image generation and control loading technologies into the existing BOT structure.

KC-135 BOPTT Refueling fighter aircraft with Boom

KC-135 BOPTT Refueling fighter aircraft with Boom

The modification also featured:

Replacing the existing Encore host computer, then re-hosting the trainer aerodynamic code on a new PC-based host computer

Developing a new graphical user interfaced instructor operator station

Replacing the single channel visual system with a new PC-based image generator and rear projection screen display system

Developing a two channel, electric control loading system to provide force feedback for the ruddevator (boom control stick)

Replacing the aural cueing system and installing a digital intercom system that matches the aircraft configuration

KC-135 Air Refueling Boom Operator Trainer in Use

KC-135 Air Refueling Boom Operator Trainer in Use

Completely refurbishing the student station while simultaneously replacing all trainer instrumentation, signal input/outputs (I/O), wiring, and cabling

The trainer revitalization followed the USAF goal to optimize training efforts that produce highly skilled operators, a priceless force multiplier in this era of limited resources and extensive weapon system life extensions.

ACME Services Used: Mechanical Engineering, Software Engineering, Systems Engineering, Web Design Analysis Consulting, Fabrication, Technical Documentation, Technical Teams.