KC-767J Japanese Boom Operator Trainer

ST. LOUIS, Nov. 6, 2009: Boeing [NYSE: BA] and development teammate ACME Worldwide Enterprises delivered the first Remote Aerial Refueling Operator (RARO) Trainer to the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) on Oct. 12.  The RARO II trainer supports the Boeing KC-767J Tanker aircraft by simulating the revolutionary system that allows boom operators to refuel aircraft while sitting near the tanker cockpit at a console outfitted with an array of cameras and remote controls. Older tankers require boom operators to maneuver the boom while looking out the back of the tanker, through a window, at the receiving aircraft.

Japanese KC-767 Tanker Boom Operator Trainer - RARO (Left) IOS Station (Right)

Japanese KC-767 Tanker Boom Operator Trainer – RARO (Left) IOS Station (Right)

The JASDF’s first three KC-767J aerial refueling tankers — all featuring Boeing’s advanced aerial refueling boom and RARO II system — achieved Initial Operational Capability earlier this year and have been placed in an active air wing. A fourth tanker is scheduled for delivery in early 2010.

“Even with the superior advantages of the RARO II system, aerial refueling is a complex task that requires intense attention to minute details,” said Mark McGraw, Boeing vice president, Training Systems and Services. “This trainer simulates the real-world environment with high-fidelity receiver aircraft models and a wide range of weather conditions, aircrew skill levels and potential malfunctions. The realism of this device allows our customer to save the operational and environmental costs associated with training in actual aircraft.”

Japanese Boeing KC-767 Tanker for Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF)

Japanese Boeing KC-767 Tanker for Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF)

The trainer fully replicates the KC-767J RARO II station, controls, instruments and digital cameras, and provides high-fidelity images of the tanker’s lower fuselage, the refueling boom, and the receiver aircraft. This system fully replicates the day, night and near-infrared views from the KC-767J’s camera arrays to enhance depth perception and provide pinpoint control.

Additional RARO II capabilities replicated in the trainer include fuel system displays and fault recording, advancing the device’s training capability beyond refueling connections alone.  The software for the RARO II trainer is designed to eventually support Distributed Mission Operations so that the trainer can interact with tanker and receiver trainers being piloted by other students or instructors, directly and in real time.

KC-767 Tanker Boom Operator Trainer IOS Station

KC-767 Tanker Boom Operator Trainer IOS Station

Since 1994, ACME Worldwide Enterprises Inc. has met customers’ simulator and training needs with complete engineering services, training system logistics support, and a range of innovative products. ACME offers unparalleled expertise with air to air refueling trainers and has developed several innovative products including the Gun Active Recoil (GAR®) system that provides simulated weapon recoil and targeting for aircraft door gunner and armed military vehicle trainers, and our state-of-the-art, True Q® Dynamic Motion Seats for aircraft, watercraft and many other vehicle simulators.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world’s largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.

Japanese KC-767 Tanker IOS Page with 3 Camera Views

Japanese KC-767 Tanker IOS Page with 3 Camera Views

Contact:  Alison Sheridan, Boeing Media Relations, 314-232-8187, alison.sheridan@boeing.com

Project Details: ACME has delivered the world’s first operational Remote Air Refueling Operator trainer to the Japan Air Self Defense Force. The new trainer supports the KC-767J tanker aircraft that features the revolutionary remote air refueling system that replaces traditional glass windows and direct views with an array of sophisticated cameras. The new, ‘JBOT’ is a high-fidelity trainer that fully replicates the air refueling station, controls, instruments, and the digital cameras in the KC-767J tanker aircraft. ‘Boomers’ use the head-mounted display to receive three-dimensional imagery of the lower tanker fuselage, the refueling boom, and the receiver. The camera system maximizes depth perception and provides pinpoint control, critical features when just 40 feet of boom separate the tanker and receiver in flight.

The KC-767 JBOT trainer evolved from ACME’s long experience with air refueling trainers. In fact, ACME has designed, manufactured, upgraded or modified every KC-135 or KC-10 refueling trainer currently in the US Air Force inventory. We’ve taken that expertise and applied it to the KC-767 JBOT.

The project also featured:

  • Advanced receiver models with articulated parts and control surfaces, self-shadowing, animated crews photo-texturing, and operator-driven impacts such as antennas that can be knocked-off, scratchable surfaces, and breakable glass.
  • Instructor Operator Station (IOS) providing exceptional situational and trainee awareness and precision trainer control. The new ACME IOS includes full controls for individual receiver or formations of receivers, turbulence, time of day, weather, clouds, malfunctions, and easy scenario building and execution. The system also features full digital recording to support trainee feedback and scoring
  • Remote camera refueling systems with the full range of camera and environmental effects. The system also includes the advanced head-mounted display that provides the Air
  • Refueling Operator three-dimensional imagery to maximize depth and position awareness.
  • High-Fidelity Air Refueling Operator station including actual aircraft seats, controls, instruments, and oxygen masks to maximize realism and support all aircraft-specific training tasks. Training dynamics are covered from normal to emergency procedures.


ACME Services Used: Mechanical Engineering, Software Engineering, Systems Engineering, Fabrication, Technical Documentation, Installation & Training.