The virtual Navy


Huntington Ingalls Industries must have made a Best Buy run before they set up their stall at the Navy League’s Sea Air Space Exposition. Exhibitors use all sorts of displays to show off their goodies, but HII’s came complete with video games and a huge 3-D television, which would make  teenage boys everywhere incredibly jealous … at least if they came here.

The video game ran on an X-Box but it wasn’t getting much attention, maybe because the objective was to fight fires on a flight deck. It’s just not quite the same as “Call of Duty.”

Nearby was a projection of one of the pump rooms for Gerald R. Ford, the first ship in the next class of nuclear aircraft carriers. A half dozen people donning heavy 3-D glasses gathered around and looked at the computer-generated pictures of color-coded pipes and pumps.

As the company representative said, the 3-D module lets people involved with the design, construction and maintenance of Ford see exactly where everything is positioned, what can be improved and how personnel can move around “with only a few getting motion sickness.”

As of 10:30 a.m. nobody seemed to need any dramamine.

While HII had 3-D technology and video games, Boeing had a Super Hornet simulator. A few people were waiting to take the front seat but nobody was interested in sitting in the back to play virtual flight officer.


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