In-Flight Refueling VR

Experience mid-air refueling at 30,000 feet in an immersive VR challenge, augmented by physical joysticks and rumble seats.


U.S. Air Force


  • GSD&M
  • VR
  • 4D
  • Experiential
  • Unity

Project Overview

The Brief

Design and develop a thrilling VR experience for a first-hand look at the role of In-Flight Refueling Specialists.

Enable visitors to "The Hangar" mobile tour to close out their time at the footprint with a final, cutting edge experience that realizes the potential of the latest VR technology, and demonstrates one of the Air Force's most compelling careers.


Our Approach

To accurately bring mid-air refueling procedures to life, we stepped through a training mission step-by-step, with active USAF boom operators at Cannon Air Force base, New Mexico.

With a deep, first-hand understanding of their responsibilities, we streamlined a gamified version that lets players maneuver their own virtual boom machinery across three flagship aircraft in visually striking environments.


Leveraging the Meta Quest 2 headset, Leap Motion hand-tracking and physical joysticks and throttles, we designed custom pods to match the unique real-world positioning of Refueling Specialists.

Radio communication, directions and feedback recorded with real-life Airmen helps guide players while a rumble pack beneath their seats offers vibrational corrections to pair with headset HUD displays.

Advanced aircraft — an F-35, B-2 and C-17 — require increasingly skillful adjustments as visitors progress through each stage of the experience.

On Tour

Take control of unique Air Force role.

Visitors to The Hangar tour nationwide are able to experience the unique demands of a USAF In-Flight Refueling Specialist hands-on, in 360° as they take in the control panels, throttles and dynamic locations of three stages of play.

Suit up and strap in to this immersive 3D environment to find out what it takes to keep the U.S. Air Force ready at 30,000 feet.

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