Research has been done on learning in virtual reality, as its immersive qualities may enhance learning. VR is used by trainers to provide learners with a virtual environment where they can develop their skills without the real-world consequences of failing. Thomas A. Furness III was one of the first to develop the use of VR for military training when, in 1982, he presented the Air Force with his first working model of a virtual flight simulator he called the Visually Coupled Airborne Systems Simulator (VCASS).
By the time he started his work on VCASS, aircraft were becoming increasingly complicated to handle and virtual reality provided a better solution to previous training methods. Furness attempted to incorporate his knowledge of human visual and auditory processing to create a virtual interface that was more intuitive to use. The second phase of his project, which he called the "Super Cockpit", was even more advanced, with high resolution graphics (for the time) and a responsive display. Furness is often credited as a pioneer in virtual reality for this research.
VR plays an important role in combat training for the military. It allows the recruits to train under a controlled environment where they are to respond to different types of combat situations. A fully immersive virtual reality that uses head-mounted display (HMD), data suits, data glove, and VR weapon are used to train for combat. This setup allows the training's reset time to be cut down, and allows more repetition in a shorter amount of time. The fully immersive training environment allows the soldiers to train through a wide variety of terrains, situations and scenarios.