flight simulator

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flight simulator,

device providing a controlled environment in which a flight trainee can experience conditions approximating those of actual flight. A simulator generally consists of an enclosure housing a working replica of the interior of the cockpit of an aircraft. This replica has all the usual instruments and is mounted in such a way that it can be moved to simulate the rolling, pitching, and yawing motions of an aircraft. The instrument readings, the student's control inputs, the position of the simulator, information about the characteristics of the aircraft being simulated, and information about the terrain over which it is supposed to be flying are coordinated by a computer so that the student experiences everything but the accelerations of actual flight. In early simulators, all visual information was provided by the instruments. Thus the student received practice in flying blind. The recent use of sophisticated computers has made it possible to provide realistic video displays of conditions outside the cockpit.

flight simulator

[′flīt ‚sim·yə‚lād·ər]
(aerospace engineering)
A training device or apparatus that simulates certain conditions of actual flight or of flight operations.

flight simulator

A training device or apparatus that can simulate entire flight characteristics of any particular aircraft type. The simulator cockpit is an exact replica of the aircraft cockpit. The simulator is computer-driven. A facility is provided to project terrain, airfield layout, etc. to simulate conditions as realistically as possible. The actions taken by a pilot can be monitored from outside the simulator and recorded for a detailed debrief. Simulators can be used to train pilots in procedures, emergencies, and, in certain types, even air combat. It is possible for the instructor to simulate various in-flight emergencies from his or her control cabin outside the simulator cockpit.

flight simulator

Hardware and software that models the behavior of airplanes and spacecraft. Flying a plane can be simulated in a regular computer with flight simulator software; however, pilots and astronauts learn how to fly in full-scale systems that recreate the experience with extreme realism. See simulator.


Flight Simulator
Evans & Sutherland supplies the computer simulation for flight simulators used in commercial and military aircraft training. This 20' dome in the Netherlands has an actual cockpit inside. The simulated scenes are projected onto the dome, and the hydraulics move the unit. (Image courtesy of Evans & Sutherland Computer Corporation, www.es.com)







Military and Commercial Simulations
Military pilots are trained by simulating enemy aircraft. Commercial pilots are trained by simulating takeoffs and landings at major airports. (Images courtesy of Evans & Sutherland Computer Corporation.)


Military and Commercial Simulations
Military pilots are trained by simulating enemy aircraft. Commercial pilots are trained by simulating takeoffs and landings at major airports. (Images courtesy of Evans & Sutherland Computer Corporation.)







In a Gaming PC
In 2012, PC maker MAINGEAR introduced a very elaborate game controller for flight simulation on a Windows PC. With the monitor placed on top of the controller, you are flying the plane! For more information, visit www.maingear.com.
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