Flight simulation software

Simple simulation software running on a PC offers the user entertainment and practice in simple controls and navigation.

Man using a flight simulator

A real-life flight simulator - used for training pilots - is far more sophisticated, and is very expensive.

The pilot sits inside a specially designed cockpit on hydraulically controlled struts which move the cockpit to give the feel of the pitch and roll of a real plane. Sensors detect the actions of the pilot and move the cockpit accordingly. The view from the cockpit window is replaced with computer generated images.

Flight simulators give trainee pilots experience of:

  • different flying conditions, eg poor weather, night flying
  • emergency situations, eg frozen runways, fog, engine failure
  • landing procedures and how they differ from airport to airport

Flight simulators are safe and cost effective too. No fuel is needed and there's no crew to pay, any damage to the plane is simulated, and the pilot is never at risk.