Modern computers now have incredible computing power allowing spectacular full motion graphics. If you’ve ever thought of using flight simulators, high-quality flight simulation is possible now with a good computer, not too much money, and some basic computer skills.
There is nothing like flying the real airplane, but an airplane flight simulator provides a fun and practical resource to expand your knowledge of flying. Virtual aviation allows you to fly whenever and wherever you want.
Flight simulators now provide realistic situations that can help everybody become better pilots, from the ultralight to the corporate jet. For all pilots, the experience of operating the flight controls, trim, flaps, throttle, while watching the airspeed, rate of climb, altitude, attitude and outside references provide great understanding for the fundamentals of flight. It is amazing how good the simulator represents the real airplane and how it flies.
Just as important, or some say more important, are the “procedures” you can learn out of the cockpit without the hobbs meter running racking up expensive airplane time. Procedures such as of finding/utilizing/inputting airport frequencies/data, following checklists, learning navigation/GPS systems, practicing cross country flights, transitioning to glass cockpits, the list goes on. It is better to be learning this in a non-stress environment at less cost per hour. Simulator flight training will produce better pilots at the same cost if properly utilized. Optimizing flight simulation as can reduce the cost of flight training.
It should be noted that flight simulators are used by many professional pilots for official FAA dual flight training. The flight simulators are very similar. It is typically the hardware and hardware interface is what separate both Flight Simulator X and X-Plane from the expensive professional models that can legally log training time on. Private pilots can get up to 5 hours of official dual flight training time in a properly rated flight simulator or “Flight Training Device” (FTD) as the FAA calls it. FAA approval of a flight training device is simply the software matched to the hardware with a realistic representation of the operations and flight characteristics to the real airplane.
Here we will provide guidence on seting up a flight simulator training program for you and provide an unbiased comparison of the available programs, hardware and aircraft available.
This will allow you to use the flight simulator as a supplement to your training in a real airplane or go through the training program with the flight simulator only as a virtual aviator.