A flight simulator is a device that recreates aircraft flight and different aspects of the flight environment. Simulation can be used for a variety of reasons, such as flight training and research into aircraft characteristics. This specific type of simulation started before World War I. The first simulation device was to help pilots fly a plane called the Antoinette monoplane.

The earlier Wright designs used levers for pitch and roll control. The Antoinette monoplane was different used 2 wheels mounted left and right of the pilot, one for pitch and one for roll.

After World War I, during the 20s and 30s, the best-known early device to simulate flight was the Link Trainer. The Link Trainer was produced by Edwin Link in New York, USA. Link started building the Link Trainer in 1927. It was available for sale in 1929.

During World War II, the famous Link Trainer was used in War. About 10,000 Link Trainers were produced to train 500,000 new pilots from allied nations.

Visual systems were introduced during the "cold war". The early visual systems used a system called a "model board". The model board was illuminated by an array of fluorescent lights, and a mini camera was moved over the board in accordance with the pilot's control movements. In 1954, motion systems were introduced. In these systems, the cockpit was housed in a metal framework that provided 3 degrees of displacement in pitch, roll, and yaw.

In 1960, the idea of using digital computers for simulation was introduced. It became universal by the 1980s. At first, these were from specialist high-end computer manufacturers like IBM and Harris.

Now, I will get into video games using simulations. I'm sure you have been waiting for this. Video games using this simulation and all simulation, really, are called "Simulation video games". Simulation video games describe a super-category of video games. This super-category is designed to simulate aspects of real or fictional reality. Construction and Management Simulation is a type of game in which players build projects with limited resources. Life simulation games are a sub-genre of video games where the player lives or controls artificial lifeforms.


Before a Flight Simulation Training Device (FSTD) can be used for flight crew training or checking, it must be inspected by the local National Aviation Authority. The FSTD is tested against the Qualification Test Guide. Most flight simulators have Instructor Operating Stations. At the Instructor Operating Station, the instructor will create any normal or abnormal condition in the simulator. These conditions include engine fires, malfunctioning landing gear, storms, lightning, GPS failures, and countless other problems the crew needs to be familiar with and know how to deal with.

There are currently about 1280 Full Flight Simulators (FFS) working worldwide; 550 in the USA, 75 in the UK, 60 in China, 50 in Germany, 50 in Japan, 40 in France. There are more in Montreal; about 450.

Some notable FFS manufacturers include:

AXIS Flight Training Systems (Austria)
CAE Inc. (Canada)
FlightSafety International (USA)
Frasca International, Inc.
Havelsan (Turkey)
Indra Sistemas in Spain
L-3 Communications
Mechtronix Systems (Canada)
Rockwell Collins
Thales Training & Simulation (France and UK)

Flight simulation can be easy to learn at first. But there is more to flight simulation than you might know. Most people start with Microsoft Flight Simulator. There are beginner flight simulators. It all has to do with where you're at with it.

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