The Flight Simulator Equipment











The flight simulators used in the Flight Sim Pilot Program are custom-built computer systems designed for maximum performance for a minimal cost..  A common misconception is that any computer will suffice to run the flight simulation program.  The truth is that real-time simulation requires a great deal of computer resources.  If the processing speeds are not adequate, the simulation will move slowly and in many cases freeze the computers.  A single computer that freezes during a class session with 20 or more students means that one student cannot proceed with his work. If more than one malfunctions, a serious break in the flow of the session can occur.  If the instructor is forced to deal with the malfunctioning equipment, during a busy session, his attention cannot be with the students where it is needed. FSPP instructors are well versed in the simulator software but may have little experience or time to repair computers that cannot handle the workload.  For the program and the simulators to run smoothly a well-designed flight simulator is of utmost importance.

The Flight Sim pilot Program uses Microsoft's Flight Simulator 2004, which requires a great deal of computing power to create accurate scenery, whether, and cockpit graphics. Individual copies of Flight Simulator 2004 are purchased and are supplied with each simulator.  The more accurate and detailed the scenery, the slower the program runs with a slow computer..  When students are learning to navigate, accurate scenery is a must.  The screen graphics must be updated very rapidly (at least 30 frames per sec.) when the aircraft is close to the ground, as when landing. Control inputs must be registered and responded to by the computer quickly and accurately in order to create a realistic flying experience. Clouds, for instance, if they are drawn in full 3-D detail can slow the computer down by as much as 50% or more. The program allows for the adjustment of a variety of parameters, which can affect the speed of the computer. The better the simulator, the more graphics and detail can be used. For these reasons I strongly recommend contacting our own Flight Sim designer and builder, Mr. Martel Bush. He has currently built over forty systems currently being used in teaching the sim program. Extensive experience in the area of computer simulation has enabled him to supply the right machinery for the job. The price of these systems varies depending on the types of components the sim comes with. Yokes, pedals, flat screen monitors, faster processors, networking and hardware choices all affect the price of the system. Something important to keep in mind however is that equipment costs are only incurred once. The systems can be in place for many years with a very minimal maintenance cost serving thousands of students who use them every day for many years. In the long run, the simulator cost is small, given how many students can learn to fly on them.

For more information on the simulator and setting up a sim lab, contact Mr. Martel Bush at: 

Simulator Screen Shots