Good morning EUROAVIAns, today we talk about… flight simulators!
To become a pilot you have to fly a lot of hours but also to keep your licence alive you have to train and practice emergency manoeuvres which are so dangerous that you can’t just fly and try it with a real plane: it’s only possible to train them with a simulator.
Moreover, since flight training fees are very expensive, pilots are happy to fly as much as possible with the simulator in order to reduce the investment necessary to become a pilot, for which a lot of people are forced to open a loan in a bank!
As a result, simulators have become a very important part in pilot’s training, but how do they work? How much realism can them provide?
First, it’s necessary to specify that they are divided in categories, differentiating them by the level of realism.
The main difference between simulators are the degrees of freedom: the cheapest cannot move, the most modern and expensive have 6 degrees of freedom: they are made of a solid base connected to actuators, which make them translate and rotate.
The other important characteristic that makes a great difference is the range of aeroplanes supported: form single engine pistons to A380, data of the planes are stored in a database, so they allow to modify simulation in order to make it as realistic as possible. Maybe it’s interesting to make out that not only the computer has to be set, but also the cabin is to be modified to represent the plane selected properly, so technicians remove or add flight instruments to the cabin, according to the complexity required. Nowadays it is also possible to change the instrument layout by software because they are reproduced through touchscreen displays.
Simulators can include the possibility of producing smoke in the cockpit, vibrations of the stick and of the seat, you can simulate the eventuality of latent threats which improve skill piloting a lot!
To conclude, if you are interested in taking a pilot’s licence, prepare yourself to endure hours and hours of stressful and complicated simulation carried out thanks to very technological machines!