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LWN: Sharing the Dream of Flight

Oct 22, 2000, 20:19 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Alexander Perry)

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"The FlightGear project is collaboratively developing a flight simulator under the leadership of Curtis Olson."

"From the dawn of aviation, early pioneers understood the need for flight simulation. Even as early as 1910, simulators were being used as a tool to reduce new pilot death on their first flight. The technologies available have improved over the decades and these have been applied to flight simulation. Simulators can now be so realistic that there is no benefit in using a real airplane. Although a high end simulator usually costs more than a real plane on a per hour basis to buy and maintain, they still are cost-effectively used:

  • Teaching new pilots to fly on instruments, or learn the basic operations and feel of a plane.
  • Enhancing pilot teamwork skills, to work together effectively
  • Transitioning pilots to a new aircraft (especially single seat!)
  • Researching how a new aircraft will handle, before it's built
  • Designing cockpit layouts for practicality and ease-of-use
  • Practicing formation maneuvering and dog-fighting techniques
  • Reviewing emergency procedures and recovery sequences"
"FlightGear aims to do things right, but we don't have an exact mechanical copy of a specific cockpit, a wraparound display, or that huge motion system. Omitting all that stuff knocks two or three zeros from the price of your simulator installation. Although the core project doesn't have those neat things yet, there are groups all over the place who are working to change that...."

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