LWN: Sharing the Dream of Flight

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
  • Transitioning pilots to a new aircraft (especially single
  • Researching how a new aircraft will handle, before it’s
  • Designing cockpit layouts for practicality and ease-of-use
  • Practicing formation maneuvering and dog-fighting
  • 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….”


Get the Free Newsletter!

Subscribe to Developer Insider for top news, trends, & analysis