Wondering what flight simulators are? Well, they are a simulating or replicating system that makes you experience the flying of an aircraft as practically as possible. They are controlled by the state of the art technology and can range from video games to full-size cockpit replicas that are mounted on hydraulic actuators.
The flight simulators are abundantly used in the disaster simulation and aircraft development, aviation industry and in the military for training the pilots. The aerospace industry makes use of the engineering flight simulators for testing, developing and verifying the flight hardware, flight software and for the development of the modern cockpit displays.
If you are untrained, then powered flight might be dangerous for you. In the yesteryears, the options for new pilots were a simulator named ‘Sanders Teacher’, which was basically an aircraft mounted on a universal joint able to rotate freely. In 1910, there was another flight simulator, which had a part of the barrel mounted onto a hoop.
During the First World War, a lot of electro-mechanical devices came into being, of which the Link Trainer (1930) appeared to be the most popular. Initially it just triggered mechanical motions but later included instruments and was adopted by many countries during the Second World War.
The early full motion systems of the flight simulator used a real ground terrain model and flew a camera over it to capture the exact position of the aircraft. The pictures taken were then transmitted to the pilots on their TV screens. In this manner a limited portion of the ground could only be simulated. The military adopted a similar system to simulate the bombing raids. In the 1960s, digital cameras came to be used for flight simulation. The General Precision Inc. in 1954 developed a motion simulator within a metal framework housing a cockpit.
You will now find different categories of flight simulators ranging from simple system trainers to six degree of the freedom motion simulators to facilitate pilot training. The six degrees of freedom is actually the capacity of the simulator to recreate rotation and an axial moment on each of the three axes. The pilot now has the opportunity to feel the pitch, acceleration and deceleration, roll, yaw and heave.
The modern flight simulators are more adept in making you familiar with the flight crews both during emergency and normal operating procedures. The pilots are well trained in handling loss of flight control surfaces, loss of pressurization and total engine failures.
A full motion simulator will imitate all the motions and aspects of the aircraft and its environment. The simulators are also useful in research work concerning different aerospace subjects. Instructors make use of the facilities provided by the simulators. An abnormal condition can be easily created in the simulated aircraft, to make the crew get familiar with it and act accordingly.
Today’s aircrafts are full of complex computer-based devices and for their effective operation; the pilots would require a high level of piloting and technical skill. This is where you will find the flight simulators useful.