The Realism of Flight Simulator Software

VFR at night

The realism of flight simulator software has evolved in proportion to the hadrware, processing power, and software of our computers. Flight sims have been around for almost as long as the personal computer.  Flight simulator software has always been a best seller over the past few decades.

It was the idea that there might be a realistic alternative to actual flying that first attracted me to PCs. I was learning to fly in the 1980s but I didn’t have enough money to fly as often as I’d like.

To have a very realistic flight simulator on a powerful home PC seemed a great idea.  However, it was to be a long time before the software and the processing power evolved into something satisfactory let alone a package that was truly impressive.

The evolution from the first attempts to the visual, auditory, and process realism of today’s flight sims are demonstrated in this video  (it’s over 30 minutes long so you might want to scroll through it for glimpses).

Perhaps you can remember those early versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator.  At first they seemed poor subsitutes for a real cockpit and instrument panel.  As the years passed they began to take on a depth of realism that has evolved into something very close to the real thing.

The Realism of Flight Simulator Software

Today, realism is everything.  Real pilots who want practice on light aircraft and aviation enthusiasts who want to fly airliners demand accuracy.  They want total immersion in the experience.

Combat flight sims have always been popular but as the realism has improved the demand for civil aviation simulators has increased as well.

Today you can fly an airliner from startup to shutdown and select every button for every task, just as the air crew would do in real flight.  Perhaps some of those flight sim enthusiast daydream of being asked to assist with any emergency that results in the air crew being incapacitated!

Cockpit of an airliner - Realism of Flight Simulator Software

The Virtual Cockpit

The idea of a passenger being able to land an airliner in an emergency has often been the subject of debate among pilots and aviation writers.  As the realism in affordable flight simulators improves it can only add more fuel to the fire.

Today’s flight sims contain fully functioning instrument panels to the front, overhead, and to either side.  You can turn and select buttons and turn dials.  The instruments give clear and accurate information based on your flight parameters.

For some years now it’s been possible to select the time of day, weather, and random flight emergencies as well as dozens of aircraft types.  Given the amount of locations and terrain available it is not possible to live long enough to try every combination available.

What’s Next?

It seems likely that the next generation of flight sim developers will exploit the potential of virtual reality.  Surely there can be no greater fully immersive experience.

As well as, and perhaps in conjunction with VR, there is likely to be more advances in the feeback from the control columns and pilot seats.

So, whether you’re a pilot who is unable to fly due to bad weather or an enthusiasts looking for the next best thing, there is plenty of scope for exercises and enjoyment in the world of flight simulator software.

The Realism of Flight Simulator Software : The Future

The limitiations of flights sims used to be the fact that, no matter how realistic the graphics displayed on the screen nor the sounds coming out of the speakers, the pilot couldn’t feel the sensations of flight. Now that augmented and artificial reality has now found its way into the world of flight sims it’s possible to experience the physical sensations both by using cockpit seats that move in response to the aircraft’s movements and by fooling the mind using virtual reality goggles.

Bestseller No. 1
X-Plane 11 and Aerosoft Airport Collection PC DVD
  • New UI and control set up with added hardware pre-sets
  • Physically Based Rendering engine for considerably enhanced lighting and water effects
  • New city sceneries from Europe and North America
  • Upgraded roads and global scenery from new Open Street Map material
  • Interactive flight school tutorial is now based in the X-Plane simulation for an easy introduction to flying
Bestseller No. 2
Flight Simulator X-Plane 11 (Mac/PC)
  • Brand new user interface and controls setup.
  • New aircraft with 3D cockpits plus detailed documentation.
  • Now with over 3,000 airports with 3D buildings.
  • Airports populated with static aircraft plus dynamic airport environments.
  • New rendering engine for enhanced lighting and water effects.
Bestseller No. 3
1 x 11oz (284ml) White Ceramic Mug Cup & 1 x Square Wooden Cork Coaster - BW - Sunset Spitfire Air Force Plane Design for Coffee Tea Drinks Kitchen Birthday Office #36452
  • SET OF 1 MUG & 1 SQUARE COASTER - If you're looking for a BW - Sunset Spitfire Air Force Plane gift, then look no further. This matching set is an ideal and unique gift for friends, family and work colleagues. Each item is made in the same style and look great in a set.
  • ONLY TOP-QUALITY MUGS and inks are used to produce vibrant, brilliant colors that will not fade or scratch. We apply ink at a temperature of + 400 degrees Fahrenheit to make the art resistant to dishwashers and hot drinks. All colors that you see on the listing are real and we try our best to provide you the same colorful image on your item, but sometimes few colors may vary a bit due to different monitors in use.
  • 1 X SQUARE COASTER standard size (9cm x 9cm x 0.5 cm) perfect for any glass, mug or cup size. Having tea? a cheeky beer? or your afternoon cocktail? Your coaster will compliment them all. Showcase your style with this unique set of drink coasters, in popular & modern designs that will enhance your home and uplift your mood. The coaster delivers highly saturated prints with high ink absorption rate and a wide colour gamut giving a true photographic quality print.
  • PERFECT GIFT FOR THAT SPECIAL PERSON IN YOUR LIFE TO CELEBRATE A SPECIAL OCCASION - for your friends, family, girlfriend, boyfriend, father, mother, kids or for any occasion such as Weddings, Birthdays, Parties or to accompany a gift for someone special! You can send this set to honour a special achievement or just to let them know you're thinking of them and make them feel even more loved.
  • ECO-FRIENDLY. WE REMAIN ECOLOGICALLY AWARE. All products are 100% top quality, and are stored in a smoke free climate-controlled environment. We use no nasty chemicals in making the printed items and we use environmentally friendly water-based coatings. Our waste is responsibly recycled. We use recyclable materials, including our shipping materials from print to post. DESIGNED, PRINTED & PACKAGED IN THE UK - fast postage in a high-quality smash proof mug box.

Give a Comment