An innovation in personal computer-based flight simulation–a shared cockpit between two people flying their simulators in separate locations–is now available on the X-Plane simulator running the PilotEdge live ATC system. PilotEdge allows simulator fliers to interact with live controllers when flying in the southern California region.
Pilots who want to practice using FltPlan’s new FltPlanGo moving-map and charts app can do so using Laminar Research’s X-Plane flight-simulator program. FltPlanGo running on Apple iPads can show simulated own-ship position, and pilots can fly X-Plane while using FltPlanGo just as they would in a real aircraft. “It’s important for pilots who don’t fly often or those who have been away from flying to practice workflows and procedures,” said Sarah Wilson, principal/director of new technologies at FltPlan.
Shreveport, La.-based Metro Aviation (Booth No. 415), owner of the Helicopter Flight Training Center in Shreveport, announced at Heli-Expo that Air Medical Group Holdings (AMGH) is its launch customer for simulator training. AMGH and Metro signed a four-year training agreement using the EC135 level-D full-motion simulator as well as the AS350 and Bell 407 Level 7 flight training device.
Last year at Heli-Expo simulator manufacturer FlyIt Technology (Booth No. 2433) enlightened attendees about the advantages of flight simulation for helicopter training and proficiency. The display of FlyIt’s “Advanced Flight Motion System,” which replicates the feel of flying in a non-moving device, was a success. Deliveries began in July 2013, with simulators going to Russia, China, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Guatemala and Angola.
ProFlight founder Caleb Taylor believes that there are better ways to train pilots and he isn’t afraid to try new techniques to help new and existing CitationJet pilots learn how to fly safely. “Everyone trains to pass the checkride,” he said. “We don’t do it that way. We go into every aspect of flying this airplane.”
Flight operations specialist Francois Lassale brings up a good point in a recent issue of AINSafety, that “the unit’s simplicity means training on the iPad and its use in the cockpit is seldom given much thought.” Lassale is absolutely right, and his views should extend to the use of any device or product that pilots bring into cockpits to help with their flying tasks.
Why all the growing interest in low-cost flight simulators?
Some announcements at this week’s Sun ‘n Fun show in Lakeland, Fla., for example, underscore wannabe and regular pilots’ fascination with these devices. Redbird Flight Simulations introduced its new low-cost Jay device, which, while it can’t be used to log time, promises to help pilots stay proficient. And Pilot Mall today unveiled the Advanced Panel, which is a modular instrument panel with flight and other controls that works with Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX) software.
Pilot Mall’s new user-configurable instrument panel for table-top basic flight training devices is making its public debut this week behind Hangar B at the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in in Lakeland, Fla. The Flight Training Cockpit–Advanced Panel, brainchild of Pilot Mall president Neil Glazer and Michael Moore of Coldwater, Ontario-based Redfab, is designed to work with Microsoft Flight Sim on a PC platform. It uses Saitek ProFlite instruments, avionics and flight controls in a 21- by 31-inch metal instrument panel with pop-out cutouts.
If you’re looking for an elegantly simple personal computer-based flight simulator and you just want to practice some fun flying, Ikarus USA’s aeroflyFS might fit the bill. Released last year, aeroflyFS draws from Ikarus USA’s background in developing flight sims for radio control modelers.
Learning to fly model airplanes often involves a lot of crashing and rebuilding, but by using a flight sim like aerofly5, newbie RC pilots can avoid all the distress and damage before launching a model into the sky.
FlyRealHUDs.com has developed an inexpensive HUD simulator plug-in that runs on the X-Plane flight simulator program. The FlyRealHUDs (FRH) plugin replicates the symbology and flight dynamics of real HUDs and comes in business jet and airliner configurations.
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