FlightSimExpo Celebrating At-home Simulation

 - May 9, 2023, 7:00 PM

More than 70 exhibitors are expected at this year’s FlightSimExpo, which is billed as “North America’s enthusiast flight simulation conference and trade show.” The expo is being held June 23 to 25, with opening-day product announcements and seminars at the DoubleTree Houston Hobby Airport. That will be followed by exhibits and seminars on June 24 and 25 at the Lone Star Flight Museum at Ellington Airport in Houston.

The growth of FlightSimExpo, which has hosted more than 3,500 attendees at events in Las Vegas, Orlando, and San Diego since 2018, parallels how at-home simulation has embraced both hobbyists and pilots who use “study level” desktop simulators for training and proficiency. Low-cost but powerful simulators that run on desktop computers and even tablets are increasingly able to replicate actual flight dynamics, avionics, and scenery, giving users an ultra-realistic experience. New companies have launched to take desktop simulation into the realm of regulatory approval—for example, RealSimGear, which offers relatively low-cost simulators approved as basic aviation training devices.

“At-home flight simulation, which can be as simple as a laptop and a joystick [equipment-wise], is widely recognized as an inexpensive yet effective training supplement for student and rated pilots,” according to the FlightSimExpo organizers.

Visitors to the Expo are encouraged to try the simulators and equipment on display, which includes a variety of aircraft types and even some fully replicated complex flight decks.

To learn more about how people use their home setups, FlightSimExpo partner Flight Simulation Association is running a survey on the impact of home-based flight simulators on real-world flight training.