A flight simulator is a system that lets the user experience what it is like to pilot a particular type of airplane. Flight simulators are mainly used for pilot training. They replicate the equations that make an airplane fly and the aircraft’s response to flight control applications & external factors. External factors refer to turbulence, air density, wind shear, precipitation, cloud, and so on. Besides pilot training, flight simulators are also used extensively in the design & development of airplanes. Flight simulators are ideal for organizations engaged in aircraft crew training.
Importance of Simulation Technologies
Flight simulators have an important role in pilot training as well as in sustaining pilot currency. Simulation technologies determine the safety levels of modern general, public, and commercial aviation. Furthermore, these technologies are applied in aircraft design studies and in the investigations of air accidents.
The use of simulators is an economical approach towards pilot training. Inadequate financial resources coupled with the complexities of aircraft systems & training processes makes the adoption of flight simulators a cost-effective option. Unlike, actual aircrafts, expert aircraft simulators offer training at extremely low costs.
Another key benefit of the same is the possibility of interconnecting simulators into clusters using the DIS (Distributed Interactive Simulation) technology. This helps simulate joint flight missions & operations that are applied widely in the military. Professional flight simulators include components, such as cabin, control system, instrument panels, visualization system, system software, instructor's workplace, electrical equipment & installation, and computer technology. Improvements in visual systems & projection technologies have resulted in the development of “fully immersive” training environments.
The SimuSphere HD-9 Technology
The ‘SimuSphere HD-9 technology’, developed by L-3 Link Simulation & Training, is an amalgam of four sophisticated technologies, namely image generation systems, HD databases, visual system display, and a physics-based processing system. These features help create a highly realistic training environment for novice pilots. This technology also offers a 360-degree high-definition display system, which gives ‘aircraft training’ a realistic touch.
The Need for Improved Pilot Training to Add to Market Growth
The flight simulator market is projected to reach USD 5.6 billion by 2024. The growing importance of airplane safety & substantial training will drive this market during the forecast period (2016-2024). Focus on skill competency, safety of operations, and situational awareness in pilot training programs will further augment industry growth.
Key companies operating in the global market are Canadian Aviation Electronics Ltd.; Alenia Aeronautica S. p. A., The Boeing Company, Fidelity Technologies Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp., and Kratos Defense and Security Solutions Inc.
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