The History Of Flight Simulator Games

Flight simulators are virtual tools that are designed to teach the user how to fly an aircraft without the risk. When you are learning how to fly professionally or for fun, you cannot buckle yourself into a 747 and expect to catch on in a matter of minutes. Flying an aircraft is not like riding a bike; one small mistake can have serious consequences. This is why flight simulator games were created to help teach training pilots how to fly. Learn about the history of flight simulation and see just how much it has advanced over the years.

The first known arcade game to use flight simulation was Jet Rocket. This simulator was released by Sega in 1970 and was designed as a form of entertainment and not training. The game featured a cockpit complete with all of the controls and a basic and stationary landscaping scene on the screen. Players could shoot missiles and explode targets before their eyes.

The advancement of these types of games brought the release of Jet Rocket making way for a whole genre of combat simulator games. The next popular game to hit the arcades was Interceptor made by Taito in 1975. This first-person shooter took flight simulation to a new level and used a joystick so the player could aim at enemy aircraft and disintegrate them in mid-air.

It was not until the 1980s that flight simulator games were made for personal computers. They have remained very popular on personal computers to this day. The first PC game to hit the market was subLOGIC. The subLOGIC game, created by Bruce Artwick, has basic graphics, real world scenery, and a mock control panel. The creator made several different versions of subLOGIC for Mac computers and later for IBM compatible computers. The IBM compatible versions were licensed under Microsoft as Flight Simulator 1.00. The company later released 2.0 and 3.0 versions with more aircraft options and better graphics.

After PC games, came more advanced games for playing consoles in the home. Sega released a flight simulator game in 1987 that was titled After Burner. This combat game used a joystick and was widely popular on the Genesis and later the PlayStation. Super Nintendo also released a game called Pilotwings. This game helped the player earn their pilot license by completing flight lessons that were built into the game.

These types of games may have started out slow but they have graduated into a huge market. They are designed to entertain you and teach you what it feels like to control an actual aircraft. New simulator games have advanced so much that you will really feel like you are controlling a plane. If you choose the right game, you can use controls that are found in actual cockpits and select the weather and time of day you want to fly. You can even fly over your house and see it with satellite technology. The world of flight games will continue to grow.

Computer Hardware and Simulation Gaming for Aviation Safety Considered

Modern day computer hardware is getting quite robust, and there is about 10 times the computing power in a smart phone as was used to fly the first Space Shuttle, maybe more. Still, when it comes to operating today’s aircraft simulators the computer hardware is intense, and these simulators can cost a ton of money. Because they cost so much the time to use them becomes very valuable, therefore most airlines only use them as required to check out their pilots, or train them for certification on the next aircraft that pilot needs to fly so he or she can get their type rating and satisfactorily prove they are safe.

The other day, I was speaking with an expert in computer online gaming communities, Troy Laclaire, about the use of simulators in aviation, and how great these tools were for complying with safety standards and preventing mistakes in the real world, carrying real passengers, when it really mattered most. One question we pondered was should airline pilots, commercial pilots, charter pilots, and fractional jet pilots be required to fly with another pilot to an airport first prior to going there as the pilot in command for the first time.

If such an onerous rule were to be made by the FAA, what about simulators, couldn’t a pilot merely fly the last 5-10 minutes on approach and take-off to each airport that the airline generally went too? Maybe, but in the case of a charter jet, that might mean they’d spend 100s of hours in a simulator and that costs a lot of money right? Okay so is there a solution to all this? Troy has come up with one potential solution, so lets’ talk about this shall we. First, Troy notes:

The only problem with this is that simulators are not exactly cheap to run and each simulation takes a fair amount of time, and far as I understand simulators are mostly used to get pilots comfortable with flying a particular plane type. However, since the pilots are generally already familiar with flying their planes (at least I should hope so) and nearly everyone has computers these days, it is possible that you could have a DVD series created to cover the routes, based around actual flights, and then have the pilots use their computers to run these so that they can get some familiarity with the airports.

Now then, this is a good idea, and it makes sense, a perfect solution, plus it also stands to reason that a gaming expert would come up with this concept. Okay so, Troy also suggests that we “provide the pilots with a take home DVD, basic flight-sim gaming controls, and they can use these to get some muscle memory.” This too makes sense, keeping it simple, and perfect for a last-minute booking for a fractional jet, or charter flight, as the pilot can merely practice a couple of ILS approaches, missed approach, take-off, and navigating the taxi ways, etc.

Troy, being a computer hardware engineer, and quite the prudent safety advisor also states; “Alternatively, have a “pilots room” setup where a pilot can run through a video/basic simulator of a previous flight that has already flown that route, letting them get a rough idea of what to expect when going to an airport they are not yet familiar with.”

Okay so that’s pretty easy, it can be set up in the break room of the local Jet Center, or at an FBO etc. Perhaps, for $10-20 they can shoot a couple of landings at the desired future airport that they will be flying too? Perhaps, it might also be available to ALL general aviation pilots, the DVDs and a flight simulator room at the local FBO, etc. May as well keep the system busy and paying for itself, perhaps it might also spit out certificates of completion and aviation insurance companies may consider lowering rates too? Indeed, I hope you will consider all this and think on it.

How to Experience Life Inside the Cockpit With Modern Flight Simulator Games

If you take a little time out of your busy schedule to look around you’re sure to find several rockin’ versions of flight simulator games online. The cockpit really is the heart of any plane flight simulator game. Whether you’re ready to rock ‘n roll with a little combat flight simulator 3 action or you want something a little calmer like an air tour of Italy through a Flight Simulator X demo game you are sure to find what you’re looking for among the many different planes. One way to do this is by downloading on of the many excellent Flight Simulator X Demos and trying it out for yourself to see how the cockpits of various planes look and feel to you.

If you really want to make the most of your cockpit experience, however,there are things you can do that will help you get through the experience (we know how much you hate having fun and flying planes). Keep these great ideas in mind in order to truly make the most of your flight sim experience..

1) Invest in forced feedback yoke and pedals for your game – This is just one more way you can really put yourself in the cockpit. The more your game setup looks and feels like the “real deal” the more authentic the entire experience is likely to be for you. Forced feedback controllers allow you to feel the impact of bullets hitting your plane and even to feel the crash when your plane doesn’t make it out intact. These bits and pieces of hardware can be costly but for the dedicated flight simulator x game player they are well worth every penny.

2) Life-like cockpit and equipment – No one wants to invest countless hours of time and attention into a game where their surroundings seem fake or off. At least this is the case when the goal of the game is to be as authentic as possible. You need to search around until you find a game that takes your role in the process seriously. Once that has been established you can get busy enjoying the great game play that’s waiting for you.

3) Have a realistic physics engine – This is the key to excellent game play no matter what kind of airplane simulator games you’re playing is how realistic the game really is. Airplanes don’t blink out of existence when bullets are flying only to blink back in once the danger has passed. That would kind of take all the fun out of things. You don’t want this to happen in the games you’re choosing to invest your time playing either. Ask around. Play through a Flight Simulator X demo or two and be sure to read various Flight Simulator X reviews to make sure this is the game for you before you buy it.

It’s the little things that matter most when you’re trying to find the one thing that will hold your world – and the people you love most in it – apart. These are the things you want to look for above and beyond all that as you search for a great game for the kids to enjoy while traveling.

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