No matter how you look at it, the great power of the internet makes even the most incredible things possible. Some people put on a mask of a superhero or Miss Universe, others find lots of friends from all over the world, and still others realise their childhood dreams with the help of… computer games. So, for instance, thanks to flight simulators, many still manage to become pilots! Almost real ones.
Computer flight simulators are not just “aeroplane or aviator games“. A large, significant part of flight training can be provided by a flight simulator – teaching step-by-step what a real pilot does in the air. To develop the pilot’s reflexes – to teach how to control the machine, first and foremost, according to the instruments. A person who is familiar with the latest flight simulator instrument navigation will learn real flying very quickly.
So, what are flight simulators?
Everyone knows that all pilots undergo compulsory training on a special simulator before real flights. Every pilot has a certain number of flight hours on a simulator without which he will not be allowed to fly in real life. Professional flight simulators replicate the contents of the cockpit and instrument panel exactly.
The development of the computer industry has not ignored both real pilots and secret aviation fans, who deep down dreamed of conquering the skies. Professional and amateur (gaming) flight simulators began to be created. Every aviation lover got an opportunity to make his first flight on a virtual plane, build his own airport and even manage the air traffic as a dispatcher.
Bruce Artwick, the American engineer who created the very first computer flight simulator Flight Simulator for the Apple II back in 1979, is considered to be the progenitor of all current game and professional flight simulators. This program, then with black and white graphics, a single aircraft and very limited capabilities, became the ancestor of the world-famous game still in production today – Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Flight simulators are divided into several categories. The most popular ones are aeroplane, helicopter and air traffic controller simulators. For lovers of “exotics”, there are programmes for controlling hang gliders (Hang Gliding Simulator), gliders (Condor) and even hot air balloons.
Top 5 flight simulators of 2022
This is a variant of the co-operative flight simulator that supports virtual helmet systems. The world provided is a set of several ‘sandboxes’ that create a proper view for the pilot from the cockpit, and in a detailed manner. With many interactive elements, coupled with an elaborate side-monitoring system, the system is capable to present an excellent and realistic picture of flight. Combat and civilian airborne modes are available. The overall picture is characterised by reasonable contrast.
Excellent design of the three-dimensional world;
Proper flight aerodynamics:
Not to be found.
To be honest, this simulator refers to radio-controlled model racing. However, it can be an excellent training ground for combat drones, as the subject of various aircraft applications comes up. The developers of this software actively collaborated with paramilitary structures involved in the creation of remotely piloted vehicles. The game can be played using a virtual reality helmet.
Virtual reality connectivity possible;
Excellent base for drone training;
Good graphic design.
Not to be found.
«FLYINSIDE FLIGHT SIMULATOR»
This airsim can offer a quality cockpit with well-drawn scenery. The fleet of aircraft includes training aircraft models, real fighter models and heavy military Chinook-class transport helicopters.The virtual world of flying is well-developed, but the simulation itself requires an inflated technical data from the PC. It needs the quality support of modern hardware.
Ability to work with a virtual helmet;
Qualitative elaboration of existing fighter models;
Addition of required aircraft models.
Additional content is payable only.
«ARMA 3 JETS»
This flight simulator is an extension of the renowned tactical military shooter, ARMA. It takes the interaction between ground units and their air support to a new level.The game features several fighters whose models are successfully recognisable in NATO and Warsaw Pact combat aircraft. Also, with the condition that additional content is loaded, modern unmanned drones may also be present.The presence of radar and air defence equipment on the ground makes the start of air battles particularly realistic. The ability for aircraft carriers to patrol the airspace is also worth mentioning.
Large-scale aerial warfare simulations;
Availability of aircraft carriers;
Good air and ground unit interactions.
Aircraft control is simplified as much as possible; however, the take-off/landing procedure from the aircraft carrier is difficult for non-professional players.
«AEROFLY FS 2 FLIGHT SIMULATOR»
The advantage of this airsim is the simplified control system, although it is possible to customise it to a professional level. The emulation may well provide the player with a real cockpit of a civilian aircraft.The software supports the operation of a virtual helmet. It also boasts realistic graphics, and the equipment in the cockpit is as close to realistic standards as possible. The physics of the aircraft’s flight behaviour is suitably truthful. The aircraft fleet consists of around two dozen models.
The flight behaviour of the airliners is reasonably good;
Take-off/landing options are implemented in a competent way;
More than 20 aircraft models to master.
There is a certain amount of simplicity in the controls.