Allerton, David Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom.
Last reviewed:November 2019
- Organization of a flight simulator
- Equations of motion
- Visual systems
- Motion systems
- Future of flight simulation
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The use of advanced computer systems and equipment to re-create on the ground the visual and kinesthetic environment of an actual aircraft for purposes of flight training and in the design and development of aircraft systems. Flight simulators have been used in flight training since the 1930s. The early devices enabled instrument flying to be practiced on the ground, and during World War II over half a million Allied aviators were trained on a Link trainer. However, it was not until the 1960s, with the advent of digital computing, that flight simulation became an integral part of both civil and military flight training. The equations to simulate aircraft dynamics could be solved at a fast rate and with sufficient accuracy that the response of the simulated aircraft matched the actual aircraft dynamics. The aircraft cockpit (or flight deck) was moved by hydraulic actuators to provide a sense of motion, and the flight crews were presented with a visual image projected onto the windscreen of the cockpit. See also: Digital computer
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