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  1. #1
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    Real Flight Simulators versus PC "Games" - the eternal debate...

    Hi All,

    over the holidays I came across one of my old aviation magazines - an edition of "Pilot" from february 1992 (its a UK GA magazine for anyone who is not familiar).

    Anyhow, on re-reading it, one article really caught my attention - "The Aerosoft 200 Flight Trainer". It was about a "new" flight trainer developed in the (then) Cranfield Institute of Technology - a very basic trainer - AATD in the modern classification. It was basically a test-drive by one of the Pilot magazine contributers. And it was a **really** basic device by modern standards. I enclose a bit of a picture below.

    Also I copy a link to another article from the same time about the same trainer for more background info. However, my point in posting it here - apart from the nostalgia effect and the opportunity to really appreciate how advanced PC based simulators have become - was to point to the age old argument about PC simulator "games" versus "real" simulators.

    Here is a quote, "We all know the so-called 'Flight Simulator' or 'Instrument Trainer' programs that run on PC's at home or in the flying club; a few flickering instruments on a computer screen, maybe a crude picture of a plane above the runway, and rather jerky responses to the control inputs you make. They're alright up to a point but scarcely worthy of the name of 'Flight Simulator'....Well now Aerosoft 200 operates in another world entirely from the 'computer-game' type of so-called simulators. In fact it succeeds in coming extraordinarily close to the effects produced by the vastly more expensive technology of full-flight military or commercial simulators".

    Now, if you see the device that this author was reviewing, this does sound comical but I'm sure it was quite advanced in its day. We all know that the likes of MSFS and X-Plane have progressed hugely in the meantime (as well as PC technology) and if that author, back then could see what PC games can do now - you would no-way be able to convince him it was only a mere 'game'.

    But the real interesting point is that while PC games have advanced, the basic aircraft that they simulate (especially the GA types) have not (except maybe for avionics). So my point is that if that device back in 1992 was so close to the 'real' simulators and could provide a really good training benefit, then surely the likes of MSFS and X-Plane (which have dramatically shortened the gap between real and simulated aviation) should be considered professional grade flight training tools today....

    Also, it's funny that the same negative attitude towards PC 'game' based simulators that existed back then, still exists today - even though the 'games' have come on hugely since then.

    Personally, I think that the negative attitude towards PC 'game' type simulators is a stigma that will never really go away and is much more to do with the labelling and marketing of thes software products than their capabilities.

    Anyhow, I thought it was an interesting read.

    link to alternate article (not the one I quoted):
    http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchi...0-%200590.html

    /Ryan.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. Thanks Matt Olieman, Steve A thanked for this post
  3. #2
    150+ Forum Groupie PDT 200's Avatar
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    Re: Real Flight Simulators versus PC "Games" - the eternal debate...

    Did you catch how much they wanted for the sim? 70,000.00 (pounds). in 1992 $s that would be $120-130,000 or so?
    first sim I used and got to log the time was one of these back in the mid 70's





    Elmira Aeronautical had one and I logged almost 5 hours in it. This one is at the Spencer Shops museum In Spencer NC. It's part of the Piedmont Airlines display. The one I used was also set up as a Piper with the throttle and mixture on a quadrant, not as push-pull like this one. This one works when they have someone on staff there run it.
    Regards,
    Brian
    FS9 & FSX ERJ-145, E-170, E-190, PIC737, Archer, Arrow, GF-MCPPRO, EFIS, 4GF-P8, 4GFT8, 3GF-166, 3GF-RP48, GF-LGT, GF-ATC, GF-TQ6, 3 Projectors, 5 monitors 1 computer

  4. #3
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    Re: Real Flight Simulators versus PC "Games" - the eternal debate...

    Hi Brian,

    yes - I couldn't believe the price - but then again - back in 1992 the 80286 PC was not long on the scene and maybe they had to use cutting edge (expensive) hardware at the time.

    Thanks for your shots of the trainer you used - things have certainly come a long way!

    /Ryan.

  5. #4
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    Re: Real Flight Simulators versus PC "Games" - the eternal debate...

    Ryan, thank you for the wonderful presentation, very interesting.

    Fascinating

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