With the advent of advanced computerized technologies and software capability, it has become much easier and more feasible to train pilots outside of the aircraft. With the use of flight training devices (FTD) and flight simulators, pilots can become familiar with different flight techniques, awareness, and abilities to improve their piloting skills. With an advanced full motion flight simulator, some pilots may even be able to achieve type rating without ever having flown an aircraft. In this blog, we will discuss the differences between flight training devices and flight simulators, as well as some of the best flight simulator components to procure for your next project.
The biggest difference between flight training devices and flight simulators is the presence of motion. While flight simulators feature movement, FTDs lack the ability. There are different levels of FTDs as well, denoted by a number between 1 and 7. Level 1 through 3 systems are no longer manufactured, though level 3 systems can still be used for logging flight hours for some types of licenses. Across FTD levels leading up to 7, there are more sophisticated systems and programs present the higher the system’s number is. Beginning at level 5, FTDs start to be modeled after the planes that they are recreating, and these devices may include features such as aerodynamic programming, control feel, vibration systems, and beyond.
Flight simulators, on the other hand, have four categories ranging from A to D. With level A simulators, 3 degrees of freedom or higher is present to simulate motion. B simulators are fairly rare, though they may provide much of the initial training and recurrency training needed for pilots. The level C flight simulator is more advanced, featuring six degrees of freedom and 75 degrees of horizontal field of view for pilots. Lastly, level D flight simulators are the most sophisticated, touting a minimum of 150 degree field of view, cockpit sounds, motion effects, six degrees of freedom, and other advanced features.
When establishing or maintaining a flight simulator, there are some important components that prove useful in providing an authentic and sophisticated flight simulation. Sidewall and ceiling lights can help create special effects, and aid in training pilots to fly regardless of present lighting. With instruments such as the annunciator panel, the trainee can gain familiarity with the systems that they will be using, and obtain knowledge and understanding on how to operate them. Switches such as a voice activated switch or switch panel can further increase a trainee’s familiarity with aircraft cockpit systems.
When searching for the best flight simulator components for your intended application, look no further than NSN Axis. NSN Axis is owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, and we can help you find flight simulator parts and components you need, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries, we're always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365.
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