Flight Simulators 101
Are Flight Simulators as good as the real thing?
The simple answer is you will never be able to fully capture real flight in a simulator BUT you can come dam close. Close enough that you’ll get goose bumps every time you hop in and fly in your Flight Simulator Rig. Your next question undoubtedly is how do I create or where do I buy one of these simulators from… The truth is you don’t even need to buy anything fancy to get going in the world of Flight Simulation but the more you spend the more real it will become.
What do I need to create a “Real Life” Flight Simulator?
At the end of this article I will show you a simulator setup with everything you will need included, you literally plug it in and play. First I want to go through the 3 most import parts to setting up a flight simulator.
The 3 Steps to setting up a Flight Simulator:
- I’d say the most important part of flying is sight and therefore the best purchase you will ever make is a Virtual Reality Headset. At the moment there is the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift. I personally prefer the HTC Vive with it’s better build quality and seemingly better focusing ( Personal Experience).
- You need a computer built for high end gaming so that everything you run in Virtual Reality will be smooth and realistic. The PCs required to run VR at maximum settings aren’t cheap but you are definitely going to need the best graphics card money can buy and the best CPU money can buy for the Flight Simulator which is usually very CPU intensive.
- The best way to get lost in a flight simulator is to create all the external feelings and sensations that aircraft have. You will need some form of setup that includes a realistic seating arrangement, controls, harnesses, force feedback, vibration and the most important, Sound. All of these things can be very expensive but there are way to build your own Rigs with DIY materials and then just purchase a decent set of controls and off you go.
Where can I get a complete setup?
There are very few companies making full flight simulator rig setups and those that are, are usually commercial grade and extremely expensive. There is a company in New Zealand called The Aviator Experience who have designed a custom Flight Simulator rig with all the above mentioned key features required to give you an amazing Flight Simulation experience. Not only is the setup an amazing flight simulator but because it is made with the highest spec parts it can easily be used as a day-to-day PC and Gaming rig for other games. This makes it amazing value for money.
You can check out the Ultimate Flight Simulator Rig here