Print page

Flight Simulation

Flight simulators are used for a variety of purposes from university level through to airline flight training.

Perhaps the key word in flight simulation is SAFETY.  Using a simulator the pilot may fly  an aircraft under all adverse conditions – safely!

From early flight training trainee pilots can use light aircraft simulators to learn and appreciate how an aircraft performs – safely!

University students may appreciate how the aircraft control surfaces work – safely!

No civil or military aircraft is designed without using a ‘physical’ flight simulator for design/aero/ergonomic/flight assessment.

How are simulators used?

At the top level of airline training, full flight simulators are on a motion base and used to simulate every type of scenario that might happen on an aircraft – severe storms, torrential rain, wind shear, engine failure, systems failures, fire on board, being a few of the emergencies that airline pilots may have to deal with, and train for in simulators.  The full flight simulators are incredibly sophisticated pieces of modern technology, exactly replicating a specific aircraft.

You may appreciate that by using a flight simulator the design team at a large aircraft company are able to design/evaluate/and test an aircraft without leaving the factory!

Trainee pilots use flight training devices – these are not on a motion system, but are used for procedural training – flying approaches, and take offs, using the radio, familiarization with the instruments in a light aircraft.

University students use simulators in their aeronautical engineering courses to appreciate all aspects of aircraft design related principles from stability and control through to cockpit ergonomics, systems engineering and avionics.

What sort of jobs are available within flight simulation?

In order to manufacture a flight simulator you need all aspects of engineering skills:

Fully qualified designers; aeronautical engineers, mechanical, electrical, computer science, software, computer graphics, and electronics  engineers.

Where are simulators sited?

A large proportion of full-flight simulators for airline training are to be found near the major airports – for example the British Airways facility is near London Heathrow.

There has been an increased tendency in the last few years for independent training centres to be set up, the simulators in which are hired/leased to airlines.

Flight training devices can be found at flying schools throughout the country, two of the largest in the U.K. being Cabair and Oxford Aviation Academy.

University simulators are sited in most of the U.K. universities offering degrees in aerospace or aeronautical engineering.

Who are the largest full flight simulator manufacturers?

Thales,  based at Crawley, West Sussex,  and CAE, who are in Montreal, Canada.

Who are the leading European manufacturers of flight training devices?

Alsim in France.

One of the leading university simulator firms is Merlin Flight Simulation, a small company based in Southern England, showing that flight simulation offers opportunities for entrepreneurial engineers as well.

Our Latest Tweets

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021 at 8:24am
Create a winning CV with Career Flightpath, first impressions count, especially when applying for jobs. The CV360 tool scores your CV against more than 50 checks. Upload your CV now and get instant personalised feedback. Start exploring now: https://t.co/dDvtO2gwx3 #career #CV https://t.co/nwHWdAKhl1
Tuesday, July 20th, 2021 at 6:18am
Today Nick Davis from @RAeSCareers will be sharing highlights from our 2020 Careers Fair in the @MemberWise webcast "Designing for Change: Planning Successful Events When the Landscape is Constantly Shifting (with @RDMobile) Register here: https://t.co/kSAxjsu0TT #CIAAL21 https://t.co/VkIXwlqVDM
Wednesday, July 14th, 2021 at 10:31am
The @Aerosociety 2021 Amy Johnson Named Lecture 2021 is now available to view on YouTube with Air Cdre Suraya Marshall, Commandant, @RoyalAirForce College Cranwell on inclusive leadership to support and deliver a more diverse and inclusive workforce

https://t.co/3QpOADz959 https://t.co/if7DnV2Lxk