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Oliver Wilson
Oliver Wilson

Airplane Simulator: Explore the World from the Cockpit of Your Favorite Aircraft

Airplane Simulator: What Is It and Why Should You Try It?

If you have ever dreamed of flying a plane, but don't have the time, money, or opportunity to do so in real life, you might want to consider trying out an airplane simulator. An airplane simulator is a device or software that artificially recreates aircraft flight and the environment in which it flies, for pilot training, design, or other purposes. It can provide you with a realistic and immersive experience of flying various types of aircraft in different weather conditions, locations, and scenarios. Whether you want to learn how to fly, improve your skills, have fun, or explore the world from above, an airplane simulator can offer you many benefits. In this article, we will explain what an airplane simulator is and how it works, what are the benefits of using one, what are the different types of airplane simulators available on the market, what are some of the features that make them more realistic and engaging, and what are some of the best standard and combat flight simulators for different platforms. We will also provide you with some user reviews and ratings of each simulator and answer some frequently asked questions about them.


An airplane simulator is a device or software that artificially recreates aircraft flight and the environment in which it flies, for pilot training, design, or other purposes. It can simulate the equations that govern how aircraft fly, how they react to applications of flight controls, the effects of other aircraft systems, and how the aircraft reacts to external factors such as air density, turbulence, wind shear, cloud, precipitation, etc. An airplane simulator usually consists of a cockpit replica with realistic instruments and controls, a visual system that displays the outside view from the cockpit windows or a virtual reality headset, a motion system that provides physical feedback to the user through movement or vibration, and a sound system that reproduces the engine noise and other sounds.

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There are many benefits of using an airplane simulator for training, entertainment, or research purposes. Some of them are:

  • It can provide a safe and cost-effective way to practice flying skills and procedures without risking damage to real aircraft or injury to people.

  • It can expose users to a variety of situations and emergencies that may be rare or impossible to encounter in real life.

  • It can enhance users' confidence, competence, and decision-making abilities as pilots.

  • It can offer users a fun and exciting way to experience flying different types of aircraft in different locations around the world.

  • It can allow users to explore the beauty and diversity of nature from a bird's eye view.

  • It can stimulate users' curiosity and interest in aviation and science.

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A flight - A flight simulator is a software program that runs on a personal computer or a mobile device and simulates the flight of an aircraft using a keyboard, mouse, joystick, or other input devices. Some examples of flight simulators are Microsoft Flight Simulator, X-Plane, FlightGear, and Infinite Flight. - A combat flight simulator is a type of flight simulator that focuses on air combat scenarios and features realistic weapons, enemies, missions, and physics. Some examples of combat flight simulators are IL-2 Sturmovik, DCS World, War Thunder, and Ace Combat. - A full flight simulator is a device that replicates the cockpit of a specific aircraft model and provides a high-fidelity simulation of its flight characteristics, systems, and environment. It is usually used for professional pilot training and certification by airlines, military, or civil aviation authorities. A full flight simulator has a motion platform that can move in six degrees of freedom and a large curved screen that displays a 180-degree or 360-degree view of the outside world. - A flight training device is a device that simulates the cockpit of a generic or specific aircraft type and provides a basic or intermediate simulation of its flight characteristics, systems, and environment. It is usually used for pilot training and education by flight schools, colleges, or hobbyists. A flight training device may have a fixed or limited motion platform and a smaller screen that displays a limited view of the outside world.

Features of Airplane Simulators

How realistic are airplane simulators and what factors affect their accuracy and performance? The realism of an airplane simulator depends on several factors, such as:

  • The quality and quantity of the data and algorithms used to model the aircraft's aerodynamics, systems, performance, and behavior.

  • The resolution and realism of the graphics and sounds that represent the outside world, including the terrain, weather, traffic, landmarks, etc.

  • The fidelity and responsiveness of the input devices and output devices that allow the user to interact with the simulator and receive feedback from it.

  • The level of immersion and presence that the user feels when using the simulator, which can be influenced by factors such as field of view, motion cues, spatial audio, haptic feedback, etc.

What are some of the features that make airplane simulators more immersive and engaging for users? Some of them are:

  • The ability to choose from a wide range of aircraft types, models, liveries, and configurations to suit different preferences and purposes.

  • The ability to fly in different regions and countries around the world, with realistic scenery, landmarks, airports, airspaces, etc.

  • The ability to adjust the weather conditions and time of day to create different challenges and effects on the flight.

  • The ability to create or join multiplayer sessions with other users online and communicate with them via voice or text chat.

  • The ability to access various modes and features such as free flight, missions, tutorials, career mode, sandbox mode, etc. [^3 - The ability to use various add-ons and mods that enhance or modify the simulator's features, graphics, sounds, aircraft, scenery, etc.

Reviews of Airplane Simulators

What are some of the best standard and combat flight simulators for PC, Mac, iOS, Android, and web browsers? Here is a table that summarizes some of the most popular and highly rated airplane simulators for different platforms, along with their pros and cons and user ratings.





User Rating

Microsoft Flight Simulator

PC, Xbox

- Stunning graphics and realism - Huge variety of aircraft and locations - Dynamic weather and traffic - Multiplayer and VR support - Frequent updates and improvements

- High system requirements and loading times - Some bugs and glitches - Limited combat features - Expensive add-ons and subscriptions

4.5/5 stars

X-Plane 11

PC, Mac, Linux

- Accurate flight physics and systems - Customizable aircraft and scenery - Large community and mod support - Multiplayer and VR support - Affordable price

- Dated graphics and sounds - Steep learning curve - Limited weather and traffic features - Complex installation and configuration

4/5 stars


PC, Mac, Linux

- Free and open source - Wide range of aircraft and locations - Customizable features and settings - Multiplayer and VR support - Active development and updates

- Low quality graphics and sounds - Difficult user interface - Inconsistent performance and stability - Spar


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