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Introduction to Flight Simulation

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Cranfield University
School of Engineering
Contact Provider
5 day course
Short Course
The course is suitable for people from a range of backgrounds working (or planning to work) in the simulator industry.
Cranfield University, College Road, Cranfield, MK43 0AL, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom

Course overview

 Flight simulation plays a major role in modern aviation from initial aircraft design through development, build, and production and then in training aircrew and ground crew to fly and maintain the aircraft.  The qualities of the higher levels of flight simulators for training, using realistic crew stations and controls, and with sophisticated modelling and cueing, are such that already-experienced airline pilots convert to new aircraft types solely through simulator training, the so-called "Zero Flight Time" system that has been in use worldwide since 1982.  In the civil world, the term "Full Flight Simulator" is used for these devices; the military equivalent being the Full Mission Simulator with the addition of simulation of weapons, air refuelling and other military features.

Who should attend

The course is suitable for people from a range of backgrounds working (or planning to work) in the simulator industry, for members of national aviation authorities responsible for the effective use of simulators, for managers of simulator facilities and other operational staff, for those involved in simulator procurement in government agencies or in aviation organisations, and for anyone seeking an overview of modern flight simulation.  While introducing the key technologies, the course does not deal in detail with the technical methods.


This introductory course, fully international in scope, aims

  • to provide a structured and compact introduction to modern flight simulation technology
  • to describe the application of flight simulators in civil and military training
  • to address non-technical aspects of flight simulation, including regulatory requirements and standards, financing and management


Technology topics: 

  • flight modelling and data requirements
  • ground handling
  • avionic systems modelling
  • motion systems and visual systems
  • environmental representation including airport and terrain database generation
  • the special demands of rotary wing simulation
  • accident investigation using simulation

Human factors topics:

  • human visual and motion perception and how visual, motion and sound cues are generated and presented
  • instructor operating station design

Application topics:

  • certification, regulation and standards in civil and military aviation
  • part-task trainers
  • the economics of simulator procurement and operation and financing methods
  • specific issues in military simulator procurement and defence simulation applications, including simulation interoperability

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