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Military Aviators Train
with Microsoft Flight Simulator

Recently there have been a DOD study (see below) that has shown that Pilot Training students that used the Microsoft Flight Simulator program scored better than their peers that did not.  A Naval pilot training student performed so well in training that the Navy instituted the Flight Simulator program into the syllabus and have strongly endorsed students use this program to practice.  Having used this program myself and having been able to download many military aircraft for the program, I have found it immensely helpful as a training aid.  There is no doubt that a student pilot flying this flight simulator program will improve his / her skills.


Custom Navy Aircraft for Microsoft Flight SimThe Navy in January of 2000 started to issue a customized version of the Microsoft Flight Simulator to all student pilots and undergraduates enrolled in Naval Reserve Officer Training Courses at 65 colleges.

The office of the Chief of Naval Education and Training has also installed Flight Simulator on high-powered Pentium III PC workstations with 29-inch screens at the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas, and plans to install it at two other bases in Florida. Microsim Labs

The decision to include the game in the training curriculum stems from the results of a research project conducted by the Navy last summer. Scott Dunlap, head of the Assessment Project Office for the Chief of Naval Education and Training in Pensacola, Fla., said the study found that students who use microsimulation products during early flight training tend to have higher scores than students who do not use the software.

Student flying the MicrosimDunlap credits LTJG Herb Lacey, now a naval aviator, with jump-starting the Navy’s use of Flight Simulator in its training environment. While a student pilot, Lacey used the customization functions of the commercial software to create the control panel of the standard Navy trainer, the T34C, and to model the landscapes around Navy training fields in Florida and Texas. "We basically took Lacey’s aircraft panels and scenery, dropped that into our microsimulation project and developed a learning methodology around them," Dunlap said.

Flight Simulator allows students to learn and practice basic procedures, such as cockpit control manipulation and navigation, before they get into an airplane.

As expected, Flight Simulator brings with it a lower cost when compared with the multimillion-dollar, sophisticated flight simulation systems the military services have bought in the past.

Bill Lewandowski, manager of the training systems division of Flight Safety International — the world’s largest trainer of professional pilots — said his company uses Flight Simulator extensively to enhance the ground school experience. But, Lewandowski emphasized, microsimulation products cannot replace full-motion, multimillion dollar flight simulators used by airlines and the military. "You cannot replicate that in a PC environment," Lewandowski said.

The Navy’s Dunlap agreed. "We see this fitting in between what you learn in the classroom and the higher forms of simulation," he said. Even with this caveat, Dunlap said the Navy wants to incorporate microsim training into the next-generation Joint Primary Aircraft Training System, a multibillion-dollar training program based on a Raytheon Co. advanced single-engine trainer.

You can outfit your own flight simulator in your own home, to practice civilian flying, or like many today, to practice for USAF or USN Flight School.  Check out our list of items you should consider buying.  Each item listed has been tested in a complete home flight simulator.


Navy taps into Microsoft's popular Flight Simulator product

  BY Bob Brewin
Armchair jet jockeys play Microsoft Corp.'s Flight Simulator on their PCs to capture a bit of the thrill of the real thing, which replicates an actual flight experience closely enough that this week the Navy made its customized version of Flight Simulator standard issue for all student naval aviators.

The Navy built a software shell that enabled it to configure Flight Simulator for its T-34C training aircraft. The new CD-ROM-based Naval Micro-Simulator Training Aid features the instrument panel from the T-34C as well as a display, which includes scenery from areas surrounding naval aviation training bases in Corpus Christi, Texas, and Pensacola, Fla.

Cadets who used the Navy version of Flight Simulator in a test run this summer "had significantly higher flight scores...and fewer below average unsatisfactory flight scores," according to Scott Dunlap, head of the Assessment Project Office for the Chief of Naval Education and Training. Dunlap emphasized that the Navy views the PC-based simulator as an adjunct to, not a replacement for, more complex full-motion flight simulators. Besides student aviators, the Navy plans to issue the CD-ROM to students at the 69 colleges and universities that host Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps units.

The Navy micro-simulator CD-ROM also includes a simulation of a nuclear attack submarine distributed by Electronic Arts Inc. that Dunlap said would provide submarine junior officers the ability "to think about the ship as a whole, as part of a total weapons system" rather than focusing on the narrow concerns of their specific specialties or assignments.

For more information about the micro-simulator program, visit Microsim Official Site.

Naval Education & Training Command (NETC) has identified over 15 published reports that support the application of PC-based gaming and simulation to selected training applications. These studies clearly document the training value of PC-based simulation training applications for certain tasks. This body of research provided NETC and Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) with the framework for development of the first micro-simulator Part Task Trainer(PTT) workstations and lab at Training Air Wing FOUR (TRAWING FOUR), FIVE and SIX. The PTT is not currently integrated as part of the curriculum. The lab operates as a learning center for students to use for their self improvement. Students are provided with an orientation briefing to ensure that they understand the capabilities and limitations of the systems. A student mentor is present during daytime operating hours to answer questions about the PTT. Students are encouraged to use mentors and work in pairs to provide feedback. The lab consists of eight T-34C micro-simulator PTT workstations that are networked together. Adjoining pairs of workstations have aviation headsets that are connected and used to provide private feedback, or to practice communications.

Build Your Own Flight Simulator

CH Products 14-Function USB LE Flight Yoke
Windows 98/2000/XP ME, iMac, or Mac (with USB port*) compatible.
New ergonomic designed yoke movement without a center detent allowing the ultimate in control.
5 axes of control including, pitch, roll, throttle lever, propeller lever, and mixture lever.
20 button functions including, 2-way gear switch, 2-way flaps switch, 8-way hat switch, two 2-way rocker switches, and 4 push buttons. Compatible with Pro Pedals USB

 

CH Pro Rudder Pedals USB
Flight Simulators allow assigning the up and down movement of the pedals to the toebrakes, right and left. Pushing (forwards and backwards) on pedals moves the rudder. It all works perfectly giving a variable analogue brake, the harder you push the more brake you apply. Taxiing the plane using rudder and brakes together works smooth and is easy to control.

 

Saitek Flight Control System
  • The most fully integrated PC Flight Control System
  • Precision engineering, ergonomic design and a detailed fusion of features deliver maximum aeronautical authenticity
  • Advanced programming provided by Saitek Smart Technology (SST) software
  • Enhanced gameplay through intuitive Multi-Function display (MFD)
  • lluminated buttons and MFD - ideal for low light environments
  • Rubber grips and ergonomic design for increased comfort and fatigue-free gaming
  • Part metal construction for increased durability and authenticity
  • Includes Roger Wilco Chat software - the ideal accompaniment for on-line multiplayer gaming

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