Military Aviators Train
with Microsoft Flight
Recently there have been a DOD
study (see below) that has
shown that Pilot Training students that used the
Flight Simulator program scored better than their peers that did not. A
Naval pilot training student performed so well in training that the Navy
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.
Navy in January of 2000 started to issue a customized version of the
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.
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.
Dunlap 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,"
Flight Simulator allows students to learn and practice basic procedures,
such as cockpit control manipulation and navigation, before they get into an
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
- Part metal construction for increased durability and authenticity
- Includes Roger Wilco Chat software - the ideal accompaniment for on-line