Design Goals

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Pablo Edronkin

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Fly The LV-MLF Simulator

How Does An Airplane Fly?

Avionics And Systems

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The LV-MLF Flight Simulator

Design considerations

Software / Hardware Independence

The Biggest Aircraft In The World

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JRH - Homebuilt Flight Simulator Plans

If you start to design a flight simulator like ours you will son have to specify your goals in terms of the quality of the simulation that you intend to reach as well as the variety of aircraft and situations that you want it to handle.

Costs raise very rapidly on the construction of any sort of home cockpit so you should better have a well balanced budget, work discipline and clear ideas because adding new pieces of software or hardware can complicate things immensely (for example, changing your basic flight simulator software from one version to another may produce a lot of conflicts). In this regard it is important to work realistically and with a lot of common sense because it is not possible to attain everything just on your first try but it is also important to keep working well, without compromises from the beginning. Take into account that any mistakes made near the start of the project will become magnified towards the end.

For example, when we got the Cessna 310 fuselage for our simulator it was literally inhabited by toads, frogs, lizards and spiders on a far a way spot in an airport; after the plane crashed against a nearby bridge it was left there for more than ten years, and while we didn't require it to fly again, we treated and repaired it as if it were still-airborne aeronautical hardware for a very simple reason, which is that corrosion would eventually eat the whole thing away, even if it spends the rest of its existence inside a garage, room or hangar.

So, even if it doesn't look like the most important goal to reach, quality of design and construction should be paramount and no more compromises than in the construction of a real aircraft can be admissible. Quality comes first, second and third.

Then you will have to start thinking about what you intend to simulate and perhaps the kind of propulsion system becomes clearly the most important factor because of the handling characteristics and the systems that you will have to work on. Say, reciprocating, conventional engines have in almost all instances magnetos, while turboprops don't have them but sport indicators such as N1, ITT and so on. So, if you decide to simulate different aircraft it will be easier to go from one turboprop model to another rather than from turboprop to pure jets or conventionals and vice versa. Don't try to do all things at the same time but concentrate your work on one kind of propulsion and do the job well. We did and things went okay; our choice were turboprops for various reasons:

Willy flies jetliners and flew commercial transport turboprops in the past, including the Metro 3, Dash 7 and Saab 340.

I see myself as a bush pilot and henceforth, very interested in all sorts of STOL operations; taking into account some obvious differences between something like a PA-18 and a multi-engine turboprop bush plane like a Twin Otter, with this simulator I can rehearse some very, very hair raising (for others, that is) takeoffs and landings.

Turboprops can be thought of as being an intermediate step between conventional aircraft and pure jets, incorporating the best of both worlds.

So we kept working under the turboprop paradigm and began designing and constructing all subsystems accordingly.

The Cessna 310 cockpit used to build the LV-MLF simulator.
The Cessna 310 cockpit used to build the LV-MLF simulator.

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