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Offline ez24

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Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« on: August 25, 2016, 03:15:12 am »
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/doomed-malaysia-airlines-pilot-practiced-ocean-crash-simulator-article-1.2722006

I assume that this simulator is a good one.  It was built by a 777 pilot who wanted to kill a lot of people so I assume he spared no costs.

Some questions:

Is there a break down somewhere of his equipment?  I see 3 large monitors, wheel, throttles, but I cannot tell what else.  What kind of computer(s) would be required?

I would like to put together a good system starting about $1000 US and be expandable.  I would like a wheel (forgot the correct term, yoke ?) foot paddles, throttles, etc.

I soloed three times in the 70's in a Cessna and each landing was a thrill because I could not bend my right leg.  So when I landed I had the right brake on and every time the plane would jerk on landing and try to swerve off the runway until I could get the left brake on and steer the plane straight.  Now I cannot believe the instructor let me do this.  After 3 solos I gave up, I did not like swerving on landings.

Now I can bend my leg a little but I cannot afford to fly, so I would like a really good flight sim.  One that has a dedicated seat and pedals and yoke, not sitting in front of my computer.

I am talking about more about hardware than software.

Any suggestions on where to look?  A google search just brings up software.

thanks

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Offline apelly

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Re: Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2016, 05:02:21 am »
Something for one of the new VR headsets would be amazing. I'd even be tempted to have a crack at it myself!
I'd rather a Google clue, link, or some theory than "do this" (generally)
 

Offline helius

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Re: Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2016, 05:32:31 am »
A reasonable package isn't that much.
http://www.sportys.com/pilotshop/deluxe-flight-simulator-kit.html (includes software, yoke and pedals)

You may want to spend a little more on a multiple-monitor stand, throttle controls, or flight data entry devices.

If money is no object, the sky is pretty much the limit:
 

Offline ez24

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Re: Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2016, 07:21:09 am »
Thanks

"kit" was the key word, using it I found this set up which looks like the pilot's

http://www.avsim.com/index.php/_/reviews/hardware/volair-sim-flight-chassis-r1499

No prices on everything.  Going to look into the kit.

I think VR would not work, because of the feedback needed
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2016, 08:38:41 am »
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/doomed-malaysia-airlines-pilot-practiced-ocean-crash-simulator-article-1.2722006

I assume that this simulator is a good one.  It was built by a 777 pilot who wanted to kill a lot of people so I assume he spared no costs.

Some questions:

Is there a break down somewhere of his equipment?  I see 3 large monitors, wheel, throttles, but I cannot tell what else.  What kind of computer(s) would be required?
Did you look on a forum related to flight simulator software? I know you can buy this kind of hardware and the sky is the limit if you have the money to spend. Some companies even sell modified cockpit instruments which can be controlled by the computer. If you have the time & money you can build an entire cockpit.
I have spend some time in a flight simulator with a very wide screen and the interesting thing is that even though I was sitting still my brains just filled in feeling some G-forces during turns. Weird!
« Last Edit: August 25, 2016, 08:44:31 am by nctnico »
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Offline bitslice

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Re: Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2016, 10:10:48 am »
Any suggestions on where to look?  A google search just brings up software.

Well in the UK I think at one point we had three magazines devoted to flight simulation software.
if you can track one down they would probably be a good aggregation of what's available

FSPilot eMag
Computer Pilot Magazine
PC Pilot
PC Aviator

and there are lots of flight sim forums.


Given where we are with hardware developments, I'd wait until VR flight sims become available rather than buying into it right now
 

Offline sleemanj

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Re: Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2016, 10:21:54 am »
About 10, maybe 15 years ago there was a home-made almost full motion simulator for sale on the local ebay type site (trademe for those playing along at home).

The drive mechanism was made out of wiper motors and such as I recall, think it had 3 axes, might have even had some sort of heave but not sure on that now.  The cabin was a small fully enclosed, well, cabin, I think it just used a single large CRT from memory.

For me, instruments are secondary to sensation and visuals, motion is important.  It's becoming easier to achieve that, although headset resolution still isn't there really.  I am imagining a a motion platform, a VR headset, stick, rudder, throttle... Piper Cub sim.

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Offline Kjelt

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Re: Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2016, 11:50:45 am »
Full motion is always limited to the stretch of the pistons or actuators, the same for the pro simulators so you need some extra software to take care of this (making sure that the actuators slowly unnoticably move back so they are always in the middle no matter what so you can simulate any coming movement in any direction). A real life example of affordable motion of a chair or couch is D-box, started for use in home cinemas they now also offer them for flight simulators.
It is pretty good, building something like that yourself could be affordable and have a good result.

http://www.d-box.com/training-and-simulation/flight/
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2016, 02:16:58 pm »
There are a lot of projects based on Microsoft Flight Simulator, including projects with motion.  The neat thing about MFS is that it is extensible.  You can buy commercial controls (Saitek, et al) and just plug them in via USB.

If you're a code weenie, you can take a microcontroller, implement USB HID and add all the switches, knobs and dials you want.  You can built any cockpit you desire and it can be as realistic as you wish.

And, of course, you can buy commercial simulation packages to add to MFS for just about any airplane you want.  Helicopters too...

With a bit of a Google search, you can find all kinds of projects.  People are making very realistic throttle quadrants, control panels, yokes, whatever.  There are even books on the subject.

Then there is Roger Dodger and his PVC pipe creations.  It turns out that PVC pipe is a very nice way to build flight simulators:
http://www.rogerdodger.net/diyflightsims/hotas-and-vr/f311_side_joystick/

Roger Dodger also has a 'large' cockpit design based on PVC pipe:
http://www.rogerdodger.net/diyflightsims/big_projects/t440_triplescreen/

How far do you want to take it?  There are plenty of motion cockpits as well.  If I had the space, I would love to build an F106 cockpit.

There are other flight simulator software packages about which I know absolutely nothing.

Compute wise, it takes a bit of horsepower but nothing extraordinary.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2016, 02:27:05 pm »
For me, instruments are secondary to sensation and visuals, motion is important.  It's becoming easier to achieve that, although headset resolution still isn't there really.  I am imagining a a motion platform, a VR headset, stick, rudder, throttle... Piper Cub sim.
If the vision is good you don't really need motion. Motion is only required if you want to go to extremes like stalling or taking turns at several G. One of my former employers took the motion platform to whole new levels though: http://desdemona.eu/
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2016, 05:12:42 pm »
For me, instruments are secondary to sensation and visuals, motion is important.  It's becoming easier to achieve that, although headset resolution still isn't there really.  I am imagining a a motion platform, a VR headset, stick, rudder, throttle... Piper Cub sim.
If the vision is good you don't really need motion. Motion is only required if you want to go to extremes like stalling or taking turns at several G. One of my former employers took the motion platform to whole new levels though: http://desdemona.eu/

That's neat!
Quote
Other organizations involved in the human balance system and motion sickness - such as the pharmaceutical industry and manufacturers of roller coasters – will definitely also benefit from the opportunities offered by Desdemona.

Motion sickness?  I'll bet!

Circa '72, I was involved with the construction of a flight simulator for the C5A.  Basically, it was only concerned with landings.  We had a huge room with a concave screen about 20'x20'.  There were large colored maps of the runway and terrain - about 3'x3' glass transparencies that were maneuvered by the computer.  Projection was done with an artificial star light source.

I don't recall the details but I do remember that there was a 50 HP hydraulic pump involved and miles and miles of cable running back to the computer facility in a different building.  I pulled all those cables through the tunnel but I don't remember if they went to the analog computer lab or the main computer facility (CDC 6400).

Pretty cool project!

« Last Edit: August 25, 2016, 05:30:44 pm by rstofer »
 

Offline ez24

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Re: Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2016, 06:50:55 pm »
I'd wait until VR flight sims become available rather than buying into it right now

Here is VR in a Cessna.  I think he uses a keyboard to control things.  With current VR you cannot see and control things, but the views are better.  I wonder if there are any VRs that work only on the top of someone's vision so they can see and touch the controls.



« Last Edit: August 25, 2016, 07:02:48 pm by ez24 »
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Offline FrankD

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Re: Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2016, 08:51:57 pm »
 

Offline ez24

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Re: Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2016, 09:17:32 pm »
http://www.aviationmegastore.com/info/flight_simulator_vliegen.php

All you need for a 737NG cockpit ...
Nice, this is what I want, but it looks like the resistance on the yokes is too little.  So I will wait until they put more resistance on them.  I just cannot imagine real ones acts like them, they turn too easy.  Any 737 pilots here?

Good to know about simulator yokes.
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2016, 09:20:19 pm »
http://www.aviationmegastore.com/info/flight_simulator_vliegen.php

All you need for a 737NG cockpit ...
They do love the lense flare effect from Photoshop!  8)
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline hendorog

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Re: Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2016, 09:42:43 pm »

Here is VR in a Cessna.  I think he uses a keyboard to control things.  With current VR you cannot see and control things, but the views are better.  I wonder if there are any VRs that work only on the top of someone's vision so they can see and touch the controls.


I have been having this exact debate - I acquired an old Schweizer 269 cockpit a while ago, which I want to turn into a sim at some stage.
VR makes the visuals easy, but the control and instrument panel interaction hard.

These look interesting though - overlaying the graphics onto reality : https://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-hololens/en-us
I read the FOV is narrow though which is not ideal.
 

Offline apelly

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Re: Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2016, 10:18:09 pm »
I wonder if there are any VRs that work only on the top of someone's vision so they can see and touch the controls.
Sure, you need a real feeling controller, but then you just need hand tracking to map your hand position into VR so that it looks real too.
I'd rather a Google clue, link, or some theory than "do this" (generally)
 

Offline rstofer

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Re: Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2016, 10:47:18 pm »
If you want to interact with real controls, build a control panel and tell FS to turn off cockpit view.  All you will have on the monitors is the world.  Three curved screens ought to cover that.

And, yes, you can get data for all your instruments from MFS.  There are books re: building controls but the gist of it is to use stepper motors to move the needles.  Or use micros with small screens and do the entire digitally.  Cell phones or tablet computers should work well.  STM has a nice ARM board with a fairly large screen STM32F746G-DISCO

http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/STM32F746G-DISCO/497-15680-5-ND/5267791?WT.mc_id=IQ_7595_G_pla5267791&wt.srch=1&wt.medium=cpc&WT.srch=1&gclid=CPHU0_vR3c4CFUmUfgodDTcHrQ

I took data out of MFS via USB HID but that was a choice.  Once I have the data, I can send it any way I want.  Ethernet comes to mind.  UDP packets sent to each instrument ought to work out fine.  HID would still be the easy way to do inputs from switches and knobs.
 

Offline ez24

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Re: Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2016, 10:55:24 pm »
These look interesting though - overlaying the graphics onto reality : https://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-hololens/en-us
I read the FOV is narrow though which is not ideal.

I like this quote :   Hololens + flight simulator = Take my money

If I ever see a demo of the Hololens, I certainly will try them out.  I never heard of them before  :-+
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Offline hendorog

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Re: Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2016, 11:18:08 pm »
These look interesting though - overlaying the graphics onto reality : https://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-hololens/en-us
I read the FOV is narrow though which is not ideal.

I like this quote :   Hololens + flight simulator = Take my money

If I ever see a demo of the Hololens, I certainly will try them out.  I never heard of them before  :-+

Heh, I was thinking that too until I saw the price...

I can see those working with a real cockpit and instrument panel by painting the visuals only in the regions where the sim windows are - best of both worlds, how awesome would that be...
 

Offline SkyMaster

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Re: Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2016, 02:47:48 am »
http://www.aviationmegastore.com/info/flight_simulator_vliegen.php

All you need for a 737NG cockpit ...
Nice, this is what I want, but it looks like the resistance on the yokes is too little.  So I will wait until they put more resistance on them.  I just cannot imagine real ones acts like them, they turn too easy.  Any 737 pilots here?

Good to know about simulator yokes.

I have no flight time in a real 737, but I "flew" several Boeing 737NG Level D Full Flight Simulators. The flight controls on the 737, like any other large aircraft, are heavily assisted. The feedback in the flight controls are different from what it is in an aircraft with unpowered flight controls.

But after a while you get used to "that feel".

In all the fly-by-wire Airbus aircraft, the pilots control the aircraft with joysticks, and these joysticks are only spring loaded, there is no other feedback.

Everybody like the motion systems on a simulator, but the truth is that the motion serve no real purpose (except for turbulence and hard landing); you fly an aircraft by looking outside, or the instruments. When flying excursively on instruments, you have to totally ignore the cues that are provided by the acceleration forces. On a Level D Full Flight Simulator, the motion system is calibrated and has to be qualified to react just like if it was the real thing... but it never really feel like the reality.

When I as working on my instrument rating, my home flight simulator consisted of a CH Product Yoke and Rudder pedals, and a couple of boxes from GoFlight. It was a while ago, but one box allowed me to adjust the heading bug, OBS on VOR, etc, and the other box allowed me to tune the frequencies on the radios. I could fly without ever touching the keyboard.

I only had a 17" computer screen, and the feeling of the CH yoke was not that great, but after a while I got used to its springy feeling. Most of the time you only have to move the yoke by very small amount.

Saitek seems to be making a very nice yoke.

I think the best would be to also have an additional screen to be used as the "instructor station" (like in a real flight simulator), there are softwares that do just that. The "instructor station" is then used to re-position the aircraft, change the weather, insert failure etc.

Also, for a home flight simulator, I think it makes more sense to have some kind of a generic type of simulator, where you can simulate different types of aircraft.

I suspect that a lot of builder of home flight simulator are more interested in the building than in the flying.

 :)
 

Offline helius

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Re: Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2016, 03:39:38 pm »
I like this quote :   Hololens + flight simulator = Take my money

If I ever see a demo of the Hololens, I certainly will try them out.  I never heard of them before  :-+

Or, you could duplicate a multi-$MM 180° cockpit for lunch moneys:

 

Offline ez24

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Re: Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2016, 08:20:53 pm »

I want to learn more about this.  Looks like this could be in a kitchen?  Never even thought about projection.  thanks
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Offline ChunkyPastaSauce

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Re: Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2016, 08:55:19 pm »
This is about $5k, includes everything including monitors, computer, and bucket style chair not shown.


I know someone with this one, about ~3.6K
 

Offline ez24

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Re: Malaysian pilot flight simulator - how much would it cost ?
« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2016, 09:25:04 pm »
This is about $5k, includes everything including monitors, computer, and bucket style chair not shown.


I know someone with this one, about ~3.6K

Here are some links

http://xforcepc.com/index.php/flight-simulation/computers/ultimate.html

http://xforcepc.com/index.php/flight-simulation/computers/new-dream.html
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