Warplanes: A Simulating Conversion


September 26, 2007: One of the most valuable aspects of flight simulators is their use in "conversion training." When a new aircraft is introduced, or an old one retired, pilots have to learn how to fly a new aircraft. This is expensive, and can be dangerous. Although there are two seat "trainer" versions of single seat fighters, they are few in number. Conversion pilots often end up flying solo before they are completely confident of their skills with the new aircraft. That's where flight simulators became very useful. After studying the manuals and new cockpit layout, pilots are much more comfortable climbing into the simulator of the new aircraft. After about twenty hours in the simulator, including many hours working on emergency situations, pilots are really, really ready to climb into the real thing for their first solo flight.


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