Information Warfare: December 9, 2003

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Military flight simulators have continually improved their realism during the last 70 years, Now, it appears that they have become too realistic in some respects. Pilots complain that the top end simulators, that cost nearly as much as the aircraft they represent, have graphics that are more detailed than what pilots can actually see from the cockpit in flight. The simulator developers kept trying to improve the graphics over the years, and graphics technology advanced so much in the past five years that, as the pilots pointed out, the simulation looked better (or at least more detailed) than the real thing. Simulators have also failed to take into account all of the problems with electronics that pilots actually encounter. Many pilots report that they miss up to half the messages coming at them from the nearby AWACs aircraft controlling the airspace they are in. Finally, and not surprisingly, pilots complain that simulator designers are not listening to pilots enough. Instead, senior officers, who command pilots from ground or AWACS bases, are calling the shots more and more. According to the pilots, the shots are being called with less and less accuracy.

 


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