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GA simulators reach for airline qualityGeneral aviation simulators reaching for airline quality

Six degrees of motion available

You know those $20 million to $30 million full-motion flight simulators the airlines use for training and proficiency? They are working their way down to the general aviation community with quarter-million-dollar simulators with six degrees of motion found in two simulators from Precision Flight Controls located near Sacramento, California.
Precision Flight Controls simulator

The two come standard with Cessna models, including the Cessna 152, and models of Beechcraft, Piper, Mooney, and Diamond airplanes—37 in all. In addition, owners can purchase seven optional turboprops including Beechcraft, Piper, Cessna, and Pilatus, and two Cessna Citation models, the 501 and 550.

The six degrees of motion include three you have heard of—pitch, roll, and yaw—and three that might be new to you: heave, surge, and sway.

The simulator models include the $219,995 DCX Max 6DOF advanced aviation training device that was approved by the FAA in March 2013, but last year was lifted aboard a motion base that provides the six degrees of motion. The motion base lifts the 600-pound simulator about four feet off the floor so it can tilt and move.

The next highest product is the MFD 6DOF already approved by the FAA but the subject of a redesign, switching the composite cab for an all-metal cab and using a slightly more sophisticated instrument panel for $264,995. Like the DCX, the MFD advanced aviation training device uses the motion base with six degrees of motion.

Finally the company has an all-new FDS B737 NG advanced aviation training device for the Boeing 737 for $345,000. The 737 does not use a motion base. Installation of the three simulators costs from $3,000 to $5,000 more.

Alton Marsh

Alton K. Marsh

Freelance journalist
Alton K. Marsh is a former senior editor of AOPA Pilot and is now a freelance journalist specializing in aviation topics.
Topics: Flight Training

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