Realtime flight simulator

With the release of Unreal Engine 5, developers at Epic Games have been promoting improvements to their large world coordinate system, which now supports 64 bit precision. This makes it possible to develop world scale projects with accuracy and orientation precision.

To encourage the use of Unreal Engine in creating a new generation of flight simulator, a suite of helpful resources launched at this year's World Aviation Training Summit in Orlando.

Unreal Engine flight simulator is ready for takeoff.

The resources have made it straightforward to create a fully interactive and realistic flight simulator. After only a few days I had a playable demo up and running and, this past week, I've already lost many hours simply enjoying exploring the planet in a Boeing 777.

Taking to the air in a custom flight simulator.

Flight dynamics are provided by the open source JSBSim - software which has been verified by NASA - while the geospatial landscape data is provided by Cesium. In practice even this basic simulator is comparable in feel and quality to flying in X-Plane 11.

It is possible to view and control the aircraft from multiple positions including inside the cockpit. For added realism, the simulator also supports various commercial flight-specific control devices, including Honeycomb's yoke and throttle quadrant.

ATPL and aviation training just got real.

These realtime tools significantly reduce the cost of developing and maintaining a usable flight simulator, opening up teaching opportunities that previously required vast investment.

The potential for this type of training simulation in both classroom based and distance learning scenarios is enormous. This is something I'm planning to develop further, including integration of my existing CAT III runway approach lighting system and more.