History of flight Simulation

Prior to the rise of video games, Sega produced arcade games that resembles video games, but were in fact electro-mechanical games that used rear image projection in a manner similar to a zoetrope to produce moving animations on a screen. One such electro-mechanical game by Sega was Jet Rocket, a first-person combat flight simulator featuring cockpit controls that could move the player aircraft around a landscape displayed on a screen and shoot missiles onto targets that explode when hit. In 1975, Taito released a simulator video game, Interceptor, which was a crude arcade first-person combat flight simulator that involved using an eight-way joystick to aim with a crosshair and shoot at enemy aircraft that move in formations of two and scale in size depending on their distance to the player.

The advent of flight simulators as home video game entertainment has prompted many users to become "airplane designers" for these systems. As such, they may create both military or commercial airline airplanes, and they may even use names of real life airlines, as long as they don't make profits out of their designs. Many other home flight simulator users create fictional airlines, or virtual versions of real-world airlines, so called virtual airlines. These modifications to a simulation generally add to the simulation's realism and often grant a significantly expanded playing experience, with new situations and content. In some cases, a simulation is taken much further in regards to its features than was envisioned or intended by its original developers. Falcon 4.0 is an example of such modification; "modders" have created whole new warzones, along with the ability to fly hundreds of different aircraft, as opposed to the single original flyable airframe.

Fly online together

One way that users of flight simulation software engage is through the internet. Virtual pilots and virtual air traffic controllers take part in an online flying experience which attempts to simulate real-world aviation to a high degree. There are four networks where this sort of play is possible, the most popular ones being VATSIM and IVAO. The virtual airspace provided by both organizations provides users a low barrier of entry. This allows any member, regardless of skill, the ability to fly without worrying if something goes wrong. The provided airspace on both networks covers the entire globe, VATSIM is generally regarded to have better coverage of North America, Europe, and Australia, while at IVAO pilots and controllers generally fly and control in Africa and South America, in addition to Europe. Both networks receive anywhere from 600 to 900 ATC and pilot connections daily.