Rainer Bopf, an active and high ranking officer in the Deutsche Luftwaffe, has spent the last three years of his life developing what he describes as a 'real' flight simulator.
He's chosen to simulate the A320 Airbus, a modern, twin-engined, short haul civil aircraft designed and built by several European Countries, including the UK.
The Airbus is one of the first civil aircraft to incorporate advanced flyby-wire technology. This system issupposedly extremely safe, yet it's reliability has been questioned on numerous occasions.
Last year, an A320 performed a low level runway pass and finished up in the middle of a wood, and recently, a French Airbus tragically crashed into a mountain.
If you want to avoid similar incidents. I suggest you read the massive 200 page manual supplied with the Airbus simulator, and study the multitude of flight charts and maps before you oven contemplate your first flight.
Sooner or later however, you wilt find yourself positioned in the hot seat, with the revolutionary 'glass cockpit' instrumentation laid out in front of you.
PREPARE FOR TAKE OFF
Before take off, you must report to the flight officer and complete a flight plan. Whether you're simply training or reporting for duty, you must always determine how much freight you plan to carry, how many passengers will be on board and the 'to' and 'from' destinations.
Once you're happy with the flight plan, you can enter the cockpit. The bottom half of the screen is a display of the mass of plane controls and flight data, while the upper half is the view from outside the cockpit.
When you've familiarised yourself completely with the basic keyboard commands and followed the manual's quick start section, you should soon be airborne. All you've got to do now is fly the plane safely from one airport to another using a series of advanced navigation aids! The available air space spans a huge area of Europe and realistic data is supplied for more than 80 different airports and a massive 150 varied ILS approaches.
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