Welcome to the Flight Simulation section of VirtualvCP.com. Flight Simulation has been one of my hobbies for almost 20 years and although, for me, it started out as just another computer game, I soon found myself taking a much more serious view to desktop flight simulation than just another computer game. I personally believe that anyone can install a desktop flight simulator and mess around, maybe even fly from one airport to another, but it takes practice and patience, add-ons, money and a lot of studying and understanding to be able to use flight simulators in a realistic manner that reflects real world procedures.
Personally, flight simulation is much more that simply purchasing, installing and messing around in Microsoft Flight Simulator (now being developed by Lockheed Martin as Prepar3d) or X-Plane. In fact, today I view the “off the shelf” Microsoft Flight Simulator Series or even X-Plane (although my experiences with X-Plane is very limited) as simulation development platforms, nothing more.
Although desktop flight simulators such as Microsoft Flight Simulator, Prepar3d and X-Plane ship with a good set of “default” aircraft, the aircraft contained in the base installations of these flight simulators are very shallow in terms of flight dynamics and flight systems. However, these flight simulators provide developers with a good platform for developing extremely accurate simulations of aircraft, their visual models, flight dynamics and systems. It is these 3rd party add-ons that really bring the world of flight simulation to life.
In addition to 3rd party aircraft being made available for off the shelf desktop flight simulators, there are other add-ons available that further enhances the desktop flight simulation experience. These add-ons provide features such as accurate weather simulations, photo accurate scenery, ground crew operations, virtual airline simulations, flight deck crew simulations and the list goes on and on.
Now, I do appreciate that flight simulation is not for everyone. In fact, I guess most of the regular and traditional visitors to VirtualvCP.com will not be interested in this section. However, I find flight simulation interesting and fun for many reasons. Yes I am an aviation enthusiast, and love aeroplanes. That will never change. But I am also an IT techie. IT is what I do day in and day out. It’s what I live and breathe. The world of flight simulation provided me with an opportunity to bring my enthusiasm for aviation and my passion for IT together.
So I dedicate this section of VirtualvCP to Flight Simulation. Sure, I do accept that it might not be popular with my traditional readers, but in this section I will attempt to document just how technical and fun flight simulation can be. I will demonstrate how I use my day to day career experience in terms of virtualization technologies to further enhance my flight simulation experience. I will attempt to demonstrate how I used virtualization, and in particular VMware vSphere to move my hobby from a standalone desktop installation of Microsoft Flight Simulator X into a “Flight Simulator Infrastructure”.