SP Guide Publications puts forth a well compiled articulation of issues, pursuits and accomplishments of the Indian Army, over the years

— General Manoj Pande, Indian Army Chief

I am confident that SP Guide Publications would continue to inform, inspire and influence.

— Admiral R. Hari Kumar, Indian Navy Chief

My compliments to SP Guide Publications for informative and credible reportage on contemporary aerospace issues over the past six decades.

— Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, Indian Air Force Chief

Mastering the Skies — Top Simulators

Elevating Pilot training to new heights with precision, realism, and immersive experiences through the cutting-edge world of Full Flight Simulators

Issue: 01-2024By Rohit GoelPhoto(s): By FlightSafety International, L3Harris, ATR

Full flight simulators (FFS) for commercial and business aircraft are incredibly sophisticated machines that replicate the flying experience of a real airplane in almost every way. They are used to train pilots on a variety of procedures and emergency situations, as well as to keep their skills up-to-date. Here are some of the key features of full flight simulators for commercial and business aircraft:

  • Motion Systems: These systems use hydraulic or electric actuators to move the simulator cockpit in six degrees of freedom (up/down, left/right, forward/backward, roll, pitch, and yaw). This creates a realistic sense of movement that is essential for pilot training.
  • Visual Systems: These systems use high-resolution projectors to display a realistic view of the outside world from the cockpit windows. The visual systems can simulate a variety of weather conditions, terrain, and lighting scenarios.
  • Flight Control Systems: These systems replicate the controls of a real airplane, such as the yoke, rudder pedals, and throttle. They are typically very precise and provide the pilot with realistic feedback.
  • Avionics Systems: These systems simulate the instruments and displays that a pilot would use in a real airplane. This includes things like the attitude indicator, heading indicator, and airspeed indicator.
  • Software: The software that runs a full flight simulator is incredibly complex. It is responsible for simulating the aerodynamics of the airplane, the behaviour of the engines, and the effects of weather and terrain.

Full flight simulators are an essential part of pilot training. They allow pilots to practice procedures and emergency situations in a safe and controlled environment. This helps to improve their skills and make them safer pilots. The world of full flight simulator (FFS) manufacturing is dominated by a few major players, each with their own strengths and specialties. Here are some of the leading manufacturers and their top simulators:


Considered the global market leader, CAE boasts a vast portfolio of FFS models for commercial, business, and military aircraft. They are renowned for their innovation and emphasis on training effectiveness.

  • CAE 7000XR (Boeing 787 Dreamliner): This Level D marvel boasts a 6-axis motion platform that mimics every bump and breeze, while its 240° wraparound visuals paint a breathtaking picture of the world below. Advanced avionics react to your touch, replicating every button and switch with pinpoint accuracy. Train for engine failures, in-flight turbulence, and critical emergency scenarios – all within the safe confines of the simulator. The 7000XR isn’t just training, it’s an immersive experience that refines your skills and builds confidence for real-world flights.
  • CAE Challenger 650: Business jets demand precision, and the Challenger 650 FFS delivers. This compact powerhouse packs Level D fidelity into a streamlined design, perfect for smaller training centres. Hone CRM skills with realistic crew interactions, practice emergency procedures in a simulated high-altitude environment, and master the intricacies of business jet operations. The Challenger 650 FFS is passport to the world of executive aviation, equipping you with the knowledge and expertise to soar above the competition.
  • CAE 3000 Series: The CAE 3000 Series helicopter flight and mission simulator offers unprecedented realism for helicopter-specific mission training, including offshore, emergency medical services, law enforcement, high-altitude, corporate, and other operations. All CAE 3000 Series helicopter flight and mission simulators feature CAE Tropos-6000 visual system with high-definition commercial off-the-shelf projectors and up to a 220-degree horizontal by 80-degree vertical field-of-view direct projection dome with full chin window coverage, and high-resolution databases tailored to helicopter training operations.


A well-established name with a long history in pilot training, FlightSafety offers a variety of FFS solutions for both commercial and business aircraft:

  • Boeing 737 MAX FFS: This Level D powerhouse faithfully replicates the popular 737 MAX, known for its fuel efficiency and advanced technology. Immerse yourself in a 6-axis motion platform that recreates every nuance of flight, from smooth take-offs to dynamic landings. High-fidelity visuals paint a realistic picture of the outside world, while advanced avionics respond to your every touch. Train for engine failures, complex emergencies, and even the unique challenges of short-haul flying. The 737 MAX FFS is your ticket to mastering one of the world’s most popular aircraft.
  • Airbus 350 FFS: The FS1000 simulator features FlightSafety’s new Motion Cueing System, Vital 1100 visual system, and robust modular design. It offers tightly integrated computer hardware and software across subsystems which allows for more accurate and higher fidelity, and includes the latest multi-core 64-bit architecture and supporting realtime tools. It also features FlightSafety’s all new multi-function Instructor Operating Station and offers close to twice the amount of interior space as compared to previous models.
  • Gulfstream G650 FFS: Ascend to the pinnacle of luxury aviation with this Level D masterpiece. Experience the spacious cabin and intuitive controls of the G650, the king of business jets. Train for demanding high-altitude operations, practice emergency procedures in a simulated pressurised environment, and hone your CRM skills with realistic crew interactions. The Gulfstream G650 FFS isn’t just about flying, it’s about mastering the art of executive travel and exceeding client expectations.


Another major player, L3Harris focuses on advanced FFS solutions and offer high-fidelity simulator for various aircraft types.

RealitySeven FFS. RealitySeven flight simulators are full flight simulators (FFS) which means that they are among the most sophisticated flight simulators and are fully motion capable. These state-of-the-art full-motion flight simulators can simulate up to six levels of motion as well as realistic cockpit sounds, preparing pilots for realistic flight situations. This is achieved by calibrating the full flight simulators (FFS) using accumulated flight data. This way we can guarantee that the aerodynamics, flight control and ground handling characteristics reflect reality.


The RealitySeven includes digital electrical control loading and an electric motion system, reducing power consumption and providing high trainer availability for airlines, ensuring minimal operational life costs. The RealitySeven is based on a modular design, with common core elements independent of the aircraft type. It allows for different aircraft modules to be effectively ‘swapped’ out, as fleet or training business requirements change, without the need to replace the entire simulator.


  • One platform, multiple aircraft types
  • Maximum commonality between all devices
  • All modules are non-aircraft specific except for the cockpit
  • Swap the cockpit as your needs change
  • No need to replace the entire simulator.


This French company excels in FFS and their “Reality H” series is known for its immersive visual experience and realistic helicopter simulation.

Reality H Series (Helicopter). This Level D marvel replicates the unique flight dynamics of helicopters with a specialised motion platform that mimics every tilt and turn. Train for challenging hover maneuvers, master autorotation procedures, and hone your decision-making skills in simulated emergency scenarios. The Reality H helicopter full flight simulator offers pilots an immersive experience with extremely faithful reproduction of their operational missions. The system incorporates Airbus Helicopters’ avionics and software suite, features the latest simulation technologies and can generate a wide range of scenarios to train pilots in realistic flight conditions.


Known for their cost-effective and high-quality FFS solutions:

ATR 42/72 FFS. Master the art of regional flying with this Level D maestro. Experience the unique challenges of short runways and low-visibility conditions, all within the safety of the simulator. Train for engine failures, emergency landings, and specific procedures unique to turboprop operations. The ATR 42/72 FFS is your passport to connecting communities and serving remote regions, one smooth landing at a time.


This French company may not be as widely known as some of the other manufacturers, but they have a strong reputation for quality and innovation.

ECA CR172/182 FFS. This Level D simulator replicates the popular Cessna 172 and 182 single-engine aircraft, making it ideal for pilot training at the initial and advanced levels. It features a 6-axis motion platform, high-fidelity visuals, and realistic avionics simulation. This simulator is known for its affordability and ease of use, making it a popular choice for smaller flight schools and training centres.

These are just a few of the incredible full flight simulators available from leading manufacturers around the world. Each one offers unique features and training opportunities, catering to different types of aircraft and pilot skill levels. Full flight simulators are a complex and expensive piece of equipment, but they are an essential part of ensuring the safety of air travel. Choosing the right FFS manufacturer depends on your specific needs and priorities. Researching the strengths and capabilities of each company, along with factors like aircraft type and budget, will help you make an informed decision.