Virtual reality flight simulation was only the beginning

Published on December 1st, 2018 by Debi Christensen

With both feet planted on the floor, you slide the throttle back and pull the yoke toward you. The nose of the plane lifts away from the runway. You’re headed into a robin’s-egg-blue sky, where you’ll level off and trim the aircraft.

It’s hard to believe that you’re only a foot off the ground.

Virtual reality flight simulation makes it possible.

Pilot training experiences

Nearly 100 years ago, pilot training originally consisted of explaining the basics of aircraft operation while still on the ground and then sending hopeful pilots skyward. Not surprisingly, the flights didn’t always end successfully.

As a result, trainers began using simulations to better prepare pilots, but the pilots still needed to log hundreds of hours of flight experience for certification. Becoming a pilot was costly. Jet and multi-engine experience costs even more because of fuel, insurance, and aircraft maintenance requirements.


For today’s recreational flyers and private pilots, that gets expensive fast.

Present day pilot training, however, consists of a blended approach to learning how to fly an aircraft. While in-air experience is critical for training pilots, virtual reality flight simulation can offset the cost as well as the danger in learning how to fly an aircraft.

Significant benefits of virtual simulation in aviation

Virtual reality aviation training replaces costly air time, often cutting the cost of getting a private pilot’s license in half .

Aviation training centers provide affordable solutions for acquiring the comprehensive training pilots require for certification and licensure by using virtual reality flight simulations. The simulations provide hundreds of hours of practice time. They also eliminate the risk involved in performing required flight maneuvers, like recovering from a stall.


Pilot training is expanding to include sensory stimulation, thanks to efforts by GoTouchVR. Haptic interfaces give the sensation of touch, so when the user toggles a switch or grabs an object, the motion feels like the real thing.

Now anyone can experience the sensation of flying an aircraft, whether it’s in your own airspace or beyond.

Future implications of virtual reality flight simulation

Once your master your own airspace, it’s only natural to wonder what lies beyond the stratosphere

OnSight has already done some of the legwork for you, offering VR simulations of Mars. Their award-winning virtual visit software gives users the field experience needed for studying Martian geology. NASA plans to incorporate VR in the 2020 Mars rover mission, too. Virtual reality is an optimal training tool.


Space isn’t the only unknown frontier. There’s plenty here on (and inside) Earth we don’t know about as well. So far we’ve explored only about 5% of our oceans. Imagine checking out the depths of the Mariana Trench or flying through the inside of a dormant volcano.

As scientists continue to explore new worlds, they’ll need your support for their research. Virtual reality space and aviation exploration takes you to the scene so you can experience what they’re talking about.

It’s very possible that when you say the words from Star Trek, “Second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning,” that’s where your virtual reality flight simulation will take you.

The horizon – in all its unknown forms — lies ahead, thanks to virtual reality simulation training.