Proposal: Flight Simulation
Proposal: General Aviation
Proposal: Flight Simulation

The Title says "Flight Simulation" but the description only refers to flight simulation games. If it's intended to be games then clearly it's a duplicate of gaming. But if it's for real flight simulators then that might be different.

  • Whether for games or pilot training, since support for this proposal is light, I decided to close it as not to distract attention away from our General Aviation proposal. – Robert Cartaino Mar 10 '11 at 18:25
  • -1 Even flight simulation games aren't always used as just games. See my answer for more info, you'd be surprised. – Evan Plaice Mar 18 '11 at 2:16

The proposal says simply "users of computer-based flight simulator programs". So I don't think means it is for folks who climb into a hardware replica flightdeck of a Cessna Skyhawk.

If it is for folks who enjoy "playing the game," it should be closed as a duplicate of Gaming. If it is for serious pilots in training, the proposal is too narrow and support should be directed towards a more general aviation topic: http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/7029/general-aviation


It probably doesn't matter what site we 'combine' this with. All we need to do to close it is say that all valid questions belong somewhere else.

  • Questions about using flight simulator software for recreational purposes belong on Games;
  • Questions about using flight simulators of any kind for pilot training belong on General Aviation

There are a couple of categories that don't have a home on this basis: a) questions about design and building of full-function flight simulators b) questions about use of flight simulators for non-GA training (e.g. airline or military). However I don't think either of these are likely to be large enough communities to warrant a separate site.



I would be very interested in this proposal if it did exist because I spent 5+ years working in the Commercial Flight Simulation industry (big planes like 747, A320 not puddle hoppers like Cessna) but I don't see a very large community being drawn to it if you cut out flight simulation games.

Mostly because the industry is so small that most of the heads of the industry (as well as the heads of the authorities like FAA JAA) know each other by first name.

The people who work on them are a smallish group of highly specialized people.

Aside: It's not really fair to exclude Flight Simulation games from the Flight Simulation category either. I know of one at least one company who is developing full motion (the big box ones on hydraulics) simulators based on Microsoft Flight simulator and Project Magenta (although I don't think the are shooting for Level C or D certification).

General Aviation does not sufficiently cover this topic because many general aviation pilots learn to fly in a plane not a simulator and don't fall under the same strict guidelines that commercial/military pilots do.


I would have to respectfully disagree with Robert's answer, and say that flight simulation and general-aviation should be combined, rather than combining flight-simulation with games. Here's why:

Compare flight simulation with any other game. Where most people who play first-person shooters are not really snipers or special forces, a large chunk of PC-based flight simulator users are real-world aviators. Furthermore, PC-based flight simulators more closely model reality than any other virtual experience. There are entire networks (i.e. Vatsim or IVAO) of virtual pilots who link up over the Internet to share airspace, and even virtual air-traffic controllers who have virtual radar terminals to guide the traffic. There are even organized virtual airlines.

  • Airports are almost identical to their real-world counterparts.
  • The navigational data used is based on real-world charts.
  • Even real-world (live updating) weather is used.
  • Flight-plans are created and filed, just like real-world.

Because of the level of realism, and the overlap of real-word and virtual aviators, and the similarity of the questions that are bound to be asked, I think there is a strong case to combine real-world and simulated commercial and general aviation into one site. The distinction should be with a [simulator] tag.

  • @JeffG - That's what I meant. If the site is about piloting rather than "playing a game", the proposal should be close in support of the general aviation proposal. – Robert Cartaino Mar 8 '11 at 3:02
  • 1
    @Robert. Oh. Sorry I misunderstood. – JeffG Mar 8 '11 at 21:17

I agree with DJ that the proposal is a little ambiguous at the moment. The proposer should clarify whether he is talking about PC games or the real thing.

In my opinion, if its real-world simulators used in General Aviation flight training then its probably on-topic for the General Aviation proposal. (A380 simulators, probably not).

If its PC games, then I think it would be more appropriate under gaming.

But really it should come down to what type of question is being asked. If the game player is asking a question about how to play the game, then its gaming. If the game player is asking a question about how to fly planes, then its general aviation. Either way, I don't think this proposal in its current form warrants a site of its own.

Here is an example of a question about Microsoft Flight Simulator that I consider to be on-topic for the General Aviation site. It currently has 12 on-topic votes and 3 off-topic.

Am I wasting my time learning to fly on Microsoft Flight Simulator?

I think something like "How do I file a flight plan in Microsoft Flight Simulator?" would be off-topic for General Aviation but on-topic for gaming.


Super-realistic flight simulators (and military simulations) can be classified under Serious games.

Serious games are a subtopic of Gaming in general, and so belong on https://gamedev.stackexchange.com/.

There is no need to create a separate stackexchange site for serious games much less a specific type of serious game.

  • Did you mean Gaming, instead of Game Dev? – Grace Note Mar 8 '11 at 18:50
  • I dare you to go to a designer of multi-million dollar flight simulators and say "questions about your system belong on video games". – DJClayworth Mar 8 '11 at 19:13
  • Also, based on the reading of the Wikipedia article, what you say appears not to be the case. The article does not say that professional flight simulators are included in this genre; in fact it contrasts 'serious games" with "traditional flight simulators". When it talks about flight simulation games it always refers to 'PC' type game examples. – DJClayworth Mar 8 '11 at 20:31
  • Hmm, you aren't taking the traditional video game world seriously enough. Production costs for GTA 4 were $100 million. Serious games can cost that much, or more. Don't think "Serious games" being a subtopic of "Games" is to put Serious games down a notch. But as a subject of study Serious games are a type of game. The same techniques that apply to game dev will apply to Serious game dev. Only diff is Serious games can't cheat reality to make it more fun. – bobobobo Mar 9 '11 at 2:09
  • @bobobobobo Not denying the importance of "Serious games", but Flight Simulators aren't an example. The gulf between a six-axis flight simulator and "Angry Birds" is very big. – DJClayworth Mar 9 '11 at 14:34
  • And to answer your query, nobody is suggesting that we create a separate site for Serious Games, so don't worry about it. – DJClayworth Mar 9 '11 at 14:36
  • A realistic flight simulator is a serious game. Angry Birds is a normal game. – bobobobo Mar 9 '11 at 23:16
  • Feel free to either propose a site for 'Serious Games", or ask a question about realistic flight simulators on Gaming. But I don't think you'll get far with either. – DJClayworth Mar 10 '11 at 17:01

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