Takeda, K., Newman, S.J., Kenny, J. and Zyskowski, M.
Convergence: commodity flight simulation and the future
Aeronautical Journal, 112, (1136), .
Full text not available from this repository.
The development of commodity flight simulation, in the form of PC
game technology, continues to advance at a rapid pace. Indeed, the
software industry is now being driven primarily by the requirements of
gaming, digital media, and other entertainment applications. This has
largely been due to the commoditisation of computer hardware, which is apparent when considering recent trends in central processing unit and graphics processor development.
The flight simulation industry has benefited from this trend of
hardware commoditisation, and will continue to do so for the
foreseeable future. It is, however, yet to fully realise the potential for
leveraging commodity-off-the-shelf (COTS) software. In this paper the
opportunities presenting themselves for the next 25 years of flight
simulation are discussed, as the aviation and games software industry’s requirements converge. A SWOT (strengths-weaknesses-opportunitiesthreats) analysis of the commodity flight simulation software industry is presented, including flight modelling, scenery generation, multiplayer technology, artificial intelligence, mission planning, and event handling.
Issues such as data portability, economics, licensing, intellectualproperty, interoperability, developer extensibility, robustness, qualification, and maintainability are addressed.
Microsoft Flight Simulator is used as a case study of how commodity
flight simulation has been extended to include extensive programmatic
access to its core engine. Examples are given on how the base platform of this application can be extended by third-party developers and the power this extensibility model provides to the industry.
This paper is presented to highlight particular technology trends in the
commodity flight simulation industry, the fidelity that commodity flight
simulations can provide, and to provide a high-level overview of the
strengths and weaknesses thereof.
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