Practicing at home is a great idea for pilots. You can keep your skills sharp and your mind in the cockpit even when you can’t make it to the airport.
- Put it on a table.
- Turn it on.
In reality, however, two obstacles deny a majority of pilots effective home flight simulation: purchasing and assembling the right hardware requires a PhD in computer know-how, and after flying around the virtual world for a bit, most pilots get bored. Redbird Flight Simulations, the world leader in FAA-approved flight simulators for general aviation, has addressed both these issues with the Jay.
The Jay contains the monitor, speakers, computer and flight controls—all-in-one unit that is ready to fly right out of the box. It boots up directly to a launch screen where you can select your airplane, airport and weather conditions. Push the green button and you’re on a runway and ready to go.
It’s built in.
The Jay is more than a simulator—it’s a flight experience device supporting training, proficiency, and just plain fun! In addition to the free flight mode where you select the aircraft and conditions, the Jay has a scenario mode where you can load a preset scenario and fly it.
A scenario could range from a simple flight challenge to a complex flight with multiple potential outcomes. For example, a magazine article on an aircraft accident could be linked to a mission where the Jay owner flies that scenario. Redbird Media, a company specializing in curriculum for simulation, will create many of these scenarios in partnership with AOPA Pilot and other training outlets and magazines.
The scenario exchange will be open to any company wishing to create scenarios for the Jay. A one-button update on the Jay will load the latest scenarios available for free or that the owner has purchased.
The Jay home screen also has a built-in web browser to access scenario add-ons, such as video, or download simulator extensions such as additional aircraft or scenery.
The Jay chassis is metal, not plastic. Control smoothness is paramount. The parts should last indefinitely. In addition, there are pilot-centric touches. For example, the yoke travel is equivalent to a typical Cessna or Piper single—about three times as far as most plastic flight sim yokes move.
The software powering the Jay is Lockheed Prepar3D (pronounced “prepared”). Prepar3D is an evolution of Microsoft’s FSX, enhanced and expanded for professional-level simulation, including Redbird’s full-motion simulators.
This means most of the many plug-ins, aircraft and communities designed for FSX will work flawlessly on the Jay.
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