General Aviation Flight Simulator

The General Aviation Flight Simulator (GAFS) prototype, designed, & developed by The Flying Engineer, is possibly one of the most professional & versatile flight simulators available today, for the purposes of basic flying training, and instrument familiarization / proficiency, in its development cost-category.

Design Efforts

Weeks were spent studying a real Cessna 172: Manuals, dimensions, and heavy interaction with real world pilots. With their constant supervision of the evolution of the design of GAFS, this simulator is the closest one can get to a near-true-to-life flight simulator for its low development budget.

With professional 3D-Modelling of the entire simulator, design reviews by pilots, extensive ergonomic study and implementation, deep analysis and technical trade-offs, this GA flight simulator is a result of both extensive design efforts and the previous professional experience of The Flying Engineer in technical aviation / simulation.

Development Team

  1. A very skilled aerospace design engineer who was part of the development of the Boeing 787 Flight Controls while working at Honeywell.
  2. An experienced technical manager who has developed the Flight Management System (FMS) for the Boeing 777, 787, A320, A340 & A380 airplanes, and has United States Patents to his credit.
  3. Cessna 172 pilots.
  4. The Flying Engineer.

Intended Use

The Simulator has been designed for the purposes of basic aviation training (flying), advanced aviation training (flying + instruments), systems training, and for aerospace research activities. The simulator, although modelled around a single, popular training airplane, is re-configurable to take on any cockpit variant of almost any GA airplane. Modifications to the simulator, if needed, are both simple and quick.


  1. Full Instrument / System Simulation.
  2. Realistic Aircraft Performance model.
  3. Realistic 225 degree HOV (Horizontal Field of View) wrap around visual system.
  4. Configurable as traditional cockpit (Analog Gauges with Garmin GNS 530 / 430), or Glass cockpit (based on Garmin G1000).
  5. Cockpit layout may be changed to suit specific aircraft type.
  6. Day / Night flying, CAVOK and Bad Weather simulation.
  7. Dual MAP, Dome and Glare shield lights.
  8. Single pilot controls (Yoke / Rudder) expandable to dual pilot controls.
  9. Ideally suited for basic flying, systems training, instrument flying, visual flying-practice, and research activities.
  10. Certifiable as a BATD or as an AATD.
  11. Full pilot control over all available systems.
  12. Ergonomically designed in accordance with cockpit design philosophies, with certain acceptable deviations from the real airplane for improved comfort and activity-specific suitability.
  13. Simple design (custom hardware) for high reliability without compromising on functionality.
  14. Instructor station may be added. Failure simulation is a default add-on with the instructor station.

Prototype Use

At the moment, the prototype is being used for the personal use of The Flying Engineer. CPL holders, who may wish to refresh their specific aircraft / navigation procedures do visit (on invitation) to fly the simulator.

The Flying Engineer takes pride in being one of the most technical aviation journalists. Development of this simulator took 5 months out of his aviation journalism activates, but serves to reflect his unwavering commitment to technical aviation.