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Simulations

Like many computer users of my generation, I've notched up many hours of virtual flight time in a number of fairly realistic simulation programs. There are those who are simply not satisfied with keyboard, mouse and joystick control of jet fighters and passenger airplanes on a desktop computer system, though. Air traffic controller and pilot James Price is one such simulation-junkie who has taken his desire for realism to dizzy new heights by having the nose lopped off a veteran Boeing 737, fitting out the gutted cockpit with working controls, dials and monitors and then interfacing the hardware with flight simulation software. It's been a labor of love but we think the result is well worth the enormous amount of time and effort that's gone into the build. Read More
In the beginning, there was the thermonuclear bomb - mankind had harnessed the energy of the Sun. Confident predictions abounded that fusion reactors would be providing power "too cheap to meter" within ten years. Sixty years later many observers are beginning to wonder if billions of dollars of effort has been lost in digging out dry wells. Now a new simulation study carried out at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, suggests that magnetized inertial fusion (MIF) experiments could be retrofitted to existing pulsed-power facilities to obtain fusion break-even. Read More
Chances are, you will never get to try out the new 3D MiG flight simulator. If you have almost US$60,000 that has nothing better to do, however, you can now buy something almost as impressive – the OVO-4 Home Flight Simulator. The egg-shaped capsule contains a full simulated light aircraft cockpit, with three linked 24-inch monitors displaying the output of Microsoft’s Flight Simulator X. Best of all, however, the capsule pitches and rolls according to what’s happening in the simulation – users presumably have to supply their own barf bags. Read More
Russian Aircraft Company's MiG is best known for its fighter planes which have been used by the USSR, China, North Korea and North Vietnam since the beginning of WWII. These days, the former Government-owned RAC MiG is a publicly traded entity and competes on the open market with its technologies, having more than 1600 of its MiG-29 fighters in operation in 25 countries. Now MiG is claiming a major first in military aviation with the launch of a 3D flight simulator at the Dubai Air Show, providing volumetric visualization of beyond-the-cockpit space for trainee top guns. The simulator comes complete with the MiG-29’s cockpit and actual control systems. Read More
The Bolshoi cosmological simulation is by far the most ambitious project of its kind. It harnesses the power of supercomputing to bring cosmology into the realm of experimental sciences. Based on observable input data, the Bolshoi simulation allows scientists to see what the higher structure of our universe might have looked like at particular points in time throughout its formation, arming them with tools that should make cracking the mysteries of dark matter, dark energy and galaxy formation much more feasible. Read More
Eglin Air Force Base has just taken delivery of a piece of hardware that would surely be the ultimate toy for flight sim gaming fans. The F-35 Lightning II Full Mission Simulator (FMS) system includes a high-fidelity 360-degree visual display system and a reconfigurable cockpit that can simulate all three variants of the F-35 Lightning II for U.S. and international partner services – the conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) F-35A, the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B, and the F-35C carrier variant. Read More
It's called the HOTAS WARTHOG and Thrustmaster really has gone the whole hog with it new flagship flight simulation gaming peripheral. A full replica of the controls from a U.S. Air Force A-10C attack aircraft, the WARTHOG dual throttle system features a total of 55 programmable action buttons and 2 four-direction hat switches designed to perfectly mimic the resistance required in a real airplane. Read More
At the Lexus research campus in Higashifuji, Japan, the automotive company has created what it claims is the most advanced driving simulator ever built. It consists of a 15 feet high by 20 feet wide domed pod which moves on a series of interlocking motion tracks within a hangar the size of a football stadium. Inside the pod, a full-size Lexus car is mounted on a turntable, and surrounded by an interactive 360-degree high-definition audio-visual simulation of real world driving environments. By allowing test drivers to safely experience various sketchy driving scenarios, the company hopes to learn more about driver behaviors and reaction times before accidents, then incorporate those findings into new active safety features in their cars. Read More
This may be hard to believe, but driving a real race car is actually not all that much like sitting on the couch and watching your TV. It’s a lot louder, shakier, and just generally a lot more immersive - qualities that are emulated by the VRX iMotion racing simulator. This man-boy’s toy features an Italian Sparco racing seat, customizable Clubsport accelerator, brake and clutch pedals, a force feedback steering wheel, a Bose 5-speaker surround sound system designed for 5.1-encoded games, and three-screen-wide NVIDIA GeForce 3D Surround Vision. Best of all, it also utilizes the D-BOX Motion Code, that uses an actuator to tilt and shake the cockpit according to what’s happening in the game. Read More
At the 3D and VR Expo in Tokyo, Japanese company Forum8 demonstrated the company's UC-win/Road Drive Simulator software. The software allows for custom maps and environments to be created according to your specifications. You can control the environment and location, the terrain and street layout. You can even adjust the traffic, weather conditions, and even time of day. The minute details in the graphics are impressive, even showing barely noticeable elements such as the signal lights on individual vehicles. Read More
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