Who said flight simulation was a game?

Austin Meyer, owner and developer of X-Plane, is now involved in the development of real avionics. Imagine a flight simulator installed as a piece of equipment in… a real airplane. Now imaging that, as you fly, the software in that little box “constantly simulates a glide down to every runway, in every direction, at every airport within gliding range of the airplane[…], simulating every possible choice you could make to glide down if the engine quit, and estimating a chance of success for that runway choice”. Well apparently that piece of equipment is real. The VP-400 Seeker can even take control of the autopilot if the airplane’s real pilot is incapacitated for some reason, although the product’s page does carry a disclaimer that “the VP-400 is for use only with experimental and light sport aircraft”. Still, it suggests a fascinating relationship between real and virtual worlds as far as I’m concerned.

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