Flight Simulator 1

Tom Piercy has been involved in Flight Simulators since the 1960's. FS-1, or Flight Simulator 1 was released in 1981.

" As for FS1 being pretty basic, it seemed bloody amazing at the time. I remember soldering up a little two-axis joystick from bits from the Radiospares catalogue (UK equivalent of Tandy, I guess). Trying to centralise the controls was a nightmare.

The adjustment pots were just too coarse until I fiddled around with them a bit.

I actually sold an Apple II to the Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE) on the basis of FS1 around 1979, so don't knock it!

About a couple of decades or so before (early 1960s, anyway) I had been selling instrumentation to a company in Aylesbury, Bucks, UK who made flight simulators. The terrain was a carefully made model over which a camera moved according to the pilot's input - it filled a room. So FS1 on a little monitor seemed pretty miraculous.

And about a decade before that as a cadet I used to have a go in a Link Trainer - a wooden box on pneumatic supports which you would sit in, pull the cover over you, and "fly".

The "scenery" (which you couldn't see - ILS only!) was a piece of paper on which a pen drew the aircraft's path. Meanwhile the sound of engines was proved by the electric pump which proved the pneumatic air pressure. Don't know if the Link trainer was developed before WWII or during it, but I think it was about that time it came out.

And next month I go for an hour in a full motion hydraulic 737 simulator - a present from my lovely daughter. Must practice first on FS2000!

I hope this gives you some idea of the pleasure and nostalgia I got from your fascinating site.

Best wishes
Tom Piercy
Rothwell, Northants, UK