Skip to Main Content
High fidelity Flight Management System (FMS) simulators are available as add-ons for Microsoft Flight Simulator. These FMS add-ons cost no more than $100 and are used by virtual pilots on personal computers to enhance the realism of their aviation experience. Are these low-cost simulators sufficiently capable to support NextGen aviation research? This paper assesses the fidelity of these low-cost desktop simulators by comparing simulated flight tracks, from several varieties of simulated FMS, to operational flight tracks from commercial airlines using real FMSs, and flight tracks produced by a GE Aviation FMS test bench. Some uncertainty exists in the results of ground speed analysis; however the lateral and vertical flight profiles produced by the FMS simulators correlate well with the test bench output and operational data.