Renegade Light Sport LLC Developing Flight Simulator
Christopher “Doc” Bailey of Renegade Light Sport in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, displayed the prototype of a low-cost two-axis full-motion flight simulator at his booth for the Lycoming O-233 powered Falcon light-sport aircraft (LSA) at the 2011 Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In & Expo. The full-motion chair works with any preexisting flight simulator software and is expected to be priced at an amazingly low $3000. It’s powered entirely by gravity through the weight of the pilot and could be just the thing for small flight schools.
The simulator was set up in an airplane trailer in front of a large-screen LCD television to keep it out of the weather. The chair or cockpit is mounted on a frame that allows it to pitch up or down 37 degrees and to roll left or right the same amount. Through the use of clever geometry and weights, the chair can balance in a neutral state anywhere within its range of motion.
Through the use of leverage, the control stick in your hand moves the chair, and it really works. If you give the stick a quick strong jab, you might throw yourself out of the cockpit if the seat belt wasn’t fastened. Renegade hopes to be able to offer a complete system with the simulator chair, software, monitor, and a powerful gaming computer for about $5000. All you have to do is plug it in.
The magic that makes the flight simulator work is a sensor under the chair and on the rudder pedals that tells your software what the chair is doing. The simulator chair and rudder pedals simply replace the joystick on any existing flight software in a simple plug-and-play fashion.
It works so well they believe it could be very helpful for sport pilots and for schools to allow students to fly a flight on the simulator before going out and doing that same thing in a real airplane. And it’s not just for LSA. Any software that uses a joystick, including games, should work with the chair. For more information about the simulator and the Falcon LSA, call 816-282-8635 or go to RenegadeLightSport.com.