In July 2009, Mikael Carlson successfully flew his restored Bleriot XI across the English Channel in a recreation of Bleriot’s pioneering flight a hundred years earlier. The Bleriot is a simple aircraft. It has, Carlson explained to reporters, only three instruments: an oil pressure indicator, an RPM gauge and your backside. Carlson might have been talking about the Piper Cub (he flies those too) and he would immediately recognise that simulating a Cub is in many ways more of a challenge than simulating the Boeing 737 he flies for a living.

The difficulties of trying to simulate such a simple aircraft are twofold: first, there can be no distraction in enthralling the pilot with dazzling arrays of instruments (the Cub has a few more than the Bleriot, but not many); and second, it is impossible to simulate the physical sensations which are such a big part of flying the real thing. For the simulation developer the Piper Cub poses a conundrum of simplicity.

These were the ground rules when A2A Simulations chose to produce the Piper J3 Cub, and now it’s done. They have approached the project with their by-now customary attention to detail, and the result is a work of breathtaking, perhaps unprecedented, depth. But can it shrug off the shackles of immobility to deliver an authentic flying experience? That’s for you to decide, but join us here as we get a bit of air-time and tackle such questions head-on.


View the video in low definition on YouTube.

For more information on th A2A piper Cub please visit the product page at the A2A Simulations web site or simMarket.

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Mark Hurst holds a real-world CAA PPL, which he obtained in Southern California in 1993. He flew intermittently out of Leavesden and Long Beach for a few years before the inevitable lapse, but he harbours dreams of resurrecting his licence and barging microlights around the treetops of Bedfordshire. He has been a flight simulator enthusiast since SubLogic’s Flight Simulator III on the Atari ST, and recently he rekindled his passion for aviation with the assembly of a dedicated FSX machine. In the real world Mark works for the NHS as a Family Therapist.

Nick Churchill has been providing images for marketing purposes of Flight Simulator products for several years and claims that staring at a virtual cockpit for too long can make you go blind.

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