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Dreamflyer Adds Motion to NASA's Flight Simulation

Last updated Fri, 01 May 2015 16:50:27 GMT
Originally posted on Sat, 03 Apr 2010 07:24:12 GMT

Nasa Flight SimNASA’s Cognitive State Monitoring Lab is using a Dreamflyer-driven flight simulation system combined with optical neuroimaging technology to monitor Human Performance and Cognition in Extreme Environments. One of NASA’s core objectives is to improve flight deck safety by monitoring and thus better understanding physiological reactions of personnel to extreme conditions.

  • Other potential uses include:
  • Brain-computer interface for prosthetic activation
  • Biofeedback for self-training, craving control
  • Brain-controlled gaming applications
  • Cognitive assessment for Alzheimer’s disease

Dreamflyers provide countless hours of great interactive entertainment for gamers, however, Diana Groffen, Director of Sales for FMS Flight Motion Simulators Inc., is not at all surprised that they are increasingly being used for serious gaming, i.e. research and training. They have sold many units to air force bases; aviation education programs; museums; and, air cadet squadrons, around the world.

The Canadian Air Force teaches approx 65 air cadets to fly real Schweizer gliders each summer at Gimli, their instructors use the Dreamflyer to enhance their training. RCAF Captain Brian Renaud observed that It has proven most useful for students that may experience problems with their real flying training so they practice in the Dreamflyer and for the most part they can overcome their problem thanks to the Dreamflyer. It works slick.

Dreamflyers remain valuable tools after a pilot has obtained their license. Daryl Nelson, a recreational pilot, uses his for flight planning whenever he is about to fly to an area he has never flown over before; he also uses it to maintain his instrument familiarity. “When you haven’t flown for a while, you forget where some of the gauges and switches are positioned. So, when I have been out of the cockpit for any length of time I will spend a couple of hours on the Dreamflyer just to re-familiarize myself with the instrument layout. Since it moves like a real plane, it not only makes flight simulation much more realistic, but also much more fun. Brushing up on my flight procedures and such on my Dreamflyer requires no discipline on my part … forcing myself to get off it eventually, - well that is another matter.”

The Dreamflyer actually pitches and rolls to provide an immersive and engaging simulated flight experience. It works on a simple principle of mechanics: pivot arrangement. As the user moves the joystick forward, backward, and side-to-side, that motion is transferred via a pivot mechanism to the chassis. Sensors under the seat capture the direction and degree of movement and send it to a PC loaded with simulation software.

The Dreamflyer has won several awards including the Innovations Design and Engineering Honoree Award at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It was also a finalist in the International Last Gadget Standing competition held in Dubai that year. This extremely well engineered device does not require a motor of any kind, and the chassis is so solid it will last decades with very little maintenance. At only $2,800US it is by far the most affordable flight motion simulator on the market.

Click here to learn more about the Dreamflyer: or call Di Groffen at 1(877) 435-9746.

This article was submitted by Diana Groffen, Director of Sales at FMS Flight Motion Simulators Inc.

Nasa using Dreamflyer simulation

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Ian Stephens

Ian Stephens

Ian Stephens is a flight simulation industry expert with over 20 years of experience and also has a keen interest in aviation and technology.  Ian spends a lot of his time experimenting with various simulator packages but has a love for Microsoft Flight Simulator X because of the huge selection of add-ons available.  However, Ian also has copies of Prepar3D and X-Plane installed. 

Ian has been writing for Fly Away Simulation for over 9 years.  Should you wish, you can contact Ian via email at


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