The Proper Usage of The Term Flight Simulator

Technically speaking Full Flight Simulators are (in the US and the EU) the only devices regulators label as "flight simulators". The other terms you'll see being used are:

  • Task Trainers
  • Procedures Trainers
  • Aviation Training Devices
  • Flight Training Devices
  • Flight Navigation Procedures Trainers

You'll notice they all reference training, not simulation. Although it is technically correct then that they are not flight simulators it's not going to make you popular at cocktail parties. Using these terms will also likely not convey useful information to most people, and you may well confuse them. This is why outside of regulatory contexts we liberally use the term flight simulator to refer to pretty much anything that involves replicating an aircraft and it's operation in some way.