November 1, 2008

Air Combat Training Simulators

One of our customers recently asked about the Air Combat Training Simulators (ACTS) machines pictured on our website and our videos.

There were two machines, ACTS1 and ACTS2 completed in early 2006. They were Roger Dodger Aviation’s first dedicated dogfighters and we flew hundreds of missions with them.

ACTS1 and ACTS2 are sturdy and heavy; built from wood, medium density fiberboard (MDF), and seats from a Dodge Caravan. The pilots view a large projected screen mounted on the wall and use the TrackIR system for view tracking. The TrackIR camera is mounted on a post in the pictures, but now it’s mounted on a HUD replica.

ACTS showed us that you shouldn’t build things that are difficult to climb in and out of. We discovered that a center-mounted joystick wasn't going to work well for this machine. People kept tripping over it, so we changed it to a side stick. We also cut out a section of the right sidewall to make it easier to enter/exit.

ACTS comes apart in sections to make it somewhat portable, but it’s still very awkward to try to move it anywhere. It was a real hassle to move it for the NY2LA for Diabetes fund raiser, and this led to the idea for the lighter, more mobile and more attractive Portable Aviation Combat Sim (PACS) DIY project videos we sell on

We sold the ACTS1 cockpit shell last week. We're still using ACTS2. There are several more pictures of ACTS1 on this page.

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