AeroSim Experience 737 MAX Geek Out

Today I spent a couple of hours playing in a fun 737 MAX simulator, from a company called AeroSim. Here’s their site, and they have a few locations around Canada I think. This isn’t a review or anything, as I didn’t pay (a friend invested in the business) so not exactly fair/impartial, but wanted to share here as an interesting time.

I didn’t really know what to expect, but it was great fun and a real brain work out. I was left to just do what I wanted and managed a couple of short flights, and then just a pick-n-mix of challenging (for me) approaches and landings. Because I’m a VR sim flyer normally it was nice to have all the physical equipment to play with (good grief I do love my switches, they felt so good). I could have spent an hour alone just hugging the FMC and doing cold starts to be honest. The set-up uses a couple of projectors on a 220 degree screen and hardware from Flight Solutions. The business makes some money doing orientation training for new pilots plus people like me that know some long words but just want to play around a bit. I declined the chance to put on the white shirt :wink:

It all uses FSX underneath with a couple of PCs and had quite a lot of scenery installed for all the big airports. It’s not exactly ‘MSFS good-looking’ but it didn’t really matter as I was kept super busy moving stuff around. I know the PMDG 737-800 and the flows on that quite well in an amateurs’ way, so going to the MAX was fine.

I had someone in the right seat doing the Pilot Monitoring who did a great job helping me out and setting up scenarios to try out. We didn’t exactly do all the proper procedures ‘by the book’ all of the time but we did take it from cold and dark at the gate and did most of the ‘happy day, things always work’ flying. We used checklists and the stuff I had learnt from sims stood up pretty well. I do realize that not having to worry about safety for real or deal with things that don’t work is the vast majority of commercial piloting skill, so for me just to do the 5% fun bit felt great with some real buttons.

In the time I had I did some circuits of CYVR Vancouver BC, did a Visual at KSAN San Diego 27 (as I like the view and tried not to hit the parking structure), did a 26R de-rated departure for KLAS McCarran Harry Reid and then pretended we needed to go back and did a super challenging (for me) 19L RNAV landing. Then off to Heathrow for a nice ILS 27R over the city, a quick scary approach into LOWI Innsbruck in the snow, and then to finish off a bad weather take-off and landing at my favourite CYLW Kelowna. Lots of hills on that one and super high work.

The difference between VR and this where pretty big as you can imagine. Working the yoke required quite a lot of movement, and I only use a HOTAS at home. Trusting the pilot monitoring to do their part was obviously something weird for me as well, as I’m used to working both seats and the radios (VATSIM etc) and burning my brain up. I used the autopilot a lot less than I would in VR, as it seemed a shame not to push that yoke and throttle quadrant around a bit manually. Replying or making verbal call-outs was something I was also pretty bad at, but it was great to fly in tandem like that. They didn’t use real world traffic or a lot of comms, so I think that would have been a nice next step up in complexity. We did PERF INIT and the steps, but let’s just say I didn’t wait for a load sheet etc.

So yep, good fun and exhausting. It would be nice to have longer but after a couple of hours and jumping around the world trying to find approaches left my brain at 0%.

Sorry about the quality of the pics, as a bit of an afterthought. Here’s what the set-up looks like from way back (not me, just how it looks):


Very, very neat. Thanks for sharing this. The pics, with what one can see out the window would let one think it’s actually the real thing.


Thanks - they reset the sim a couple of times, to position for an approach 15 NM out, and it would load in without any forward speed if they got the reset order wrong and we just fell vertically. That felt really bad and I didn’t like it. :slight_smile:

I guess the biggest downside of all that wonderful equipment is that I’d like to do a flight now in an A320 or CRJ or Embraer 175 or a DC-6 etc etc. VR is great for that, but it would be nice to get a yoke, quadrant, side stick for sure.

I think a bit untapped area of fun in flight sims is dual cockpits some more. I’ve tried to use the various FS2Crew things, but the voice recognition can be frustrating and a real person in a commercial flight would be great. I always enjoyed the brilliant DCS Apache or Tomcat dual cockpits with other people very much, just feels so good. If I use VATSIM for pretend ATC people, it would be nice to have networked pilot flying/monitoring people as well I think.


That was fantastic.

I get it. I don’t to Wordle (et, al) or crossword puzzles - I do complex missions in sims. Or at least complex to me. I mean, it has to have some benefit, right? :slight_smile:


That looks like fun :slight_smile:

There is a place in Canberra with a similar 737 sim and the wife has often asked if I would like it as a birthday or Xmas present.

Up until now, I have been a bit ambivalent. As I told her, I have VR and if i did give it a try I would probably come across as the “I know boats” guy?

Might have to give it a second thought?


Looks like you had some fun!

I always say that a full size physical sim with projectors beats VR… Problem is that I would need a lot of space to fit all the sims I would need to properly simulate all the aircraft I want to play with, so VR wins.

But there’s indeed something to be said for

It would also be a lot of fun to build all the sim cockpits. But then, knowing how much time I spend on building and tinkering on my SimBox, I can’t see how I would ever get any simming done…

But please have your friend call me if he wants to invest in a AeroSim Experience in Northern Norway. :wink:


Do you know how the controls were managed? Were they force-feedback or sprung to center?


I think force feedback / controls loading. The throttles and trim all motorized and the yoke felt good. The stick shaker test worked.

The equipment was by this company I believe

Not super high end but aimed at procedure training and cockpit familiarization things.


Very cool. The FFB should be easy to get right because the feel is artificial in the real thing anyway. Just use the same logic and forces (all published) and it should be nuts on. That’s true for pitch anyway. For roll, there are dramatic differences in roll feel from two planes that rolled off the line the same day. Years later, they found themselves on different heavy check schedules and servicing/rigging of the controls followed suit. This is to say that until you get airborne in a real 737, you are never quite sure how it will feel. So a simulator that is in the ballpark is actually likely spot on.