Flight sim statistics...

Some fun data to look at here. Nice to know I’m in the category of having simmed for 30+ years now…ugh… The most surprising statistic to me is that so many people HAVE upgraded to P3D v4…with nearly 1/3 of people flying that sim.

What’s interesting and notable depends on the reader, but in general we can say that the average flight simmer is a 47 year old male living in the US, working full time, with an average of 16 years of flight simulation experience, flying a Lockheed Martin Prepar3D v.4, mainly out of interest, about five times a week, for a weekly average of 11.5 hours.

We also note that Lockheed Martin Prepar3D is now more popular than Microsoft FSX and that Laminar Research X-Plane has doubled in popularity since last year.

And @PaulRix still has some work to do:

Is Virtual Reality a thing? Well, more than half of the respondents know what VR is, but only 6.77% actually own a VR headset and 3.08% use if for flight simulation.


This year your typical simmer is 47 years old, but last year he was 44.

That’s largely due to the nature of flight sim forums, it makes us age faster but also accounts for why it seems like it takes so long between feature releases! (in general, mind, not here at Mudspike :slight_smile: )

52.06% are employed full time

Because only an employed person can handle the financial strain of purchasing all of the addons and hardware required :slight_smile:

One interesting thing I note is the list of flight sim software that people use. I would be very curious as to how they sampled their data. That information would be required to understand the list of sims that they have. I know a disproportionate number of people fly in civilian sims but I am a little surprised that all of the lists sims fit that model. I notice that Rise of Flight is listed on one histogram but not any of the others leading me to believe that the sample set is not broad across the flight sim community.


Ah, that’s it:

The countries diagram above is from the AVSIM 2013 survey, not ours, so we don’t know the answer to that. 0.5% of the active Navigraph users are registered in Israel and 0.46% of the survey participants were from Israel.

This is a survey of Navigraph registered users/accounts. Of course that is in the name too: Navigraph FlightSim Community Survey 2017

That would account for the sample set being/feeling relatively restricted.

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Pretty extreme, I think - I mean these are people who probably subscribe to the sim nav data sets from Jeppesen? I like my SIDs/STARs up-to-date and having easy access to charts etc, but I think that’s pretty serious simming to go that route (heh).

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Well, more than half of the respondents know what VR is…

Paul should definitely roll up his sleeves :smile:


We need to establish that Mudspike Inquisition now!

I cannot believe that less than half that own VR Headsets don’t use them for flightsimming, shocking actually.

PS4 VR I’m guessing.

I’m WAGging that your average Navigraph subscriber is more interested in learning/using systems than the visual experience. A CDU is somewhat a 2D experience, is it not?

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I actually haven’t a clue what Navigraph is, so pardon me… I was talking out my butt

It was a valid argument gf. I’m just thinking maybe the demographic for Navigraph, a subscription based aviation charts and procedures service for civilian flight sims, might not appreciate the improved SA brought by VR. They (we) are tech geeks though.

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That is a good point, and looking at the cockpit builder sites, everybody is building a 737 pit. I think it’s safe to say that the civilian flightsim market is big, and most people having VR money to spend, would rather put it in a physical cockpit. And then there are those who can’t justify spending all that on a hobby, and are quite content with programming a FMC and autopiloting around across continents.

Not to throw this off topic to much, but VR has pretty much thrown my plans of a realistic looking simpit out the window. I dont need all the fancy switches now, just functioning general purpose ones that are handy for blindly reaching to. It will still look nice and tidy, but no where near the authentic looking pit i was going to build. I knew this would happen as soon as i got VR, but in all honesty, it will keep me from tinkering so much and just enjoy the actual game (i do enjoy the tinkering, a bit too much). Bottom line it’s actually saving me time and money.



“We thought it was interesting to see that 1 in 5 of our users are retired.”

As part of that “1 in 5” I’m not sure I like that comment …it implies that they were surprised to see we retired folks have nothing better to do than play with flight simulators…that’s true…we don’t have anything better to do…but still…

“Why do people fly?
Entertainment 37.01%”

does not jive with…

“What do people fly?
Lockheed Martin Prepar3D v4 30.75%

Lockheed Martin Prepar3D v3 6.72%”

37% fly for entertainment and 37% use P3D??!! …but according to Lockheed Martin, using Prepare3D for entertainment is prohibited by their EULAs! I guess it is possible that there is absolutely no overlap between those two groups…let us sincerely hope so.

“Is Virtual Reality a thing?”
I’d argue that it certainly is virtual thing…but not a real thing…hence the name.

Like Beach, I’m also in the simming over 30+ years category - have been since 2014.

I began with subLogic’s Flight Simulator for the Commodore 64 in 1984 - four colors and one airplane was all you got but it was magic…pure magic.

Ah…those were heady days…Reagan was in the Whitehouse, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” was on the charts, “The A-Team” was on the tube, and “Ghostbusters” was in the theaters…and there I was, using a joystick borrowed from my Atrai game machine as I made my first night landing at Van Nuys (KYNY)…heady, heady days indeed…

.…I’m getting a little misty here…I need a moment. :cry: