Marine Corps Recruiting Command is looking to buy new state-of-the-art flight simulators in order to inspire young people to consider aviation careers.
Marine leaders want to send 22 simulators to recruiting offices around the country that will put even the best gaming experience to shame.
"The flight simulators will be used at recruiting engagements in order to generate awareness and interest for our Marine Corps aviation programs, and to encourage men and women to explore the opportunity of becoming a Marine Corps officer," said Jim Edwards, a Marine Corps Recruiting Command spokesman.
Japanese troops sit in an MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft simulator. The Marine Corps plans to bring flight simulators to recruiting events in order to attract prospective aviators.
Photo Credit: Pfc. Cedric Haller/Marine Corps
This purchase will enable the Corps to use mobile simulators at every recruiting district to support the Marine Corps Flight Orientation Program, Edwards said. Right now, only the 4th Marine Corps District in Pennsylvania uses flight simulators, he added.
Worldwide terrain and airports (military and civilian) will allow programmers to load just about any mission set and flight condition. Emergency procedures can even be thrown in, to boot.
Each simulator will have a high-definition cockpit camera, recording capability, and a 70-inch LED Smart TV where friends and family can watch the mission unfold. They will closely simulate aircraft performance and maneuvering parameters, as well as weapons system displays and functionality, and can be linked to other simulators so the "pilots" can operate in the same simulated airspace.
The electric simulators will mimic cockpit instruments configuration, down to the smallest details. That means a left throttle and stick between the legs for the Hornet and Osprey simulators, and left throttle with right stick for the F-35 and Viper.
Rudder pedals are fully functional and adjustable forward and aft. Functional touch screen cockpit displays will show all pilot instrumentation and GPS.
The Marine Corps wants three enclosed simulators that will mimic F-35B and Hornets. Those 1-ton can be housed in enclosed 8-foot trailers and take about 30 minutes to set up.
The remaining 17 sets will be unenclosed, two-axis motion flight simulators: five F-35Bs, six MV-22 Ospreys and six AH-1Z Vipers.
The lack of hydraulics means those simulator's electric motors can only provide about 40 degrees of pitch and roll. Three 1080 pixel LED displays will provide a 120-degree field of view.
Lance M. Bacon is senior reporter for Marine Corps Times. He covers Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Marine Corps Forces Command, personnel / career issues, Marine Corps Logistics Command, II MEF, and Marine Forces North. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.