Since the beginning of the modern era, there has been a need to simulate flight. Simulators allow scientists and engineers to model the behaviors of an aircraft or its components before building them. Indeed, the Wright brothers and other
inventors of the time built wind tunnels to model the behavior of an aircraft's wing in flight.
Now, with the Hydraulic Flight Simulator, students of aviation can see and control - in real-time - the dynamic relationship between power and pitch - how energy is transferred from the engine to the plane as airspeed, how airspeed is turned into altitude and how altitude can be exchanged for airspeed. To do this, the Hydraulic Flight Simulator uses the medium of water to represent the energy present when an airplane is in flight.
The Hydraulic Flight Simulator is designed to behave as a fixed-wing aircraft would on the vertical or "pitch" axis. The simulator has been created to behave realistically, accounting for the loss of energy from drag, the effect of gravity, the loss of lifting ability due to density altitude, induced drag at high angles of attack and the complete loss of lift due a stall.
The Simulator can be used to demonstrate cruise, terminal velocity, service ceiling, slow flight, stall and stall recovery, decent, "dead-stick" decent and landing.
Instructional topics include discussion of potential energy (fuel supply and altitude) and kinetic energy (air speed) and the four forces acting on an airplane in flight; thrust and drag, lift and gravity.