To prepare a flight of Army choppers, it takes a lot of man hours, a lot of fuel, and blowing up stuff takes...well...stuff.
But what if you could set up the entire scenario, with just a few keystrokes?
Well on post at Fort Rucker, that capability exists.
"We can replicate a brigade worth of aircraft here in this building,” said Simulator Trainer Major Gregory Pavlichko. “A brigade has over 100 aircraft and we can train an entire brigade here from aviator all the way up to brigade commander level."
They do it almost on a weekly basis, all the way from classified briefings to post flight debriefings. Giving pilots crews and even mission commanders similar views to what they will have in the real thing.
"When they can come into a simulator like this and rehearse the mission and actually have power lines where they really are and towers where they really are they know what to avoid" Said Lt. Colonel Jerry Peitzman, Director of simulation. He also says the “Simulation Sickness” that makes air sickness bags necessary in a fully grounded simulator normally affects the more experienced pilots.
"The more experienced aviators those not of the video game generation the guys that are used to the seat of their pants flying...get sicker"
Bill Simmons is a contractor with computer science corporation, who handles the hardware for the army..and he can reach in and change the sights and sounds of Iraq or Afghanistan down to the hoof.
"We can put various pieces of military equipment civilians military personnel i can put goats...a dog just about anything that you'd ask for"
“Back in the 80's everything was 2-D there was no 3-D graphics capability,” said Pavlichko. "And if you look at what we have now... it's amazing."