Since 1987, ELITE (acronym for Electronic IFR Training Environment) has provided IFR simulation software for pilots worldwide. Over the years, ELITE Simulation Solutions AG has developed a wide range of simulation software and services for a variety of industries, including aviation, and defense. The company’s products and services are designed to be flexible, user-friendly, and effective, helping customers achieve their goals through the use of simulation. In this article, together with Peter Pirchl-Zaugg who has been a part of ELITE Simulation Solutions AG for over 22 years we will explore some of the benefits that come with developing your own software for use in a flight simulator.
Control and Customization
One of the primary benefits of developing our own software for a flight simulator is the level of control and customization that it provides. It gives us an excellent flight modeling capability. When using external software solutions, developers are limited by the features and functionalities provided by the software vendor. However, by creating our own software, we can tailor our simulator experience to specific needs and preferences. This allows for greater control over the simulation environment and the ability to create a truly unique experience.
We own the rights to the code, content, and other assets used in the simulator. This is especially important because the value of the simulator is closely tied to its unique features and functionalities. Another benefit is our ability to evolve with the regulations for certified devices.
While purchasing or outsourcing software solutions may provide a faster path to market, there are ongoing licensing fees and other costs associated with these solutions. By developing our own software, we can avoid these costs and save money in the long run.
By creating our own software, we can experiment with new technologies, features, and functionalities that may not be available in external solutions. This leads to the development of new and innovative simulator experiences that set ELITE’s simulators apart from the competition. It also allows us to build new types of aircrafts and provide simulators up to FTD level with our own software for Pilatus, GFD, Airbus and more.
By creating a unique and distinctive simulator experience, we are able to build loyal customer relationships with users who appreciate the specific features and functionalities of our simulators for decades.
In conclusion, developing ELITE in-house software for use in a flight simulators provides numerous benefits over purchasing or outsourcing software solutions. The main ones for us are definitely the excellent flight modeling capability, ability to evolve with the regulations for certified devices, ability to build new types of aircrafts and provide simulators up to FTD level, ability to certify with any authority in the world like EASA, Federal Aviation Administration, Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Direction Generale de l’Aviation Civile etc. and most importantly the fact that we are always ahead of our competitors since we master what is in the simulators.
As the first PC-based flight simulation providers, ELITE Simulation Solutions AG has enjoyed a fascinating history over the past 35 years since its launch. With our expert, Rene Huddlestone, who proudly represents ELITE for over 26 years we’ve outlined how this swiss-based, the family business has grown into one of the leaders in the aviation simulation market.
ELITE Simulation Solutions AG was founded by a group of experts in the field of computer simulation, who saw the potential for using simulations to model complex systems and help organizations make more informed decisions. From its earliest days, the company focused on developing advanced software tools and services that could help customers in a variety of industries leverage the power of simulation. ELITE’s story begins in 1987 when Thomas Bolli, at the time Swissair Captain and later the head of Lufthansa Aviation Training Switzerland – SWISS, Joerg Rickli who is still the co-owner to date and Professor Dr. Marti, former Professor of Swiss Federal Institute of Technology opened their first office in Zurich, Switzerland. The three of them founded the company, calling their newest venture: Initiative Computing AG. The first product was called ELITE which stood for Electronic Instrument Training Environment in 1995 inspired the owners to call their business ELITE Simulation Solutions AG. In the beginning, their team was very small, employing only 8 people on a daily basis. But the tiny IFR trainer software provider proved successful in its home country, which cleared the way for ELITE to open its first office in the U.S. in 1990.
The Growth: Software, Airbus, Helicopter
Over the years, ELITE has developed a wide range of simulation software and services for aviation (Swiss Helicopter, Columbia Helicopters) & defense industries (Polk County Sheriff) but also international flight schools (Panamedia International Flight School) and academies (Hub’Air Aviation Academy, Arizona State University). The company created a range of software tools for simulating aircraft performance, logistics and military operations as well as training programs and consulting services. These products have been highly successful and have helped the company establish itself as a leader in the aviation simulation market. What pushed ELITE to expand was the lack of quality from existing hardware producers. This family-owned business from Zurich had major problems with warranty issues using third-party-produced hardware, so they decided to develop their own hardware to achieve the highest quality standards. USA was impressed with their innovation, integrity, complexity, and quality as well as the fact that ELITE Software was the first PC-based flight simulation on the market. Within five years the swiss company was able to sell more than 10 000 software packages in the United States alone! Some of their proudest products include the standard workhorse: S923 FNPT II MCC & S812 MEP/SEP, Pilatus Aircraft PC-7 MkII and PC-9M full replica FTD as well as the most current product they’re working on: Bombardier Learjet 35 full replica FTD. On top of all of these, they also ventured into the production of Helicopter simulators such as the Airbus Helicopter H125 and H135 both in FNPT configurations under EASA regulations.
Today, ELITE Simulation Solutions AG is a global leader in the aviation industry with customers in more than 50 countries around the world and team members helping ELITE be the company they are from almost every continent. Through a focus on innovation and excellence, the company has developed a wide range of products and services, helping customers achieve their goals through the use of simulation.