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What is a Virtual Airline
04-20-2017, 03:20 AM (This post was last modified: 04-20-2017 03:22 AM by DiddyDave.)
Post: #1
What is a Virtual Airline
A Virtual Airline (VA) is a member-driven group which aims to simulate the flights and operations of an airline, charter operation or flying club. Some may be based on real world companies while others are fictional. The route structure of virtual airlines may be regional, national, continental, or global.
(04-20-2017 03:20 AM)DiddyDave Wrote:  A Virtual Airline (VA) is a member-driven group which aims to simulate the flights and operations of an airline, charter operation or flying club. Some may be based on real world companies while others are fictional. The route structure of virtual airlines may be regional, national, continental, or global.

Virtual airlines were started to give a sense of purpose to activities conducted within a flight simulator program, the first being SubLogic's Flight Assignment: A.T.P., released in 1990. As time has passed, the most common flight simulator used is Microsoft's Flight Simulator. This basic premise has evolved over time, along with available technology, to provide increasing levels of immersion but always with the same core purpose. When combined with increasingly powerful personal computers, advancing flight simulation software, and communications networks, virtual airlines are often able to provide compelling, realistic, experiences similar to operations inside a real airline. Virtual airlines also provide an avenue for members to gain access to additional content, such as aircraft and scenery, for use with their simulator. The appeal varies; for younger members, virtual airlines provide a sandbox realistic environment where they can experience the corporate environment of traditional commercial business in the airline industry, without the risk of financial loss. These organizations also provide an outlet for those who are interested in aviation but unable to fly themselves in real life due to financial, health, or other reasons. As of 2014, an estimated 80 percent of virtual pilots hold no real world pilot's license.

Academics have stated that members of these groups can often show significant attachment and immersion in their activity, building strong relationships with those who they share their created "space" with. Participants can become unusually dedicated and committed to their group through the forging of their strong bonds and sense of identity, despite the construct being entirely (or nearly entirely) fictional. Some of the groups are run similar to real-world airlines, and members can get a taste for being a professional pilot by joining one of the organizations. Commentators have described virtual aviation as giving Flight Simulators an interest and depth that they would otherwise not have.

Scientific and academic study
Virtual airlines have been used, both directly and indirectly, as part of research projects at universities in both aviation, modelling, and statistical theory development. It has been reported that interest in this area is increasing as of 2011, due mainly to advances in technology and the maturity of flight simulation as an industry.Enthusiasts are often of a technical background and welcome the opportunity to work with researchers, enhancing the suitability of the medium to support research initiatives.
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