Image courtesy of Epic Games

Antoinette Project: tools to create the next generation of flight simulators

May 3, 2022
Many industry actors and new entrants to the simulation community have contacted us to get guidance on where to start when building a flight simulator with Unreal Engine.

To meet this need, Epic Games has created the Antoinette Project, a comprehensive set of resources to support the creation of the next generation of flight simulators. By extension, these resources also support the many types of vehicular simulators in development today.
Image courtesy of Meta Immersive Synthetics
The project’s name is an homage to La Société Antoinette, the French simulation pioneers. In 1906, they created the Antoinette Barrel as the first known method to demonstrate to pilots what they would sense when flying an airplane.

All elements of the Antoinette Project will be released during the WATS 2022 conference in Orlando, FL on May 3.

The Antoinette Project consists of :
  • The Trends and Best Practices for Flight Simulation information paper, which describes guidelines to use Unreal Engine in this context. The paper also includes insights from users who are already using the engine to build solutions for their own needs.
  • A DIY tutorial that illustrates how simple and fast it is to create a basic flight simulator. The tutorial provides detailed information on how to:
    • Connect input control devices for your pilot interface such as keyboard and mouse, gamepad, joystick, or flight-specific control device
    • Integrate an aircraft model from the Unreal Engine Marketplace
    • Add accurate flight dynamics using the open source JSBSIM plugin for Unreal Engine
    • Simulate flying above world data using the Cesium for Unreal or the ESRI ArcGIS Maps SDK for Unreal Engine
©Varjo
  • A JSBSim plugin for Unreal Engine, designed for flight simulation based on an open source flight dynamics application. For more than 20 years, JSBSim has evolved from being the only flight dynamics model of the FlightGear flight simulator to being a library that has multiple applications—flight simulation, development of autopilots, and training neural networks to pilot an airplane. With this plugin, the community can leverage JSBSim for the next generation of flight simulators.
  • The Antoinette Project demo, a proof-of-concept flight simulator with Unreal Engine at its core and additional technologies from Meta Immersive Synthetics, Brunner, and Varjo. The demo illustrates the trend of  immersiveness and deployability as well as development guidelines from the information paper. The demonstration marks a step forward for next-generation flight simulators that can serve a variety of purposes, bringing the opportunity for flexible, customizable training that can serve large numbers of pilots at once.

We invite you to explore these elements of the Antoinette Project, and see how you can use them as a springboard for your own flight simulation solutions.

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