How Much is a Flight Simulator?
The Cost of A Home Flight Simulator
A question we get asked often is, “How Much Does This Simulator Setup Cost?” The fact is that price varies depending on several factors. Many of the home simulators we share on our Instagram or other social pages are made with a mix of our products, other products, and often homemade components also. This makes it hard to determine the exact price of each of these sims. We can provide a guide for you regarding the pricing of some different setups.
Before we dive into the different home simulators, here are some necessary products for building a sim and the associated costs you should know about.
You can’t fly a simulator without a computer, and the PC is one of the highest costs of any home build. Generally, any PC will run a simulator program; however having a capable gaming PC will make everything more immersive, and the cost of this can range from $1,300-$3,500. Check our website for the recommended specifications for a good flight simulator PC.
There are several options for flight simulator software to provide a realistic experience whilst being visually entertaining. Listed below are the most popular products used by professional pilots, with the top two the most common.
- X-Plane ($59.95)
- Microsoft Flight Sim 2020
- Standard Edition cis $59.99 (20 aircrafts)
- Deluxe Edition is $89.99 (25 aircrafts)
- Premium Deluxe Edition is $119.99 (35 aircrafts)
- Prepar3D ($59.95)
* Most RealSimGear components work with all of the above software programs, however it is best to check the product page on our website to ensure compatibility.
As you increase the immersion, you accelerate your learning. The more realistic your simulator is, the more applicable it is to real life flying. Here are the four different types of monitors options. For more in-depth information on each one, read our Recommended Monitor Configurations.
Single PC Monitor - A budget-friendly option is using a single monitor to show you the view directly ahead of the aircraft.
Single Large Screen TV - The next step up is a large TV that provides you with significantly more real estate to show the view outside of the aircraft.
Single Curved PC Monitor - You can increase the immersion by adding a curved pc monitor that creates a wrap-around effect and adds peripheral vision, without taking up as much space as a triple monitor setup.
Triple Monitors or TVs - The most immersive experience comes from using three monitors. A full 90-degree wrap-around with three monitors is an excellent option if you have the room.
Adding avionic controls makes the sim experience more realistic and enjoyable. There are a wide range of options and price points in each category to choose from, allowing you to customize your controls.
- Yoke or Joystick
- Rudder Pedals
- Headset (if you are using virtual air traffic control)
- Simulator Seat and Frame System
Entry Level Flight Simulator
To create an entry-level flight simulator, you can expect to pay anywhere from $2,500-$3,000 for the entire home sim. A great starter setup with a few components can be great for honing in your skills in a particular area. Don’t worry about starting small, and you can always build upon your sim in the future. We created another blog with one of the most budget-friendly simulator setups, totaling $2,895. These are ideal for small single-engine aircraft flight training and currency practice.
- RealSimGear GNS530/GNS430 Bundle - $749
- CH Eclipse Yoke - $225
- iPad running RF Cockpit HD - $16
- X-Plane 11 - $60
- Entry Level Gaming Computer - $1,595
- Monitor - 40in TV - $250
Total Price - $2,895
Other examples of entry-level simulator setups -
Mid Range Flight Simulator Cost
If you are looking for more realism and functionality within your home flight simulator, you will want to upgrade to the G1000 Suite, which are The Best Flight Sim Controls available. This all-encompassing flight deck includes all flight data that you would find in a traditional six-pack aircraft - GPS, autopilot, and moving map to make for effortless flight planning and en-route navigation.
- RealSimGear G1000 Suite plus G1000 Suite Stand - $2388
- RealSimGear Flight Deck - $249
- Honeycomb Yoke - $249
- Logitech Throttle - $100
- Logitech Rudder Pedals - $230
- X-Plane 11 - $60
- High End Computer - $2,999
- 49" Ultra-wide curved display - $800
Total Price $7,075
Here are other examples of mid-level simulator setups -
Advanced Flight Simulator
At the opposite end of the spectrum is a highly advanced flight simulator with the look and feel of an actual cockpit, and all the same components you would see in the aircraft. The benefit of buying a complete Flight Simulator Package like our Cirrus Cockpit or any of the BATD Sim Packages is that they’ll be set up and ready to fly - Plug & Play! While this option is more expensive, it eliminates any frustration, and you won’t have to worry about building a cockpit. You simply tell us what you need, and we'll ship it straight to your doorstep, ready to go.
Pilots indeed use their flight simulators for entertainment, but more importantly, they use them to learn a specific system before getting on the airplane. It allows them to practice all the menus, buttons, and knobs before getting on the aircraft. Flying is all about tactile feel, and having these types of home sims will allow you to have that muscle memory in the air, which means grabbing the right button and feeling the way they are supposed to. For instance, take a look at this video of one of the most immersive flight simulators we’ve seen to date.
- RealSimGear Cirrus Cockpit - $11,999
- Thrustmaster TPR Pedals - $599
- High End PC - $2,999
- 49” Curved Monitor - $899
- FlightSim Seat and Frame System (optional) - $999
Total Price $17,495
Here are other examples of advanced simulator setups -