Last Updated on January 16, 2023
I hope you find this Flight Simulator Links page useful. This is a list of links I have compiled over many years in this hobby containing builder sites, flight simulation hardware and software vendors, places to buy electronic components, and so on .
I am NOT sponsored. There are no affiliate links. These are just links to places I have found helpful to me throughout my build.
- Sim Community Events
- Sim Community Sites
- Builder Forums
- Builder Sites
- Flight Simulator Software
- Flight Simulator Scenery
- Flight Simulator Utilities
- Avionics Software
- Flight Simulator Stores
- Flight Simulator Replica Parts Vendors
- Real Aircraft Parts Vendors
- Electronic Parts and Components
- Learn About Electronics
- Computer Hardware
Sim Community Events
- FlightSimExpo – North America’s community-driven flight simulation conference. Learn more at www.flightsimexpo.com.
Sim Community Sites
- Avsim – http://www.avsim.net – One of the oldest flight and largest simulator communities with tons of great information going back over many years.
- Flightsim.com – http://www.flightsim.com – Another simulator community that has been around a long time and is well known.
- Flight Simulation Association – Flight Simulation Association (FSA) is an association of flight simulation pilots, virtual air traffic controllers, and developers and content creators. By joining, members get access to exclusive product discounts, webinars, guides, and the ability to search for and find nearby simmers. Learn more and subscribe at www.flightsimassociation.com!
- FSElite – https://fselite.net – Great site for keeping up with the latest news in the flight simulator community.
- CockpitBuilders – http://www.cockpitbuilders.com – An extremely helpful simulator building resource for all types of flight simulators.
- MyCockpit – http://www.mycockpit.org – Another great community for simulator building help.
- Prosim Forums – http://prosim-ar.com/forum – A community forum for users of Prosim and an invaluable resource for simulator building.
Here are some great builder sites I regularly visit for inspiration, tips, or help when I hit a roadblock. What these folks have done puts me to shame!
- 737DIYSIM – Karl has created an incredible bank of knowledge with tons of DIY ideas, plans, and much more to help with your 737 build.
- 737ng.co.uk – Another really detailed resource for real 737 NG cockpit building.
- Build a Boeing – Great DIY tips for an affordable simulator by fabricating the parts yourself.
- ElephantAir 737 – Fantastic work on this 737 build with lots of great ideas and references.
- Flaps 2 Approach – WilloW has put together an amazing repository of knowledge in building and running a 737 NG simulator. His detailed explanations and shared experience of things we all are going to cross sooner or later has helped me immensely. Highly recommended!
- Flightdeck737.be – Clement Stals from Belgium has put together a wealth of fantastic and detailed knowledge while building his 737 cockpit simulator that I regularly reference for ideas, building tips, dimensions, and much more.
- MarkusPilot – Fantastic resource of Boeing 737 cockpit component measurements.
- Mickey’s Flight Deck – Michael Schulz’s Fantastic site with tons of great YouTube videos on scratch building all components for your 737 sim. His tutorials are among my favorites showcasing how much great stuff you can do yourself!
Flight Simulator Software
The major players in the core Flight Simulator space:
- AeroFly FS2 – https://www.aerofly.com
- A budding simulator, especially for virtual reality. It will be exciting to see where they take it but for now it’s not complete enough to use as a complex aircraft sim. I use it every once in a while just for fun but it just hasn’t grown into the kind of sim for cockpit builders.
- Digital Combat Simulator (DCS) – https://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com
- This is a combat simulator and a really good one at that. It’s world engine has been highly raved about, the aircraft are study level, and the military campaigns are quite complex.
- I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention good old Microsoft Flight Simulator X (and previous versions). It was abandoned some time ago but some still use it as their primary sim though it is very long in the tooth now. Most developers no longer support it.
- Lockheed Martin Prepar3d – https://www.prepar3d.com
- My current simulator platform. Probably 85 percent of all my flying is done with it.
- Microsoft Flight Simulator – https://www.flightsimulator.com
- The latest generation of flight simulator released in August 2020. This is the most advanced desktop simulator platform yet and will likely be for many years to come. It’s not quite ready for a cockpit simulator, but it’s getting there and I can’t wait for that day. For now, I’m having a lot of fun using it as my primary desktop sim when I want to fly anything other than the 737.
- X-Plane 11 – http://www.x-plane.com
- It has steadily been improving and version 11 really stands out, especially at night. I enjoy it, especially for the open community, but I haven’t spent a lot of serious time flying it. It’s mostly occasionally that I jump back in to see what’s new.
Flight Simulator Scenery
Some of my go-to flight simulator scenery developers:
- Black Marble – http://blackmarble.chrisbelldesigns.com
- Black Marble adds accurate road lighting across the entire world and it looks amazing! Really turns Prepar3d into another sim. Because photoreal tends to hide most 3D objects I turn it off when flying at night. Then Black Marble is able to truly come to life. Just be warned, you need a strong CPU and video card to take full advantage.
- FlightBeam – http://www.flightbeam.net
- In my book, the top large airport designer and Mir is just an all around nice guy. I own all his products including KSFO, KDEN, KIAD, and KMSP,
- FlyTampa – http://www.flytampa.com
- Renowned for their hyper realistic scenery and attention to detail, FlyTampa is at the top of a short list of top quality large airport developers. I own many of their airports including KFLL, KBOS, KMDW, KTPA, TNCM, and YSSY.
- FSDreamTeam (FSDT) – http://www.fsdreamteam.com
- Another high quality large airport designer who has created some of my favorite airports like KDFW, KIAH, KJFK, KLAX, and many more. They also have a great ground services package called GSX which I highly recommend.
- ORBX – http://www.orbxdirect.com
- ORBX is probably one of the most well-known developers in the Flight Sim community. They have a huge selection of smaller high quality airports, and have worldwide scenery enhancements like FTX Global and Vector landclass. This basically supercharges all your scenery by replacing it with high quality, region specific land textures in the right spots, roads where they belong, and so much more. I have a ton of their products and when I’m not flying my photo scenery, I’m always using their textures.
- MegaSceneryEarth – http://www.megasceneryearth.com
- I am a photoreal scenery flier. As much as I love ORBX products, I just don’t feel as immersed as I do with photoreal scenery. I want to look down and see what I would see in real life. The latest Version 3 MSE products are very high quality and low impact on your frames. Unfortunately, you don’t get much 3D scenery because photoreal scenery tends to mask everything underneath. But man, does it look good!
Here are some more great scenery developers in no particular order…
- iBlueYonder – https://iblueyonder.com (Bill Womack is one of the greats in scenery development and a great guy to boot…he’s now partnering with ORBX so look for more great stuff from him!)
- Drzewiecki Design – http://drzewiecki-design.net
- ImagineSim – http://www.imaginesim.com
- LatinVFR – http://www.latinvfr.org
- PacSim – http://www.islandsim.com
- UK2000 – http://www.uk2000scenery.com
Flight Simulator Utilities
I have found these utilities useful in my simming and building experience:
- Navigraph – http://www.navigraph.com – This is one of those MUSTs if you’re doing airline flying. It keeps your aircraft navigation databases updated with the latest Standard Instrument Departures (SIDs), Standard Arrivals (STARs), airport, and route information. As part of their subscription you can also get their iPad and desktop charts app. Well worth the money!
- PFPX – http://www.flightsimsoft.com/pfpx/ – A comprehensive and valuable flight plan and dispatch generation tool.
- SimBrief – https://www.simbrief.com – An amazing online route planning and dispatch tool, similar to PFPX, but donation-ware. I LOVE this tool and you will too! It’s web-based, very user friendly and works fantastically.
- Topcat – http://www.flightsimsoft.com/topcat/ – A very detailed and useful aircraft takeoff and landing performance calculator.
This is the heart and soul of your simulated cockpit’s avionics. Without a good avionics software you won’t be able to tie in all your hardware and software and replicate the functionality of your aircraft’s systems accurately.
My best recommendation is to trial all your options and find out which one you are most comfortable with before you commit. These are not inexpensive packages. You can expect to spend up to $1000 USD, likely more.
- Project Magenta – http://www.projectmagenta.com
- I have little experience with this avionics suite. It is probably the oldest avionics suite I can remember. I can’t really talk about it since I haven’t used it, but I contacted them a while back about a sizeable project and was rather turned off by their response. I’ll leave it at that.
- ProSim – https://prosim-ar.com
- Their Boeing 737 avionics suite is what I currently use. They also offer an Airbus A320 suite as well. The software is constantly updated and supports a HUGE amount of hardware that continues to expand. Their developers listen, and are active on their forums. It’s the easiest software I have used to set up and configure and I can’t say enough good things about it. It is also well supported by a large community user base making finding answers much easier.
- Sim Avionics – http://www.sim-avionics.com
- This is the primary avionics software developer that FlightDeck Solutions partners with. This was also the original software I tried many years ago but unfortunately my personal experience wasn’t so good which led to my discovery of Prosim and I haven’t looked back.
Flight Simulator Stores
While I generally like to order directly from the developer if I can, so they can keep more of their money (scenery development takes a LOT of work and a LOT of time), here are some of the major simulator software stores I buy from occasionally, with SimMarket being my most go-to vendor:
- Flight1.com – http://www.flight1.com
- JustFlight – https://www.justflight.com
- PCAviator – http://www.pcaviator.com
- SimMarket – http://www.simmarket.net
Flight Simulator Replica Parts Vendors
This is by no means a comprehensive list, and in no way am I sponsored by any of these. These are just sites I have found through my research that sell replica flight simulator parts for enthusiasts and who I have found either potentially useful or who I have bought from before (as indicated).
Unfortunately for those of us in North America and Australia, most of these parts come from Europe so there’s always higher shipping costs and the conversion of Dollar to Euro. So keep your eyes open on the forums and places like eBay for good deals locally.
I will shamelessly plug my free sim parts exchange at https://www.ineedsimparts.com . It’s a great place to look for, buy and sell simulator parts, both replica and real.
In alphabetical order:
- Anders Simparts (Sweden) – http://anderssimparts.com
- Bought my Start Switches from Anders – He is fantastic and his parts are high quality!
- Clear To Sim (Unknown) – http://www.cleartosim.com
- I bought a real Weber seat cover from them for a reasonable price.
- Cockpit For You – https://cockpitforyou.com
- CockpitSimParts (Great Britain) – http://www.cockpitsimparts.co.uk
- Bought my overhead panels and overhead gauges from them. Sam produces excellent quality parts and top notch after-sales support! Very satisfied!
- CockpitSonic (Germany) – https://cockpitsonic.de
- CPFlight (Italy) – http://www.cpflight.com
- CustomSimParts (Unknown) – http://customsimparts.com
- Flight Deck Solutions (Canada) – http://www.flightdecksolutions.com
- Bought many parts from them including my Cockpit Shell, Instrument Panel, CDU, MCP, EFIS’ and more. Excellent quality and support.
- Flight Illusion (The Netherlands) – http://www.flightillusion.com
- I have bought many gauges from them now. Pricey but worth the money in my opinion. Quality is top notch and their gauges use stepper motors making operation very smooth.
- Flight Simulator Center (Italy) – https://www.fsc.it
- Fly Engravity (The Netherlands) – http://www.flyengravity.com
- GLB Flight Products (Great Britain) – http://geremy.co.uk
- I have bought some pedestal hardware from them. Great group of folks. Very happy with them.
- Go Flight (United States) – http://www.goflightinc.com
- My first MCP was with them. I bought it second hand, but when I needed to update the firmware they took care of it, no questions asked. Good stuff!
- Hispa Panels (Spain) – http://hispapanels.com
- Northern Flight Sim (United States) – http://northernflightsim.com
- Open Cockpits (Spain) – http://www.opencockpits.com
- Poldragonet (Poland) – http://symulatory.com
- ProSim Parts (Belgium) – http://www.prosimparts.com
- Ruscool (New Zealand) – http://www.ruscool.co.nz
- SimKits (The Netherlands) – http://www.simkits.com
- I bought a 737 Flaps gauge from them that was a servo-driven kit. It was decent, but better options exist in my opinion. That was many years ago and I’m sure things have improved since then.
- SimParts (Germany) – http://www.simparts.de
- SimWorld (Poland) – http://www.simworld.pl
- Always wanted their overhead but couldn’t afford it. They were quick to respond to my emails, and hopefully they’ll sell their individual components again some day. They look to be great quality.
- Sismo Flight Simulators (Spain) – https://sismo-soluciones.com
Real Aircraft Parts Vendors
These vendors provide real aircraft parts. Some can be very expensive. Many are used equipment. So you just have to call around to see what you can work. I have only used OmnAvia Interiors, who I can highly recommend for cloth interior materials.
I will shamelessly plug my free sim parts exchange at https://www.ineedsimparts.com . It’s a great place to look for, buy and sell simulator parts, both replica and real.
- Aerobase Group – https://aerobasegroup.com
- AircraftSpruce – http://www.aircraftspruce.com
- Desert Air – http://www.desert-air.com
- Generation Global – http://shop.generation-global.com/737-800
- MSP Aviation – https://www.msp-aviation.com/products
- OmnAvia Interiors – http://www.omnavia-interiors.com
- Great source of real aircraft interior materials. Found my Boeing seat cloth from them and have ordered a couple of times from them. Fairly priced and super nice/helpful folks.
- Skynet Aviation Aircraft Parts – http://www.aircraftparts.skynet-aviation.com
- Spectra Interior Products – https://www.spectra-ip.com
Electronic Parts and Components
Here are a bunch of places specializing in electronic parts, components, boards, etc. Keep in mind that some of the product vendors above, like FlightDeck Solutions, Sismo, CPFlight, Opencockpits, etc sell interface boards as well. So do your research to determine in advance which cards will suit your needs best.
- DigiKey – https://www.digikey.com -Huge selection of electronic components
- Leo Bodnar Electronics – http://www.leobodnar.com -Various controller boards compatible with ProSim. I bought a BU0836X USB card for some potentiometers I wired. Great card!
- Newark – http://www.newark.com -Another huge selection of electronic components
- Phidgets – https://www.phidgets.com -I bought a couple of cards from these guys. A relay card and LED card. Great stuff! Compatible with ProSim.
- PoLabs – https://www.poscope.com -I bought some PoKeys 57E cards for various switch, LED, 7 Segment, and potentiometers. These cards are really flexible. Compatible with ProSim.
- Powell – https://powell.com – I found more of my Honeywell locking toggle switches here (make sure to compare prices)
- Peerless Electronics – www.peerlesselectronics.com – Even more Honeywell locking toggles here (compare prices)
- Sager Electronics – https://www.sager.com -I found some of my Honeywell locking toggle switches here (make sure to compare prices)
Learn About Electronics
The following links may be helpful to you as you embark on your electronics projects for your sim. While most of the wiring in a sim is pretty straightforward, it does help to have some knowledge of electronic components, especially power and power supplies, kickback diodes (for electric motors and solenoids), connectors, etc.
Computer Parts and Hardware
Places to buy parts and pieces for your computer. No real magic here. You probably know of these already.
Sites I’ve used to find real-world reference information on various parts and pieces of the sim.
- Airbus – French manufacturer of commercial aircraft
- Boeing – United States manufacturer of commercial aircraft
- Boeing 737-800 360 Degree Panorama 1
- Boeing 737-800 360 Degree Panorama 2
- Gables – Manufacturer of real 737 communication/navigation components
- MarkusPilot – A great resource for Boeing 737 cockpit component measurements
- Mike’s Flight Deck – A great reference site for building simulator components
Hi Rod, much appreciated! Unfortunately I don't know of anyone who can make custom panels off-hand, though I'm certain there's…