View Full Version : Flight Sim c.1981... what was running this!?

November 29th, 2011, 11:59 AM
This caught my eye: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6W-qb_jHRhA

It's a video of a military flight similator dating back to 1981. Now according to the blurb this cost something like USD 20m.

Maybe topical given the recent talk of 3D rendering, I just wondered, what hardware could possibly have generated graphics like that, in 1981?

November 29th, 2011, 12:46 PM
I always wondered how they looked. I know a coder here who worked on one for Nasa years back, sounded insane. Anyway, seems like some folks discussed it here (http://www.motherboardpoint.com/question-old-real-time-computer-graphics-used-militaryflight-simulators-t238941.html) and said it was run on a series of PDP-11 systems. There is probably some better information in this Ohio State University link (https://design.osu.edu/carlson/history/lesson13.html). Very impressive graphics though, no doubt about that. I mean todays stuff is pretty good too but for that date vs what I had on my home computer lol

November 29th, 2011, 12:51 PM
Like the video says--it was an E&S CT-5. Evans and Sutherland is a supercomputer firm specializing in graphics rendering. And they're still very much around (http://www.es.com/)

Bitsavers also has some stuff on their vintage gear.

November 29th, 2011, 01:13 PM
Thanks for the pointers!

As it happens I came across it looking for some info on the company after the news on AA today, since I have an old connection to the firm. But not that old, unfortunately!