How it Works

Put simply, PilotEdge provides software to connect your flight simulator to our voice and data network.

Information about each pilot’s aircraft (such as aircraft type, position, altitude, attitude, and heading) is sent to our servers, and then relayed to the flight simulators of pilots flying nearby. Each simulator displays and animates the nearby aircraft. When you hear a pilot report on the radio that he’s “Entering a left downwind on the 45,” you’ll see the aircraft. If he turns on his landing light, you’ll see that too.

PilotEdge features a sophisticated voice system that closely mirrors real world VHF operations in terms of terrain interference and signal degradation. When using non-ATC frequencies, you will hear the pilots that are on your frequency, and only if they’re relatively nearby. As you gain altitude you’ll be able to hear aircraft from further away. When using ATC frequencies, the network uses frequency coupling to repeat pilot transmissions from other frequencies in instances where our controllers are handling many positions at the same time.

The PilotEdge Air Traffic Controllers connect to the voice and data network using specialized software. It provides them with a display that is virtually identical to the display used in real-world ATC facilities.

How do I use it?

Getting started flying on PilotEdge is easy. All you need is compatible flight simulation software, a broadband Internet connection, and a headset.
First, you need to become a member – click here to try the network absolutely free for up to five hours of usage! and install our client for your flight simulator. Then:

  1. Start your flight simulator.
  2. Position your aircraft on the ramp at any airport.
  3. Connect to the network.

If you’re connected during published operating hours, and are flying in an area where PilotEdge service is available, then you’re guaranteed to have ATC coverage.

When you’re ready to go, just do exactly what you’d do in a real aircraft:

  1. Set the Comm radio to the appropriate frequency (Delivery, Ground, or Tower).
  2. Press and hold the “Push to Talk” key command on your keyboard or yoke.
  3. Transmit your request. (For example: “Long Beach Delivery, Piper 123AB, request IFR to Santa Barbara.”) A controller will respond.
  4. If you’re flying IFR, write down your clearance and read it back.
  5. Set your transponder (ATC sees the code and the mode).
  6. Call Ground for taxi, and you’re on your way. (If you’re unfamiliar with the airport layout, request a progressive taxi.)

PilotEdge supports both IFR and VFR operations (including flight following). Operations on the Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) at non-towered airports are also supported, so don’t forget to make position reports as you enter or leave the pattern!

When in doubt, just do what you’d do in the real world.

Which simulators are supported?

  • X-Plane 11 (MacOS 12.x+, Windows, Linux, 32 and 64 bit), including Steam
  • X-Plane 12 (MacOS 12.x+, Windows, Linux), including Steam
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 (Windows only, not XBox), including Steam
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator X (SP1, SP2 or Acceleration), including Steam
  • Lockheed Martin Prepar3d (v2.2+)
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004

Additional simulations platforms can be integrated with manufacturer support on a case by case basis.

What skills are required to fly on PilotEdge?

We offer a detailed list of expectations here, but briefly, PilotEdge is not a classroom environment, rather, it is a simulation of the National Airspace System. We implement the same rules and procedure that apply to real world airspace, and as such, pilots are expected to be familiar with the relevant rules and procedures for the flights they undertake. Numerous training programs are available to help pilots on their VFR or IFR journey, or simply as a guided introduction to some of our airspace.