Most flight school owners, managers and flight instructors understand the value of providing high-quality, accurate flight simulators as part of the flight training experience.


Used intelligently, “sim time” can help students learn and remember skills much more effectively than books or “chair flying” alone. Thorough preparation for each hour of flight time reduces the workload and expense on the flight school’s most expensive activity – flight time in actual aircraft. Simulators can be an enormous competitive advantage for a flight school to attract and retain students and keep a reputation for a quality, cost-effective training program.


Unfortunately, many flight schools have fewer simulators than they would like, or no simulator at all, because of the initial expense. The popular Redbird SD simulator, which has the FAA’s approval as an Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD) retails for $42,800.


But most flight school owners, managers and flight instructors are unaware that a less expensive, and more effective, option exists. Some flight schools have an old AST/FRASCA device made pre-2008 that is no longer functional, accurate or approved – these devices can be updated to become a device with more functionality than the new Redbird SD for thousands less, and in-house financing is available, making this a very cost-effective option for cash-strapped flight schools.


XSPEC Aviation is the first FAA Approved Simulator Remanufacturer. Father and son team William Hill Jr. and Aaron Hill will arrange to pick up, remanufacture, and deliver the simulator conveniently to the flight school. The remanufactured simulator, called the XSPEC 142, has several advantages over the popular new simulators; including versatility, software and hardware advantages, and warrantee.

Flight simulator


“There are four questions a buyer should ask before investing in a flight simulator,” said William Hill Jr., founder and hardware engineer of XSPEC Aviation. “Does it simulate the variety of aircraft your school needs for training? Does it have realistic controls? Does it use game software or actual training software? And do the terms of sale make business sense for the flight school?   We believe our product answers all of those questions better than any other simulator on the market.”


Simulates a Variety of Aircraft?

Flight schools often have the need to train students at different levels of expertise. Different ratings require training in different aircraft. The Redbird SD comes with a standard configuration as a single aircraft. Hardware and software changes are required for the sim to “simulate” a different aircraft.   The XSPEC 142 comes pre-loaded with four of the most popular aircraft configurations used in training private, instrument, commercial and multiengine ratings.   (Beechcraft BE-76 “Duchess,” Piper PA-23 “Aztec,” Cessna C172RG “Cutlass,” and Cessna C172N “Skyhawk.”)


Realistic Knobs & Controls

To develop skills and muscle memory, it can be helpful for the student to interact with the equipment in the same way as the “real” aircraft.   The Redbird SD has a flat panel that has some differences from the “real” aircraft look & feel, and requires hardware adjustments to simulate different aircraft. The radios on the Redbird SD are represented as LCD graphics underneath the glass.   The XSPEC 142, by comparison, has a larger LCD “windshield,” and has a metal dash panel that is more similar to the hardware in the aircraft. Knobs provide tactile feel and feedback and a more realistic representation of controls such as the radio.


Game Software or Training Software?

The software used in a flight simulator is also an important part of the experience. The Redbird SD uses the popular video game software Microsoft Flight Simulator X. The game software notes in its end user license agreement (EULA) that is not approved for real world flight training.   By contrast, the XSPEC 142 uses Lockheed Martin PREPAR3D software, which is fully EULA and FAA compliant.


Does it Make Business Sense?

Since flight schools depend on fees from incoming students and tend to have many expenses, including aircraft, maintenance, instructor salaries and insurance, it is important that a simulator have easy, flexible affordability that suits the school’s cash flow, and a warrantee that reduces their risk on the investment in a simulator. The Redbird SD does not offer in-house financing, and has a one-year warrantee. The XSPEC 142 does offer in-house financing and a two-year warrantee. A great warrantee is important to flight schools because students don’t pay for sim time if the machine is broken or out of commission.


Flight schools trading in an old “sim core” can expect to save $5000 on the cost of an XSPEC 142, which brings the cost of an XSPEC 142 to $34,800, including two-way shipping, warrantee and service.   A new XSPEC 142 can be purchased for $39,800 without a trade-in. In-house financing is available for either option.


About XSPEC Aviation

XSPEC Aviation LLC specializes in remanufacturing pre May-2008 Flight Simulators (AST / FRASCA). They build training devices with the latest in modern technology on rebuilt AST/FRASCA cores. Because the hardware is rebuilt, they are able to provide a very high quality training device at a much lower price than a new simulator.

XSPEC Aviation is a member of, and has exhibited at events for the Flight School Association of North America (FSANA.)

Since 2012, XSPEC has been the leader in flight simulator remanufacturing. They are the first company to successfully remanufacture the FRASCA 142 into an Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD) and the first to become an FAA approved simulator remanufacturer. William Hill has over 30 years in the Aviation industry (8130 Avionics); while Aaron Hill is an award-winning programmer. XSPEC Aviation is a family owned & operated company since 2008.

The XSPEC 142 is the company’s flagship device, developed to meet the growing needs of flight schools for realistic, cost effective training.

XSPEC Aviation has an excellent reputation for quality customer support, an unmatched two-year warranty and lifetime remote assistance technical support. To contact XSPEC Aviation, visit, call 479-715-9514 or find them on Facebook…