A group of sophomores has created a company called Advanced Flight Modeling Simulation [AFM Simulation] that specializes in the development of aircraft for X-Plane, the same flight simulator used by science teacher Scott McComb’s freshmen during their Flight Test Project. Sophomore Cooper LeComp is the CEO of the company.
“I first started this making our aircraft for X-Plane, and I started with the role of pretty much everything,” said LeComp. “[My role] morphed now to being in charge of the day-to-day operations, getting stuff done, and contacting external resources.”
Cooper also leads the development of the code for each aircraft model.
“There’s some significant development that I do,” said LeComp. “I’m in charge of all the code that runs behind the scenes of our products, and for the current aircraft we’re making I’ve done the 3D modeling.”
In charge of working with the physics engine is sophomore Oliver Low, the Chief Physics Director.
“The scope of the work as Chief Physics Director involves considering the mathematics and equations behind these things from all sorts of angles and dealing with numbers of variables that were inconceivable to me before, even in calculus,” said Low. “It really has been a very steep learning curve that I have yet to start climbing.”
Cooper began his work on simulator aircraft in August 2015, eventually teaming up with sophomore Roosevelt Anderson, the Chief Quality Officer, at the beginning of their freshman year.
“It started as a fun thing to do over the summer, and then we realized that the market for these types of modelling for aircraft is quite big, out there in the simming world,” said Anderson. “So we decided to step it up a notch and create our own company, AFM Simulation, that develops CAD [Computer-Aided Design] modeling aircrafts for [flight simulators] like X-Plane.”
They started with a few different ideas, moving back and forth between plans for a first aircraft as they got a feel for what they could and couldn’t do.
“We originally started with the idea of making a Hawker business jet model. I don’t know why we stopped doing that one. I think it was just more out of interest we decided to start working on a Concorde, which we sooned learned was drastically above our scope of knowledge, in terms of being able to make as a first aircraft,” said LeComp. “So we went back to the Hawker.”
In the beginning, the team encountered many challenges, but they eventually came upon the right aircraft to develop as their first project.
“We were getting stuck with some of the development processes, with having so many different things trying to simulate, so we then decided that we’re gonna make a Mooney M20R Ovation 2 aircraft,” said LeComp. “And that’s what we’re currently working on, and we’re around 70 [or] 80 percent complete with that development, hoping to get it released in the next few months.”
The team is even in the process of being becoming a legally-recognized company.
“We’re in the process right now of registering for an LLC in the state of Washington to be legally protected as a company,” said LeComp. “We have multiple products. Right now our advertised project that we’re working on is the Mooney M20R and everything beyond that is right now confidential to our company.”