Problem Space Analysis

feature author: Paul Halliday


An easy way to begin understanding what the problem space is for a simulator is to identify the sources of sound in the real world. Sound sources in the Beech 1900D are as follows.


The Beech 1900D is equipped with two Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67D turbo prop engines, one mounted on each wing.

Warning Horns

In an aircraft, there are warning horns such as landing gear, stall, and overspeed.

GPWS Voice Messages

The Ground Proximity Warning System provides a variety of sounds such as “PULLUP, PULLUP” and “TERAIN, TERRAIN.”

TCAS Voice Messages

The Traffic Collision Avoidance System provides voice messages such as “DESCEND, DESCEND NOW” and “CLIMB, CLIMB NOW”.

Navigation Radios

When tuned to a radio navigation aid, a navigation radio will play whatever is being broadcast over the carrier frequency. This is usually the Morse code identifier of the navaid. Each nav radio is considered a separate source of sound. In the Beech 1900D there are two VHF nav receivers, two DME receivers, two marker beacon receivers, and one ADF receiver.

Communications Radios

We have a voice communications that was easily implemented by the SimPhonics sound system. In addition, we simulate an Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS) that provides weather information through a text-to-speech synthesizer.

Air Impact

As an aircraft flies faster through the air, the noise of the air going over its surfaces gets louder and louder. Surfaces that produce an air impact sound that is noticeable in the cockpit typically include the windshield, the landing gear, and the flaps.


Rain, hail, and thunder are sources of sound.

Landing Gear

In addition to air impact noise, landing gear usually has a hydraulic motor sound, and possibly a “thunk” when locking in place (either retracted or extended).


Usually a flaps motor makes a sound that can be heard in the cockpit.


Windshield wipers, cockpit ventilation, and runway rumble are sources of sound. In addition, most simulators have a crash sound to let the student know that the plane’s been broken beyond repair.


Depending on the requirements of the trainer, malfunctions can provide a rich variety of aural cues. On the Beech 1900D we have explosive decompression and tire blowouts.

Details on these sounds are provided in the Host Computer To SimPhonics Computer Interface and the V+ Designs sections of this article.

Most sources of sound within a SimPhonics system are simulated by “playing” a digital sound file (i.e., a WAVE file). SimPhonics has an extensive library of previously recorded WAVE files that can be reused for many simulations. However, each plane has a unique set of sounds that usually require an in-plane recording session to accurately capture these unique sounds. The Data Collection section of this article provides detailed information on how these sounds are captured.

Beech 1900D Aircraft


- concept

- space analysis

- speakers & amps

Data Collection

Sound File Editing

Computer Interface

Computer Configuration

Aero & Environmental V+ designs

- top level

- engine

- flaps & fuselage

- gear

- tires & runway

- tire blow

- weather

- windshield

- explosions

- audible warnings



- marker beacon

Communications V+ Designs


- pilot

- copilot


Speaker & Amp Specifications

Host Buffer Interface Table



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