AXIS is expert in manufacturing turboprop, business jet and commercial airliner simulators. We recognise the importance of addressing the needs for these different sectors of the aviation industry. For those just staring out in the piloting world, or who may just be curious, here are the main differences between learning to fly in these different aircraft types.


Turboprops can only climb to a maximum of 30,000 feet however, most (depending on their size) cruise anywhere from 10,000ft to 18,000ft as passenger oxygen requirements are more restrictive than the aircraft performance. The main advantage of the turboprop is its ability to take off and land on grass as well as paved runways. They are also more capable of operating into smaller airstrips than jets, which can be important for those users who need to visit smaller airports. Turboprops usually handle more manually than jets or commercial airliners and require greater “stick and rudder” skills. For most new pilots, flying a turboprop can require more training as it can be easier to become dependent on using the cockpit resources in a jet.

Business Jets

A business jet can fly at a height of up to 45,000 ft although most cruise at 41,000ft. The pilot will ultimately choose the optimum cruising altitude depending on the distance of the journey. Being a business jet pilot requires you to work before and after the flight as a jet pilot is responsible for the aircraft that she/he operates. The pilot must prepare it for flight, inspect its technical condition, make all the calculations for fuel, water and toilet needs. Similar to turboprops, business jets can also visit smaller airports. Passengers often choose to fly on a business jet as a time saving measure, unlike commercial airliners, you can have an aircraft ready to fly in a couple of hours.

Commercial Airliners

The average commercial airliner can cruise at the maximum altitude of 42,000ft, the ideal ‘sweet spot’ is between 35,000ft – 42,000ft. It is important for commercial airliners to find the perfect altitude as the higher they go, the less dense the air becomes, creating less resistance and allowing the aircraft to use less power. Commercial airliners need to burn as little fuel as possible, as this accounts for a big percentage of an airline’s costs. Autopilot plays a huge role in flying a commercial airliner, although most pilots are in control of take-off and landing. Due to safety and experience reasons, airlines tend not to hire pilots fresh out of flying school so new pilots must acquire several hundred hours of flying experience before landing a job for an airline.

How do simulators replicate these differences in training?

AXIS simulators replicate the real conditions that can be experienced when flying a turboprop, business jet and commercial airliner. This is achieved through using state-of-the-art technology, including a Linux-based operating system and integrated remote monitoring and control systems, meaning simulators are more realistic, reliable and easier to operate than traditional models. This year, we announced our new ATR 72-600 simulator, featuring Bosh-Rexroth’s eMotion14000 platform – a highly efficient system that reduces energy consumption and device wear. The simulator also boasts a Thales Integrated Modular Avionics suite, the same avionics used on board live ATR aircraft as well as an RSi XT5 visual system. We have also launched a new Instructor Operating System (IOS) that streamlines navigation through the software, making intuitive training environments easy to create and alter. In addition, a standard for all of AXIS’ simulators is the icing malfunction emulation. All our simulators meet and exceed EASA, FAA and ICAO qualification requirements.