Flight Mechanics, Flight Control and Aeroelasticity

SEPHIR - Simulator for Educational Projects and Highly Innovative Research


The simulator was used for the pre-development of a 100-seat commercial aircraft and served from 1997 on in the national technology project "Electronic Flight Control System, EFCS" for the development of the electronic flight control of the technology carrier VFW-614 ATD (Advanced Technology Demonstrator). Airbus Deutschland GmbH has donated the ATD Research Flight Simulator to the TU Berlin - on the occasion of the appointment of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Luckner - to the Institute of Aerospace, Department of Flight Mechanics, Flight Control and Aeroelasticity for research and teaching.

Technical Data of the VFW-614 ATD 
ManufacturerVereinigte Flugtechnische Werke-Fokker GmbH
Wingspan21.50 m
Length20.60 m
Wing area64.00 qm
Max. Take-off Mass19,950 kg
Maximum speed700 km/h
Max. Altitude25,000 ft
Max. Range1,200 km
Max. Passengers44

Disassembly and Assembly

July 2005 the simulator cockpit and parts of the vision system were disassembled into individual parts and packed in two large containers and transported from the Airbus plant in Hamburg to Berlin. After moving the simulator to the TU-Berlin many modifications were necessary to adapt SEPHIR to the spatial and technical conditions. Furthermore, an extension with additional components (e.g. generic overhead panel, increase of the number of displays) was carried out.

Simulator Equiptment


The simulation must be calculated in real time. For this purpose, an iHawk multiprocessor system from Concurrent is available with a corresponding real-time operating system based on Linux. The communication between the systems is done via a 1GBit Ethernet network. The entire structure is designed for flexibility in order to be able to introduce changes and innovations as quickly and easily as possible.


The simulator has a high quality vision system with collimator optics that project the image through semi-transparent mirrors into the cockpit, so that the pilot can theoretically focus his eyes on infinity (in reality approx. 20m). This is very important for the realism. The system consists of 4 collimators with 3 channels. The front channel for the pilot and co-pilot is split.