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The TakeFlight Story
Where we're going and where we've been

We started the year by releasing a closed Alpha version of TakeFlight Academy, receiving great feedback that we integrated into the product. Rainier Flight Service instructors quickly began to take notice at the effect simulator-first training was having on students:

  • "As a flight instructor, I see students develop proficiency in the aircraft in less time when using TakeFlight."
    - Mark Thompson, Senior Instructor, Rainier Flight Services

After a successful Alpha period, we've soft-launch an early access Beta. We are actively ramping up customers in order to discover any larger issues before promoting the product more broadly. If you’re interested in joining the Beta, visit our Store or email us at support@takeflightinteractive.com

To showcase the increasing power of the TakeFlight Engine, we partnered with EAA to create EAA Virtual Flight Academy. Available to all EAA Members, this benefit provides a valuable asset to EAA Chapters and Members.

Stage 1 teaches new pilots the basics, while allowing rusty pilots to practice and recieve feedback on skills like takeoffs and landings. Stage 1 is also offered in a Young Eagles Edition that covers the same material as the adult pilots, but taught by EAA's Stan Lee-inspired Aviore character.

Stage 2, released in September 2018, teaches more advanced flight maneuvers in preparation for a pilot's first solo. Students learn to handle an engine failure, while experienced pilots can test how well they can really hold minimum airspeed. Stage 2 can be obtained by logging into your EAA-Verified TakeFlight Account here.

  • AirVenture Oshkosh 2018
  • EAA Virtual Flight Academy was first demonstrated and released at Airventure Oshkosh 2018 to big crowds. Users were surprised how quickly they could pick up or brush off rusty flight skills.


With the success of our early training prototypes, we began developing training content in earnest. We partnered with Rainier Flight Service as a testbed for a simulation integrated curricula. We moved to Renton Airfield to be closer to the simulator, instructors and students.

Being close to the action quickly paid off. TakeFlight worked with the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals and Alaska Airlines to make an early Alpha version of TakeFlight Academy available to the Solo Flight Academy, a program which allows teens with an interest in aviation to fulfill their dream of flight and learn what it takes to be a professional pilot. Over two weeks, these teens transitioned from taking their first flights to flying solo.

  • Solo Flight Academy
  • Even with this early version of our Virtual Flight Instructor, the positive transfer to the aircraft was encouraging. Students used TakeFlight to introduce themselves to flight before getting in the aircraft. During their first-ever flight, they were able to fly everything but the liftoff and touchdown! These students soloed the aircraft with 10 hours less than those not in the program, this represents a 40% reduction in flight hours.

Additionally, TakeFlight was commissioned to create an interactive simulation experience for the Museum of Flight's Aviation Learning Center (ALC). Following the success of the program at the Museum of Flight, TakeFlight was contracted to create a similar experience for the Lone Star Flight Museum.

  • Museum of Flight Aviation Learning Center
  • In the Aviation Learning Center, teens and kids learn the principles of planning a cross-country flight, which they then execute using TakeFlight's custom-built guided scenario, coaching users through a flight from Boeing Field in Seattle to Paine Field in Everett.

With the utility of our system becoming obvious, TakeFlight was selected to participate in the AeroInnovate accelerator program through the University of Wisconsin. This culminated in booth in the Innovation Showcase at AirVenture. The Alpha version of TakeFlight Academy showed well and garnered the attention of the EAA.


TakeFlight was selected to build the training missions for Dovetail Game's Flight School, later to become Flight Sim World, reaching thousands of users with a relatable flight training experience.

With the TakeFlight Engine beginning to mature, we used some of our early training prototypes to engage students at Raisbeck Aviation High School in Seattle:

  • Tournament of Aces
  • We created a short program to teach students primary stick and rudder skills. We started with a simple scored landing, then moved onto a crop dusting scenario which proved successful in teaching the concept and application of Angle of Attack. Each student demonstrated noticeable improvement throughout the course of the tournament - making a tight competition for first place.

TakeFlight Interactive was founded in January 2015 with the idea that everyone should be able to learn how to fly using interactive simulation on your home PC. We released our first product: Air Alaska, an FSX mission pack that takes a dramatic and fun look at bush flying. Even at this early stage, we were exploring the potential of simulator-based flight instruction with a virtual instructor character. This product allowed the foundation of our training platform, the TakeFlight Engine.

  • Air Alaska
  • In this challenging, story-driven mission pack you'll work your way up the ranks of a quirky Alaskan air charter operation.

  • As you take the controls in five challenging missions, you'll experience Flight Simulator like never before. Highly interactive, authentic, and educational gameplay combine with cinematics, music, AI aircraft, and custom scenery to transport you into the world of an Alaskan bush pilot.
The TakeFlight Team
Experience Dedication

TakeFlight was founded by a team of long-standing experts in interactive simulation and training. They helped design and build Microsoft Flight Simulator, blending game design and real-world flight experiences to hook millions on aviation. They also worked with RedBird Flight Simulations and led initial development of the GIFT program.

Our deep understanding of game design, simulation and aviation training enables us to bridge the current divide between game-based learning and real-world aviation

Brandon Seltz

Brandon Seltz - Founder & CEO

A former Designer on Microsoft Flight Simulator and Director of Scenario Development for Redbird Flight Simulations, Brandon has become a visionary for how game-based learning can revolutionize the training industry. A long time private, RC and glider pilot, he is proof in the power of desktop simulation.

Leilehua Maly

Leilehua Maly - Co‑Founder & CTO

Leile is a pilot and architect level developer with 15 years of experience at Amazon and Microsoft, responsible for building and maintaining $13b worth of infrastructure. Leile is an expert at leveraging web, cloud and data visualization technologies to create new ways to interface with simulation and each other.

Ben Moore

Ben Moore - Co‑Founder & Director of Content

Holding a degree in Aviation Flight Science as well as a Commercial Pilot License, Ben was a jump-pilot for skydivers in Michigan before heading out to Seattle. A technology enthusiast his entire life, Ben aptly took to scenario design and scripting and gained extensive experience before helping to found TakeFlight in 2015.

Steve Wilson

Steve Wilson - Quality Assurance

Starting with Microsoft Flight Simulator version 3.0 in 1987, Steve played important roles in every successive release, as well as in the release of numerous add-ons. Steve is an all-around flight enthusiast, hang glider pilot, private pilot, and aircraft owner - which, combined with an eye for detail, ensures flight simulation is so realistic that it can bridge the gap between entertainment and instruction.

© 2018 TakeFlight Interactive

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