This is not a videogame but Rafale combat plane’s cockpit at dusk

If you were a Rafale pilot flying at sunset, you’d see this.

Even if it isn’t as futuristic as the one you would find in the F-35 Lightning II (with full touch screens, HOTAS, voice activated commands, system monitoring with all information displayed on a “portal” and so on), Dassault Rafale‘s cockpit features a HUD (Head Up Display) and MFDs (Multi Function Displays) that give the pilot a total situational awareness.

Made available by the Escadron de Chasse 1/7 Provence a multirole squadron of the French Air Force which operate the Rafale C from Saint Dizier, France, the photo shows how most modern aircraft have introduced fairly “user friendly” cockpits where complexity has been reduced to the minimum and avionics provide “at a glance” symbology, to make information easier to understand and correlate.

By the way, the photo shows a cockpit so much “user friendly” and simplified it reminded us some flight simulator games of the 1990s.

Image credit: EC1/7 – French Air Force


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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. sheesh, i wish there was a sim that looked like that, i would love a rafale simulator, or an f1, that would be cool too. but then again, if there was ANYTHING, any combat aircraft, that was anything close to falcon bms, i would thank my lucky stars. as of right now i cant run the dcs series :(

    • That’s probably what people said about the 4th gen fighters when HUDs and MFD’s were introduced.

    • Says the guy who’s obviously not read a single sentence of how the F-35’s systems actually work. Go do some research. (Hint: they actually reduce the workload compared to the 4th gen stuff.)

    • The whole point of the F-35’s cockpit is to simplify everything down to a level where even an idiot could understand it.

      Seriously, go and actually read some pilot impressions on the F-35’s information display before sprouting out such nonsense.

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