About AlphaTrainer

Now you have four choices: The original AlphaTrainer, the AlphaTrainer 2D PC Demonstrator, the NEW AlphaTrainer 3D Simulator, and AlphaTrainer Starter (3D light version). AlphaTrainer 3D is a plugin developed for the X-Plane flight simulator. This allows the user to interactively visualize the angle of attack (scientifically known as alpha) and the aerodynamic forces on a plane during maneuvers. It is a unique learning tool for student and experienced pilot alike.

The AlphaTrainer 2D PC Demonstrator has fifteen stall related scenarios to choose from. All 15 events will automatically fly you through the entire maneuver, allowing you to see angle of attack like you’ve never seen before. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s free seminar, Maneuvering Flight, is currently using AlphaTrainer 2D for their demonstrations. The AlphaTrainer 2D PC Demonstrator can be used on most Windows-based computers, though it is not recommended for Vista users.

The original AlphaTrainer, constructed from durable laminated stock, includes full color illustrations and stands for hands-free viewing. Remember: "From Red to Green is our Dream!"

AT Original

At long last, an instructional device that will demonstrate how an airplane can stall in any attitude and at any airspeed. There are many theories explaining how lift is created, but there is only one theory that explains how an airplane wing stalls—the theory of excessive angle of attack.

In the science of aviation, the notation for the angle of attack is the lower-case Greek letter "a". Aerodynamicists, aeronautical engineers, and test pilots simply refer to this angle as "alpha"—hence the root of the AlphaTrainer's name.

The original AlphaTrainer instructional device allows the user to visualize the critical angle of attack in the ominous color of red. Simply manipulate the model to fit particular scenarios of normal flight. By "normal flight", we mean no abrupt movements from the pilot, or those disruptions dealt by Mother Nature. If the airplane is flying at high speed, the angle of attack is at the bottom of the green. As the airplane slows, the angle of attack moves upward into the yellow caution area. If the speed becomes too slow, the angle of attack moves into the critical red range. At this point, an airplane wing will cease to fly. By using the original AlphaTrainer instructional device, the user can accurately illustrate angle of attack in a variety of flight scenarios. AT 2D will automatically demonstrate this event by selecting event number 10.

AlphaTrainer also shows that the "pilot's perceived attitude" is sometimes elusive, often leading to confusion. This may occur whenever the airplane's attitude differs from the flightpath. This divergence is particularly true during accelerated flight maneuvers and wind shear. Many accidents have proven that even the most experienced pilot can incorrectly perceive the actual flight path. AlphaTrainer depicts this divergence simply and clearly.


If the AlphaTrainer instructional device does not increase your understanding of angle of attack, or provide more confidence while explaining stalls or spins, return it for a full refund (excluding shipping costs).

Here's what others had to say about AlphaTrainer:

"After I purchased AlphaTrainer Pro, [I contacted them to request a customized model of my Cessna 152], tail number D-EZBA. I sent photos of the panel and the outside and [Chuck Bodeen created a] model that really resembles the real plane in all respects. My wife was a student pilot at that time and she learned to fly the [customized] AlphaTrainer model. Recently, she received her private pilot's license - due in no small part to her practice using AlphaTrainer. Roughly estimated we saved about 30% real flight time. The many situations a pilot may get involved can be thoroughly trained before he spends a lot of money in the air. Future training in the air will be much more successful. Even landing techniques under crosswind conditions can be taught just as basic [abnormalities] and emergencies. I am a retired Luftansa pilot and started to fly as a copilot 1967 and became a captain 1973 on B727. I spent 13 years on B727 and 13 years on Airbus A300. During this time I worked for 9 years as a check and training captain on B727 and flew all types of simulators from their very beginning to the most sophisticated of the present state of the art. AlphaTrainer together with X-Plane is a huge step forward for all of us."
--Christian Klempnow

"Not having flown for several years as PIC following the loss of a pilot in the family, my Biennial Flight Review was taking longer than expected for me to complete satisfactorily with Landings being the problem. My ex-Carrier Fighter Pilot CFI diagnosed my early and high flaring as 'Fear of Landing'. He could not get Angle of Attack through my thick Doctor Skull because I had 'primacy' of memorized Stall Air Speeds. Repeated and prolonged high speed nose wheel up take-offs finally got the 'right' picture in my mind of what I should 'see' while touching down correctly and I 'passed' my BFR. It was not until I found your 'Alpha Trainer', however, that I finally and deeply understood the extremely important concept of Angle of Attack! Now I know why my CFI said all Carrier Landings are done with an AOA Indicator and that Airspeed and Attitude are less reliable at touchdown! The New AOA Simulator CD Program is also very effective in demonstrating the importance of AOA in all phases of flight. It also clearly brings insight into all those accidental stalls at airshows, on takeoffs, on turning final, etc. etc.. I lost my CFII brother-in-law when he had a loss of power after takeoff and entered a subsequent power off stall at about 50 feet AGL 'flaring too high' and dropping like a stone....now I understand that had he pointed the nose down and glided to the ground he might have survived a frontal impact! I pray that your 'Alpha Trainer' will save many lives, I know I feel safer now keeping AOA in mind! May God Bless You!"
Paul Cenac, M.D.

"I can't tell you how impressed I am with the quality of your work. The training aid is a work of art as well as an excellent visual aid for your quest to teach pilots about angle of attack. I am also enjoying exchanging our knowledge bases. It is apparent that you share an absolute passion for your craft. I also share your interest in moving past outdated instructional information which continues to leave today's pilots short of requisite skill and understanding."
Charlie Tennstedt, ATP/CFII-ME, Production Test Pilot, Dassault Falcon Jet

"Teaching college-level aerodynamics necessarily involves complex theory and mathematical formulae, but nothing can illustrate angle of attack and lift better than the AlphaTrainer system. I frequently use my AlphaTrainer during lectures. Even aspiring pilots in the class can easily grasp the concept of how a wing creates lift, and especially how the pilot controls lift. AlphaTrainer is a valuable, 'real-world' instructional tool whether to use while teaching in the cockpit [or] in the classroom."
--Dr. Byron Greenlaw, Chairperson of the Aerospace Technology Dept., Indiana State University

"You have put a lot of work into this project. You should be proud! You will help provide insight to many, many students with this fine work."
--John King of King Schools

"I've been using the AlphaTrainer to teach AOA and everything related with it, including stalls and spins. It's saved me a lot of time because I don't waste time drawing things that illustrate what I am trying to teach..."
Scott Spangler of Mentor magazine. (More).

"Keep up the good work and education. It saves lives."
--Jim Frantz of Proprietary Software.

"I utilized AlphaTrainer during my initial CFI exam. With it, I adequately explained stalls and spins in a few minutes. Try this on a blackboard! For the time and aggravation I save with AlphaTrainer in the classroom, it is a great value."
--Donald Cramer, CFII


Chuck Bodeen. Las Vegas, Nevada. Student pilot, engineer, programmer, designer of AlphaTrainer programs and planes. The AlphaTrainer 2D and the 3D simulators have been Chuck Bodeen's diehard passion. Relentlessly he has worked on these projects for the love of flying and his concern for pilots. We at AlphaTrainer can not thank him adequately or have a better friend.

Sandy Barbour. Kinghorn, Fife, Scotland. Programmer of the AlphaTrainer “plugin” for X-Plane. Co-author (with Ben Supnik) of the X-Plane Plugin SDK. The AlphaTrainer 3D program could not be possible without his talent. What a brilliant and patient (emphasis on "patient") programmer, who has the safety of pilots in his heart. We at AlphaTrainer can’t thank him enough.

The "scenery", the panel instrument faces, and the "flights" themselves are attributable to the X-Plane flight simulator by Austin Meyer, Laminar Research, Inc. (x-plane.com) and are used with his explicit permission.

The AlphaTrainer is the original work of Tom Shefchunas and is covered by U.S. Patent No. 5,607,367.

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Copyrighted, Thomas Shefchunas.