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Posted: 12/20/2005 9:14:14 AM EDT
What is best one to get that has the widest following amongs sim users? Any of them good enough for real flight training?
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 9:16:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By hunterwarrior:
What is best one to get that has the widest following amongs sim users? Any of them good enough for real flight training?



Microsoft Flight Sim is pretty good.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 9:17:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2005 9:19:23 AM EDT by SmilingBandit]
I know people that use M$ Flight Sim to practice approaches to airports they haven't been to before.

Except for the lack of "feeling" the plane, it does a good job and has its purposes.

ETA: Flying training devices (FTDs), which can be little more than PCs with a yoke for input are legal for two hours of private pilot, a portion of the instrument training, and instrument currency.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 9:20:39 AM EDT
I fly IL-2 Sturmovik with my X45.

Link Posted: 12/20/2005 10:45:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:
ETA: Flying training devices (FTDs), which can be little more than PCs with a yoke for input are legal for two hours of private pilot, a portion of the instrument training, and instrument currency.



As long as they are "approved" by the FAA, have CFI/CFII oversight, blah blah blah.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 10:48:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2005 2:02:23 PM EDT by twonami]
I only know need to know how to fly it. Landing and taking off are not important.
ETA: who hasn't intentionally crashed into the twin towers
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 1:03:38 PM EDT
Microsoft Flt Sim 2004.
Tons of free addons that make it almost photorealistic. Get your fav plane too.

P-3C over west TN at Dusk.


P-3C out of Whidbey Is., WA.



Fritz
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 1:05:22 PM EDT
The best combat flight sims out there are IL-2 Pacific Fighters (Sturmovik) and Lock-On modern air combat.

Microsoft flight sims don't compare with either of these.

Go visit SimHQ.com for more info...

Link Posted: 12/20/2005 2:33:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JohanLondon:
The best combat flight sims out there are IL-2 Pacific Fighters (Sturmovik) and Lock-On modern air combat.

Microsoft flight sims don't compare with either of these.

Go visit SimHQ.com for more info...




I disagree. IL-2 sucked when I tried it out (no panel buttons, ect...), and Lock-On is buggy as hell. If you're into war simming and learning 1,000 key stroke combinations, then those are good games, but some people really just want civilian stuff. Falcon 4.0 is really the best combat sim IMO though.

Make sure to check out Lock-On's forums if you do decide to get it. It really is a bug ridden POS and even blue screens a lot of computers.

Now, regarding MSFS 2004. It is also a little buggy and not perfect, but less tweaking than Lock-On and a much larger following. Also, MS released a patch that fixed the majority of issues people were having by a large margin. I'd say 95% of the people who use MSFS don't experience any problems with it, although some add-ons can cause problems for some people. MSFS main issue, like most sims, is the amount of resource it needs to run smooth. Even a top-notch computer can slow with bad weather, complex add on planes, and add on scenery. Lock-On is a serious resource hog.

As far as training goes, it will definitely allow you to become familiar with the instruments, certain procedures, and overall basics. Of course, nothing can compare to the real world, where weather, ATC, and obviously handling are a real issue. Fuck up on a computer, you can restart

Here's some sites to get you started if you're interested in MSFS. If you want civilian and military planes, some with very realistic modelling, then you'll have fun and get hooked. It can be intimidating at first. I started with MSFS 2000, but was somewhat overwhelmed and gave up. Then decided to give it another go with FS2002. Once I got through the lessons and started messing with add ons (something I can't live without!), I was hooked! I really helps to start out small with a simple Cessna and move up, like one would in real life. Too many people try to tackle complex heavies, like 737s and become confused beyond belief. By the way, the default Boeings are horrible. Very ugly and unrealistic. Anyhow, have fun!

www.avsim.com/ - Goto the Forums (listed at the top)

forums.simflight.com/

My personal favorite aircraft for MSFS 2004 (FS9)

atr.flight1.net/

www.precisionmanuals.com/html/73767.htm

www.precisionmanuals.com/html/73789.htm

www.aeroworx.com/b200.html

www.leveldsim.com/sevensix_home.asp

Add on sites:

www.flight1.com/

www.dreamfleet2000.com/

www.realairsimulations.com/

And these are just a sample.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 2:34:45 PM EDT
I use microsoft combat flight simulator 2 WW2 pacific theater, and enjoy using it a lot. I had the microsoft program the 911 terrorists used, and the graphics on it were terrible, but it did have New York landmarks on it that would really have helped them locate and fly into the Trade Center.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 2:35:46 PM EDT
+1 on M$ 2004
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 2:36:37 PM EDT
Pacific Fighters from UBISOFT
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 2:38:07 PM EDT
I started with FS2 on commodore 64, last I had was FS 2000 Pro which barely ran on my cheap computer. My favorite flight sim bar none was Falcon 4.0, absolutely best air combat sim ever, no preset scenarios, just the Korean peninsula with a completely dynamic battlefield with over 100,000 individual objects moving constantly in the air and ground at any given time. Truly a one of a kind and it duplicates Korea to the T.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 2:42:55 PM EDT
My fun one was the whole Janes series. It was cool while it lasted and not bad for it's day
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 2:44:05 PM EDT
Civvie flight - M$FS

Military flight - Falcon 4.0
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 2:48:40 PM EDT
I'm satisfied for now with MS FS 2002 and MS European and Pacific theatres. I had tried newer combat sims ones and they weren't as much fun.
When I get tired of first person shooters I'll get MS2004...
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 2:49:07 PM EDT
+1 FALCON 4.0!
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 2:51:51 PM EDT
I think it's safe to say that MS has come a long way in improving the graphics. Yes, some of these screens are edited a little in Photoshop, and the scenery is sometimes add on, but you can get it to look this good in game with the right computer.



PMDG's 747-400





Yes, it can look this good!


Hope the links don't die too fast
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 2:54:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By falconfire:
+1 FALCON 4.0!



I hear the new version is really bad. People complaining about it really eating up computer resources. I'm not even sure how much it changed from the original. To get the original version of Falcon 4.0, you need to buy it used. Just a little FYI.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 2:58:30 PM EDT
There is a new Falcon 4 programme called Allied Force which just came out this month.

If you're into F4, take a long, hard look at this one.

IL-2's pretty good, and the expansions just kept getting better.

NTM
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 3:00:34 PM EDT
They need an expansion to Falcon 4.0, something other than Korea. Bombing that triangle shaped hotel 20 times in the same week gets old after a while. You can spend your first day knocking out airbases in the DPRK and China, then spend the rest of the time dropping napalm on vehicle columns and infantry. Oh the fun, I wish I still had it...
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 3:04:16 PM EDT
whats the best for someoen that doesnt even know how to gly?? is microsoft to much for newbs?? and what is the funnest for newbs to get with good graphics?
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 3:05:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Misery:

Originally Posted By falconfire:
+1 FALCON 4.0!



I hear the new version is really bad. People complaining about it really eating up computer resources. I'm not even sure how much it changed from the original. To get the original version of Falcon 4.0, you need to buy it used. Just a little FYI.



I bought the new Falcon 4.0 "Falcon 4.0 Allied Force" last week and have been "learning" to fly the Lawn Dart again.

They kept the graphics engine and flight model and have worked out lots of the bugs that plagued the original 4.0

My only complaint w/ this version is the lack of a printed manual and the fact that they kept the old graphics engine. The graphics could be as good as the shots Misery posted above from the MS Sim, why the devs didn't upgrade the graphics baffles me

flight sim junkie since '88
echo6
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 3:06:55 PM EDT
I'm way too retarded to properly fly the 747 so I stick to smaller stuff like Cessnas
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 3:12:04 PM EDT
I fly my Cessna 172N flight simulator 4 hours every day over my own full scale model of the State of Idaho!
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 3:15:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2005 3:17:34 PM EDT by wildearp]
I used the Microsoft Flight Sim quite a bit. A friend was geting VFR qualified at the time and he gave me a bootleg copy. Anyhow, his instructor put the hood up and had him do an IFR approach, which he did solely based on the Microsoft Simulator. The Flight instructor had comments somthing like "that will put me out of a job".

Yes, good stuff. However, I always crashed the 747.......OH THE HUMANITY!!!.....

And, as far as being easy to use, I am not a flying enthusiast, and hope to never have to fly a plane, however, I could fly the single engine and multi engine planes quite handily.

Granted this software was a few years back, but I am sure it is even nicer now.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 3:17:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By twonami:
I'm way too retarded to properly fly the 747 so I stick to smaller stuff like Cessnas



It actually very easy, it's just a learning curve. Much easier IMO than combat sims, because you don't have to know a few dozen key strokes. In fact, of all my planes, I use maybe two or three keys on the keyboard. The rest is done with the mouse on the screen. Programming the FMC (can be done with keyboard), pushing autopilot functions, overhead, radio, GPS, all with the mouse.

It's just that the default MS planes are pretty piss-poor. They're very sensitive and graphically ugly. Then the Boeings are the opposite of sensitive and difficult to manuever. Very dumb. Not realistic at all.

As you can see in that 747 panel shot, they model as many features as they can to replicate the real bird. It will even autoland, but there's no fun in that!
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 3:18:26 PM EDT
I like to set my own weather and start in a glider at 50k elevation with 100 mph winds; you dont go far but I bet in real life youd get pretty dizzy before you ate shit.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 3:31:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AROKIE:
whats the best for someoen that doesnt even know how to gly?? is microsoft to much for newbs?? and what is the funnest for newbs to get with good graphics?



Microsoft for sure. It has lessons for the basics and plenty of info to start out with. The lessons are part reading part video, but not really too difficult. I actually only did the basic lessons then learned the rest on my own. The advanced lessons force you to use the default Boeings IIRC, and they suck ass. They aren't realistic enough to even bother simulating.

Start out with a Cessna, which I prefer the Caravan, as it handles much better. Simple panel, and overall not a bad default plane to learn with. Some of the small general aviation planes in MSFS are pretty decent, but most are pretty pathetic. The Lear, Boeings, and some historical aircraft, are complete shit to me.

Bottom line, once you get some nice add on planes, you'll never really touch default again.

Combat sims can be fun, but it's important to know the difference. Some are just as good graphically, but mainly the emphasis is on combat. Also, I've yet to play a combat sim that didn't require a great deal of key-stroke combinations. Some aren't too bad, like MS CFS, but the popular ones that use modern jets will have you learning at least 50 combinations of keystrokes. Combine that with trying to fly the damn plane, shoot, drop bombs, and avoid getting hit, it can be overwhelming. Plus you are stuck in maps that have very little latitude as to where you fly and what you do.

Some people prefer combat sim and other just a slower paced civilian sim. For fast paced stuff, I'd rather go with a FPS than a air combat sim. The keyboard thing just gets to be too much.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 3:39:10 PM EDT
REAL flight sim enthusiasts fly X-Plane :)
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 3:43:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2005 3:45:07 PM EDT by twonami]
I did sit at the cockpit of a 737 once and I will say I recognized everything thanks to MSFS.
When I took the freebie private lesson at the airport on the Cessna I knew exactly what I was doing that the pilot said okay take her up. I looked at him and said "are you serious" and he said yup. Pretty easy but takeoffs usually are.
Landings on the other hand are another story.

ETA: note to self I need to hook up my force feed stick and play some MSFS. It's been awhile
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 3:45:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dmaas:
REAL flight sim enthusiasts fly X-Plane :)



While X-Plane is better in the flight dynamics area and has FAA training approval towards ATP ticket in real life, it also has a very small following. It's also a lot like Linux - build it yourself with modules from the ground up. I'm also unaware of any realistic payware quality add ons that simluate the inner workings of complex aircraft like developers for MS do.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 3:53:24 PM EDT
Also, if you're going with civilian stuff, take a look at the CH yoke and pedals. It's a bit of change, but worth it if you're really into flight simming.

www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000056SPM/ref=nosim/103-6278008-5801403?n=172282

www.mwave.com/mwave/skusearch.hmx?SCriteria=1638828&CartID=done&nextloc=
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 3:54:05 PM EDT
In an old job, I used to play in CAE Full Flight Sims. It was pretty realistic.

Link Posted: 12/20/2005 4:16:13 PM EDT
another vote for jane's. played f-15e and f/a-18 enough that i wore out 2 low-end joysticks before moving to a saitek.

regarding realism, i learned to run the f-15e avionics without a game manual--just used the books on the actual aircraft. and according to several f-18 pilots, the jane's version is good enough that they estimated a guy that was proficient on the sim would only need around 20 hours to solo the real airplane. jim campisi, an f-18c pilot, said that the night carrier ops were so accurate that his pulse rate would accelerate significantly while on approach.

got lock-on, but it just didn't grab me the way that the others did. limited avionics and the lack of a clickable cockpit bothered me. in addition, the online play just seems to be of significantly lower quality than the older sims--more like a shoot-em-up, where the first guy to go nose hot gets lit up by all the IR-only shooters. of course, the inclusion of awacs would change this, but it seems like all the effort to create a real air combat environment gets wasted online.

never got into falcon4 much. something about learning yet another avionics suite deters me.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 4:51:19 PM EDT


never got into falcon4 much. something about learning yet another avionics suite deters me.



But it's THE avionics suite. Everything's modeled as close as possible to the real deal.

For the guys complaining about having to use the keyboard so much, well you shoudn't need to.

Link Posted: 12/20/2005 5:39:22 PM EDT
MS 2004 video someone just posted on Avsim.

www.mikejgolfdesign.com/HTLYLpart3.wmv
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 5:43:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fritzthecat:
Microsoft Flt Sim 2004.
Tons of free addons that make it almost photorealistic. Get your fav plane too.

P-3C over west TN at Dusk.
fritzthecat.250free.com/images/net/p-3-1.jpg

P-3C out of Whidbey Is., WA.
fritzthecat.250free.com/images/net/p-3-7.jpg


Fritz



How/where do you get this stuff to make it so realistic? Where can these other flying sims be found?
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 6:06:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By sirensong:
another vote for jane's. played f-15e and f/a-18 enough that i wore out 2 low-end joysticks before moving to a saitek.

regarding realism, i learned to run the f-15e avionics without a game manual--just used the books on the actual aircraft. and according to several f-18 pilots, the jane's version is good enough that they estimated a guy that was proficient on the sim would only need around 20 hours to solo the real airplane. jim campisi, an f-18c pilot, said that the night carrier ops were so accurate that his pulse rate would accelerate significantly while on approach.




But you can't trim the aircraft properly for AOA at 135 knts (no trim fuction), which alway makes me catch the #2 or 1 wire which gets me too close the the fwd end of the angle.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 6:43:10 PM EDT
Back in the late '80's (87?) when JRTC was at LRAFB...I traded a bunch of "Army" stuff to some Af Ground Defense folks and spent some time in a C-130 flight simulator with a lot of beer.........
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 7:00:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By junker46:

Originally Posted By fritzthecat:
Microsoft Flt Sim 2004.
Tons of free addons that make it almost photorealistic. Get your fav plane too.

P-3C over west TN at Dusk.
fritzthecat.250free.com/images/net/p-3-1.jpg

P-3C out of Whidbey Is., WA.
fritzthecat.250free.com/images/net/p-3-7.jpg


Fritz



How/where do you get this stuff to make it so realistic? Where can these other flying sims be found?



What other sims? That's Microsoft's Flight Simulator 2004. Also known as FS9. Some of the stuff is payware like I added links to in the first page, or freeware that random people make for anyone to use without charge. Freeware stuff can be downloaded at Avsim.com - go to the File Library (top of the page). You must register to download with a screen name from Avsim. A couple other places, like Flightsim.com and Simviation.com have free files as well. I don't use freeware too much, so I don't know about any place but Avsim.

Also, a lot of scenery is payware, as are some of the sky and cloud textures. Active Sky is a great application I use for better sky and cloud textures. Reduced choices for better frame rates, like DXT instead of 32-bit clouds, and 128x128 sized textures. Also, the weather engine in FS9 is a little buggy and I don't like it. Active Sky interfaces with FS9 to give a greater detail of accurate weather. You can customize in so many ways it's crazy. Put a cap on surface winds, prevent icing (an FS9 bug that sometimes causes the indicated airspeed in your plane to drop to zero), force destination weather from changing so when using FMC controlled airplanes (Boeing, Airbus, commuters) you can get the runway direction you should, wind smoothing (another major FS9 bug), and much more.

Here's a couple screen shots from the new Active Sky:


Link Posted: 12/20/2005 7:04:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By twonami:
I did sit at the cockpit of a 737 once and I will say I recognized everything thanks to MSFS.
When I took the freebie private lesson at the airport on the Cessna I knew exactly what I was doing that the pilot said okay take her up. I looked at him and said "are you serious" and he said yup. Pretty easy but takeoffs usually are.
Landings on the other hand are another story.

ETA: note to self I need to hook up my force feed stick and play some MSFS. It's been awhile



I took my first flight before PC flight simulators and still took off myself on the first flight. It is really easy to take off. The plane will literally do it itself if trimmed correctly and hand propped with WOT.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 7:10:30 PM EDT
Just for kicks I pulled the mixture on the certified sim at the local FBO while on a vector to an approach. It stalled the engine. I complained to the low time flight instructor. "Why did the engine stop?" He said it was because I pulled the mixture. I informed him that in real life the engine would not stop turning just because of that at over 100knots! He was not aware of that. I still don't like that simulator. Very digital in turns. Not realistic at all.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 7:17:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Doug_H:
In an old job, I used to play in CAE Full Flight Sims. It was pretty realistic.

www.airwork.nl/kennisbank/kennisbankafbeeldingen/Airbussimulator.jpg



I was just gonna ask if full motion, FAA certified sims count ?

lets see.. I've flown 747-400, A320, 737-300 and a few others
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 7:24:09 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 7:28:13 PM EDT
My company used to staff the Simulation labs at NASA Ames (Moffet field).

I got to fly in the VMS last year (as well as a few other top-rated sims)

There is no better simulator on the planet. (it's where the Shuttle pilots train) The graphics are incredible and the motion has 60+ ft of vertical travel...
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 7:30:53 PM EDT
Are there any simulators where you can fly an A-4? Probably not....
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 7:36:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2005 7:37:11 PM EDT by Tomislav]
In regards to combat flightsims, there is the IL2 Sturmovik series of sims, and then there are lots of crappy pretenders.

ETA: I have to give a nod to Falcon 4, of course.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 8:41:19 PM EDT
I haven't touched flight sims since my desktop burned up, but for civvies, the MS series is top notch for following, and ease of uses.


Now for combat sims, I'm going to offer up a dissenting opinion from the Falcon 4 and IL2 crowd, and suggest Aces High 2. I can't count how many hours I had logged in the C 205.

couple of screenshots





Link Posted: 12/20/2005 8:45:40 PM EDT
Man, if computers and software like this had existed when I was 14, I may never have gotten to college or married. Dang. Does anyone remember the first version of MS flight simulator with the stick figure dog fights? That was the pinnacle of computer excitement when I was interested in computers.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 9:12:04 PM EDT
Thanks everyone for the input. Sounds like Microsoft Flight Sim is what I'll get. Is there a main forum where all the MSFS junkies hang out? What is best yoke and peddles to get? Not interested in the cheapest, but the more realistic the better.

Falcon 4.0 sounds fun. Is there a comprehensive list of available planes? Does it cover all historical periods? Can I get a realistic feel for how a Fokker DrI handles in the air over Germany? Or how to waste a tank with a A-10 over Iraq?
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