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notaxonrotax
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Flight Simulator For Dummies, Explained To A Dummy

Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:15 am

Warning ### Ignorance Alert ### Warning

Good day all,

I´ve been lurking around those "Where are you in the FS world" and "FS screenshot thread" for quite some time now.
Interesting, some amazing shots & stories!

Now I´m a complete tool when it comes to flight simulation, my last game was probably on the Commodore Amiga……..a game called "Sopwith" where 5 yellow pixels bonded together were supposed to be your warbird.
1 yellow Pixel a bullet………the younger people may not know what I mean.
Obviously, I have seen people playing FS at times; it looks nice--> you see a certain plane coming into a certain airport--> very easy on the eye--> some great details.
But I don´t want to run into a shop and buy "a thing"……..I´d rather start this business a little bit prepared!

So my question is: how does it all work? In general, I mean……….
I googled, but you never seem to get the answers to the very basic questions like mine--> hahaha.

How does it work? Would I be able to buy "the whole world in detail" in my local computer shop…….or do different companies produce different aircraft or area software for the same program? And for airports & liveries? Is it expen$ive?

How does it work? I read things on here like: "an A320 sneaked up behind me on Runway 11"……..can that particular A320 be operated by another (real life) person on-line? Do 2 FS-ers meet if they happen to fly in the same area, whilst on-line? Do you need a High Speed internet connection to be able to participate?

How does it work? I have heard stories about real ATC doing some extra hours in their spare time for FS-ers? True?

How does it work? Can you communicate with…….for argument´s sake………other A.netters within Flight Simulator?

How does it work? I never see crash screenshots………if you crash, are there graphics of it?
And if you do happen to T-bone an Airport building with a 100 Kts, does this affect other FS-ers in the area? Or am I thinking too far??

How does it work? Must you build up a career and respect ratings within the community or do you start with unlimited money and aircraft from scratch?

How does it work? Is the software improving significantly and rapidly, I mean; is the FS world getting bigger and bigger with more (local) airports and landmarks being included in recent releases?

What I´m saying is: How does it work?

Well, I may be stating the obvious here: I´m a bit of a newbie in this whole thing, but as I mentioned before--> I googled it for a few minutes and never got obvious answers.
Perhaps 1 of you experts are willing to lead a blind man into, what is effectively; the world of On-Line Flight Simulation.


Cheers up front for your time / patience!


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Longhornmaniac
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RE: Flight Simulator For Dummies, Explained To A Dummy

Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:03 am

Oh wow.    This post is quite a handful, but cheers to you for your interest and willingness to learn!   

I'll do my best to answer as many questions as I can.

Quoting notaxonrotax (Thread starter):
Would I be able to buy "the whole world in detail" in my local computer shop

Essentially, yes. When you buy Microsoft Flight Sim X (FSX, for short), or X-Plane 9, which are currently the two main (if not outdated) computer flight simulators, the whole planet is at your disposal. Each simulator is known for doing things better. For FSX (along with the Microsoft Flight Simulator line in general), it's the eye candy. Graphics, accessibility for every day people, things like that. X-Plane is geared much more toward creating a realistic physical representation of flight. Planes handle much more realistically than they do in MSFS, but the graphics seem to be less impressive, in comparison. X-Plane handles the physics so well it can, with the correct hardware attached to it, actually be used as a real world training tool. Instrument pilots can actually log hours on that type of setup. It is worth saying, though, that while the default scenery is decent, it's not exactly what I would call superb. In general, if there is supposed to be a mountain in a certain place, there will be a mountain (referred to as mesh scenery). The exact topography of the region will not be entirely accurately reproduced, though it has become better since, say FS98 (the MSFS line went, starting in 1998, FS98, FS2000, FS2002, FS2004, FSX. FS2004 probably revolutionized the most, and is often considered to be the best. FSX improved on that in many ways, but there is a lot of debate about which was "better.")

Quoting notaxonrotax (Thread starter):
or do different companies produce different aircraft or area software for the same program?

Oh boy. You've definitely opened a huge can of worms with this question. Yes, they do. I'll try and give you a brief overview of it.

Essentially, there are two types of add-on software: freeware, and payware. As the names suggest, freeware is scenery, aircraft, utilities, any number of things that is produced by, well, anyone, and distributed for free. The best places to find these types of add-ons are sites like www.avsim.com and www.flightsim.com. These types of add-ons often work really, really well, and no serious flight-simmer would live without them. Since the default ("stock") airports are generally very unrealistic in terms of building accuracy, gates, parking etc...for us accuracy-junkies, they're must haves. Occasionally, though, for things we consider to be really important, we're willing to fork over some (serious) cash for even better work. For airplanes, there is no developer better than PMDG. Other solid makers are Level-D Simulations, and Quality Wings, just to name a few. These types of planes are as complex as it gets, when it comes to systems programming, customization, and automation. Simply put, if you can work your way around the cockpit of a PMDG plane, you can work your way around the cockpit of the real thing (*disclaimer: note I did not say FLY the real thing. Just be familiar with what is where, and generally how to do things). For scenery, FS Dreamteam and Aerosoft are the creams of the crop. To the untrained eye, you'd have a hard time telling them apart from photos at times. Obviously, though, these types of payware addons are fairly limited in scope, though, generally to major airports and/or important types of planes. For example. PMDG is probably best known for their 747-400. Again, just to clarify, you can find a wide variety in quality for payware addons, and generally, you get what you pay for. The PMDG 747-400 will cost you upwards of $75, or more, depending on when and where you buy it. Smaller, less detailed sceneries can be had for less.

Quoting notaxonrotax (Thread starter):
And for airports & liveries?

Airports were addressed above, but generally liveries are free. Some developers keep a database from which you can download for free on their websites, but you can almost always find whatever you're looking for for free on AVSIM or FlightSim.com

Quoting notaxonrotax (Thread starter):
Is it expen$ive?

Like I said, it sure as hell can be. I spent $49 on my copy of FS9 (FS2004), and I've probably spend over $1,000 on addons and other stuff.

Quoting notaxonrotax (Thread starter):
can that particular A320 be operated by another (real life) person on-line?

Yes, it can. VATSIM is the Mecca for online flight simming. Alternatively, you can also download (or buy...as per usual) AI aircraft that fly real flights, using real flight numbers and equipment, at real times. There is a whole lot of flight simming devoted to keeping your AI flight plans up to date and accurate. Can be quite time consuming. Alpha India and Project AI are known for these types of compilations of flight plans.

At this point I should point out installing these types of addons (whether it's planes, panels, sounds, scenery, AI flight plans, AI aircraft etc...) isn't always super simple. These types of downloads usually come with good instructions, but it's not usually just an automatic install. It's often intensive manual work to get things into the right folders, make sure extensions and titles match up, etc...with practice, though, it becomes less difficult, and more just tedious.

Quoting notaxonrotax (Thread starter):
Do you need a High Speed internet connection to be able to participate?

Yes.

Quoting notaxonrotax (Thread starter):
I have heard stories about real ATC doing some extra hours in their spare time for FS-ers?

I haven't, but it wouldn't entirely surprise me. VATSIM controllers (again, not only are there other people flight other virtual aircraft in the skies, but there are people controlling different airspace, too!) are, in my experience, pretty much by the book as far as real world controllers go (I'm a private pilot in real life). They go through training, and generally, they know their shit, and frown upon people goofing around in their virtual airspace. In my somewhat limited experience on VATSIM, you are asked to file a flight plan, and the procedures followed are real life, published approaches (STARs) and departures (SIDs).

Quoting notaxonrotax (Thread starter):
Can you communicate with…….for argument´s sake………other A.netters within Flight Simulator?

Yep. If you have a microphone, all you have to do is connect to their server, by downloading a small application, and voila!

Quoting notaxonrotax (Thread starter):
if you crash, are there graphics of it?

Not good ones. Some addons have tried to improve this, but they're still pretty poor. Personally, I'm glad they didn't waste their time trying to improve them.

Quoting notaxonrotax (Thread starter):
does this affect other FS-ers in the area?

No.

Quoting notaxonrotax (Thread starter):
Or am I thinking too far??

  

Quoting notaxonrotax (Thread starter):
Must you build up a career and respect ratings within the community or do you start with unlimited money and aircraft from scratch?

Nope. Pretty much anyone can do whatever they want right from the get-go.

Quoting notaxonrotax (Thread starter):
Is the software improving significantly and rapidly, I mean; is the FS world getting bigger and bigger with more (local) airports and landmarks being included in recent releases?

Yes. I believe FSX had over 24,000 real world airfields included across the globe. Mind you, a lot of them (the vast majority, I'd guess), were nothing more than dirt strips included in the right geographic coordinates, but yes. A lot of the complaints with the MSFS franchise lately have been directed at their emphasis on marginally improving graphics (water reflections etc...), when the serious simmers will just go download or buy better mesh, landclass, and waterclass (land and water improving files). This comes at the expense of functional things, like a much needed overhaul of the built-in ATC system, which is slow, unrealistic, inefficient, and error prone, or weather, which has improved leaps and bounds, but still unsatisfactory. Fortunately, payware like Real Environment Extreme and Active Sky exist, which incomprehensibly improve the weather rendering in-game. But there is only so much you can do for a simulator intended for a personal computer.

Hope these answer your questions! If you have any more, feel free to ask!   

Cheers,
Cameron
Cheers,
Cameron
 
flymia
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RE: Flight Simulator For Dummies, Explained To A Dummy

Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:48 pm

Everything said above is great.

I you want to get into FS first you need to have a good computer for FSX or a decent one for FS 2004. Then just buy a joystick buy the game and fly. The game comes with over 24,000 airports many planes etc.. Of course the majority of the airports are basic and unrealistic and the default planes are not great. But it is the best way to start then you can go and download off of avsim.com or flightsim.com and then start buying payware items. Its a lot of fun and something which I really enjoy doing when I have time off and on the weekends sometimes. There is so much there in the FS world so many things its really pretty amazing. But the basics of it are VERY VERY simple. Have a good computer and then buy the game and there you go. Get a joystick and you can fly 747s, A321 or Cessna 172s all over the world.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
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notaxonrotax
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RE: Flight Simulator For Dummies, Explained To A Dummy

Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:34 pm

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 1):
I'll do my best to answer as many questions as I can.

And you did………my thanks for that.
By far the longest post somebody has written me!!

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 1):
Like I said, it sure as hell can be. I spent $49 on my copy of FS9 (FS2004), and I've probably spend over $1,000 on addons and other stuff.

The game itself is not excessively expensive, but if I were to kit out my whole country in detail……….it may well be!

Unfortunately it´s like I thought it was--> you can´t just go to a shop, pay some good do$h; and have everything installed to the detail. Yes, the lazy approach………I hear you thinking!!

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 1):
At this point I should point out installing these types of addons (whether it's planes, panels, sounds, scenery, AI flight plans, AI aircraft etc...) isn't always super simple. These types of downloads usually come with good instructions, but it's not usually just an automatic install. It's often intensive manual work to get things into the right folders, make sure extensions and titles match up, etc...with practice, though, it becomes less difficult, and more just tedious.

That sounds to be a bit out of my league.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 1):
The exact topography of the region will not be entirely accurately reproduced, though it has become better since, say FS98 (the MSFS line went, starting in 1998, FS98, FS2000, FS2002, FS2004, FSX. FS2004 probably revolutionized the most, and is often considered to be the best. FSX improved on that in many ways, but there is a lot of debate about which was "better.")

No more improvements from 2004?
Isn´t there an 2011 around the corner?

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 1):
This comes at the expense of functional things, like a much needed overhaul of the built-in ATC system, which is slow, unrealistic, inefficient, and error prone, or weather, which has improved leaps and bounds, but still unsatisfactory

And no improvements any time soon?

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 1):

Quoting notaxonrotax (Thread starter):
does this affect other FS-ers in the area?

No.

So, airports don´t close because of bad weather for instance, affecting several real life players in the area?

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 1):
They go through training, and generally, they know their shit, and frown upon people goofing around in their virtual airspace.

Training……….are there special courses for FS ATC?

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 1):

Hope these answer your questions! If you have any more, feel free to ask!

Well, just 1 or 2:

#If you buy a certain airplane in great detail, say the B744; does this one appear more on airports you call into?

#Can you set up traffic density………and the type of aircraft you may want to run into?

#The 1 or 2 times I had a go for a minute an acquaintance´s computer, I bounced on and off the ground like it were a trampoline, it didn´t strike me as very realistic. IS this a question of setting it up?

#How is the FS issue for MAC computers?

Quoting flymia (Reply 2):
But the basics of it are VERY VERY simple. Have a good computer and then buy the game and there you go. Get a joystick and you can fly 747s, A321 or Cessna 172s all over the world.

Thanks!!

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Longhornmaniac
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RE: Flight Simulator For Dummies, Explained To A Dummy

Sun Mar 27, 2011 7:32 pm

Quoting notaxonrotax (Reply 3):
That sounds to be a bit out of my league.

Practice makes perfect. Adding planes and scenery are both pretty straight forward, which is the majority of what you'll be doing. Actually, it's honestly not all that hard, now that I think about it.

Quoting notaxonrotax (Reply 3):

No more improvements from 2004?

Some developers are still producing FS9-compatible addons, but it is a slowly dwindling number. FS9 was the last generally accessible version; FSX requires a much better computer. Eliminating support for FS9 would alienate a lot of the users. I have a damn solid computer, and I have problems running FSX the way I'd like to. FS9, on the other hand, has all of my addons on it, so I'd rather have my FS9 than a closer-to-default FSX, anyway.

Quoting notaxonrotax (Reply 3):

Isn´t there an 2011 around the corner?

The ACES studio, which developed FS for Microsoft, was closed a year or two ago. Microsoft is developing a new line, called Microsoft Flight, independent of ACES, but I think the prevailing opinion is it's more of the same. More eye candy, more accessibility for everyday people, but not a lot of critical thought into improving the actual simulation experience. It's still early on, and that could still be false. There is a thread about it in this forum.

Quoting notaxonrotax (Reply 3):
And no improvements any time soon?

Color me skeptical. It was great when it came out, but as the game evolved with all the addons into a true simulator experience, the default FS ATC got left behind.

Quoting notaxonrotax (Reply 3):

So, airports don´t close because of bad weather for instance, affecting several real life players in the area?

It depends on whether you're talking about single or multiplayer. In single player, airports will close to VFR traffic during IMC conditions, meaning you must have an IFR flight plan. In multiplayer, not that I know of.

Quoting notaxonrotax (Reply 3):
are there special courses for FS ATC?

FS ATC is computerized. In FSX multiplayer, you can actually act as a controller, but it's limited to actual on-field communications (tower and ground). And there's no training, so you get lots of people just goofing around.

Quoting notaxonrotax (Reply 3):
If you buy a certain airplane in great detail, say the B744; does this one appear more on airports you call into?

Nope. Airplanes you buy are used entirely for your own flight, they are WAY too computer-intensive to have just flying around the skies. AI aircraft are intentionally very simple, so they don't have a huge performance impact.

Quoting notaxonrotax (Reply 3):
Can you set up traffic density………and the type of aircraft you may want to run into?

Yes, you can. In the game settings, you can choose the types of aircraft to want to encounter (commercial, bizjets, general aviation).

Quoting notaxonrotax (Reply 3):
The 1 or 2 times I had a go for a minute an acquaintance´s computer, I bounced on and off the ground like it were a trampoline, it didn´t strike me as very realistic. IS this a question of setting it up?

It could be, but depending on what kind of plane, that can actually happen. You can also change the settings for when the simulator detects a "crash," meaning how tolerant it is of forceful impacts and such.

Quoting notaxonrotax (Reply 3):
How is the FS issue for MAC computers?

I have a PC, so I'm not sure. I imagine it's fine, though.

  

Cheers,
Cameron
Cheers,
Cameron
 
flymia
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RE: Flight Simulator For Dummies, Explained To A Dummy

Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:27 pm

Quoting notaxonrotax (Reply 3):
That sounds to be a bit out of my league.

I will second that it is very simple! At first when I started doing it I thought it was hard. By the time I was 13-14 years old I could do just about any download. It is simple.

Quoting notaxonrotax (Reply 3):

Training……….are there special courses for FS ATC?

If you fly on VATSIM there are. VATSIM is very very realistic with ATC procedures etc.. It is not a place people start off flying.

Quoting notaxonrotax (Reply 3):
Well, just 1 or 2:

#If you buy a certain airplane in great detail, say the B744; does this one appear more on airports you call into?

#Can you set up traffic density………and the type of aircraft you may want to run into?

#The 1 or 2 times I had a go for a minute an acquaintance´s computer, I bounced on and off the ground like it were a trampoline, it didn´t strike me as very realistic. IS this a question of setting it up?

As said above planes you buy are usually very realistic and can not be used for AI traffic. The default traffic that comes with the game is not so great. But there are things like MY Traffic and Ultimate traffic. Search that on google "Ultimate Traffic 2" and look at the type of AI traffic it has realistic schedules and real airlines etc.. And you the user can create more flights, decided what planes and airlines you want to see etc..

Again its a one step at a time process first just get the sim and a joystick then worry about the rest after you get used to flying around a bit in the sim. Then as you know more about the default settings and world you will want to do freeware things, then payware then maybe buy a flight yoke and throttle and so on and so on.
As for the crashing that is a setting whoever sim you were flying on had the setting on that you cant crash.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
cpd
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RE: Flight Simulator For Dummies, Explained To A Dummy

Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:46 am

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 1):
with the correct hardware attached to it, actually be used as a real world training tool.

FS too - the B737NG simulator in Darling Harbour, Sydney is running on FS9. It's incredibly realistic. if not for the lack of motion, you'd swear you were sitting in the real thing.

Quoting notaxonrotax (Reply 3):
#How is the FS issue for MAC computers?

On the Intel based mac computers, you can just use Apple's bootcamp wizard and install Windows as a seperate partition, or on a Mac Pro, slot in another hard-disk drive and install WIndows on that. It's quite easy. I recommend using Bootpicker as a nice way to choose which operating system you want to use on startup:

http://www.apple.com/education/resources/bootpicker/

I'm using FSX on my Mac Pro at 2560x1440x32bit resolution, with detail pretty much cranked as high as it'll go. The Mac Pro I have is a Quad-core Intel Xeon W3565 3.2ghz with ATI Radeon 5870 1gb graphics card, and the OS is Windows 7 64 bit ultimate. I'm sure a PC of similar specs (maybe a 3.2ghz Core whatever they are) should run it well too.

I primarily use advanced addons like PMDG 747-400/MD-11 or the FSLabs Concorde X (the most advanced and detailed addon plane I've ever seen in Flight Sim).
 
Burkhard
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RE: Flight Simulator For Dummies, Explained To A Dummy

Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:51 am

Quoting notaxonrotax (Reply 3):
No more improvements from 2004?

This is an old debate. As somebody who develops add ons for Flight Simulator, I see FS2004 as a ( well done) evolutionary step from FS2002. FSX is a ten folder bigger step, from providing real three dimentional graphics. high resolution textures, far more complex logics and animations - and it was a too big step so it needed two service packs to become reliable enough.

My recommendation would be to select FSX gold, which contains the Acceleration addon, that then is the best version of FSX you can have. About the realism of the Netherlands scenery, there is no software around that comes near to the precision of FSX in description of Europe and the Netherlands. If you want more, than there are addons, like the Netherlands photo scenery from NL2000 or neighboring the Germany VFR scenery, 16 DVDs filling your computer with one pixel per 2 sqaure m of all Germany, and ....
 
brons2
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RE: Flight Simulator For Dummies, Explained To A Dummy

Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:52 am

I see someone mentioned a Radeon 5870 above, what about a Radeon 4850? How would that do with FSX? CPU is C2D E8500 (3.16Ghz)
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cpd
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RE: Flight Simulator For Dummies, Explained To A Dummy

Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:26 am

I don't know what the 4850 is like - but provided the CPU is very powerful, you should be okay.

1GB video memory is useful, as is a lot of ram. And a fast HDD is also good.

I don't know how your Core 2 Duo E8500 is like for speed, I've never used one of those - and my Xeon W3565 3.2ghz is a workstation processor, so pretty different sort of thing.

[Edited 2011-03-29 18:27:36]
 
Burkhard
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RE: Flight Simulator For Dummies, Explained To A Dummy

Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:05 am

Your hardware should be OK, unless you insist on all sliders maxed out. Check you have the newest ATI drivers installed before you install FSX, this can make a big difference. Put the ATI settings to highest quality then, and in FSX most sliders half way right, just not to extremely, and you will be fine.
 
nickh
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RE: Flight Simulator For Dummies, Explained To A Dummy

Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:57 pm

I have used Microsoft Flight Simulator since -- well, probably since version 1, under DOS, back in the early 1980s! -- and I have purchased every version since then. While Flight Sim is a great PC-Based simulator, X-Plane by Laminar Research comes quite close.

One of the nice things about X-Plane is that it is multi-platform - the 6-disc version of X-Plane 9 that I currently have, has binaries for Windows, Mac and Linux.

There are versions of X-Plane, X-Plane Helicopter, X-Plane Airliner & X-Plane Extreme (military jets) for all Apple iOS devices as well - I have them all - (iPod Touch2, iPhone, iPad) - it is very well written and has a lot of support from the sim community for add-ons, etc. X-Plane makes use of the accelerometer/gyroscope in the Apple iOS devices, which makes it somewhat more realistic to control.

There are several very well written free Flight Simulators as well - see www.sourceforge.net to start, or use Google -- but if you would like to try a good (relatively inexpensive) multi-platform Flight Sim, I would certainly take a look at X-Plane.

Some sites for reference:

http://www.x-aviation.com/catalog/pr...t_info.php?cPath=21&products_id=60 (The X-Plane FBO!)
http://x-plane.org/ (for Add-Ons, extra aircraft, etc.)
http://digitaledgepc.com/ (hardware and accessories - control yokes, etc.).

NOTE: I do not work for any of the aforementioned companies or organizations!! I'm just a flight fanatic!

-Nick
"We all have wings, but some of us don't know why..."
 
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notaxonrotax
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RE: Flight Simulator For Dummies, Explained To A Dummy

Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:44 am

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 4):

Yes, you can. In the game settings, you can choose the types of aircraft to want to encounter (commercial, bizjets, general aviation).

That´s cool……but as was said, you can´t make them more realistic! A bought 747-400 by me will only be detailed if I climb in the cockpit, correct?

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 4):

It could be, but depending on what kind of plane, that can actually happen. You can also change the settings for when the simulator detects a "crash," meaning how tolerant it is of forceful impacts and such.

Yes, I mean……..I´m not aiming for it, but when I c#ck up; I´d like to know it.
You said you didn´t care too much for the crash graphics, and I´m with you…….but if I do happen to hit the ground, I sure want to see some kind of result!

Quoting flymia (Reply 5):

I will second that it is very simple! At first when I started doing it I thought it was hard. By the time I was 13-14 years old I could do just about any download. It is simple.

Okay, I may give it a go……….cheers for boosting my confidence.

Quoting flymia (Reply 5):

As said above planes you buy are usually very realistic and can not be used for AI traffic. The default traffic that comes with the game is not so great. But there are things like MY Traffic and Ultimate traffic. Search that on google "Ultimate Traffic 2" and look at the type of AI traffic it has realistic schedules and real airlines etc.. And you the user can create more flights, decided what planes and airlines you want to see etc..

That sounds good too………..customizing my own little world.

Quoting cpd (Reply 6):
I recommend using Bootpicker as a nice way to choose which operating system you want to use on startup:

I will have a look into that……..

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 7):
My recommendation would be to select FSX gold, which contains the Acceleration addon, that then is the best version of FSX you can have. About the realism of the Netherlands scenery, there is no software around that comes near to the precision of FSX in description of Europe and the Netherlands. If you want more, than there are addons, like the Netherlands photo scenery from NL2000 or neighboring the Germany VFR scenery, 16 DVDs filling your computer with one pixel per 2 sqaure m of all Germany, and ....

You seem to get a little excited there, Burkhard!!!!!

But I get your point…….the sky is the limit, isn´t it?
I guess I´d upgrade just a small area, like you said………I prefer to fly in 1 small beautiful area than to fly AMS-SIN passing boring landscapes only. As was mentioned, the majority of the standard airports are just strips in the correct location with the correct azimuths……….but nothing cool to see, apart from that. Right?

Quoting nickh (Reply 11):
There are versions of X-Plane, X-Plane Helicopter, X-Plane Airliner & X-Plane Extreme (military jets) for all Apple iOS devices as well - I have them all - (iPod Touch2, iPhone, iPad) - it is very well written and has a lot of support from the sim community for add-ons, etc.

I´ve looked at that today……..the actual game looks quite affordable.
6 discs I was told…….

But again, the add ons is what I´m not sure about……..but I will check all the links you people provided!!

As a general comment, I don´t understand why any software producer doesn´t grab this cow by the horns and produce a detailed world…….with detailed planes and everything included………..for dummies like me!!
I´d pay a bit more…….

Thanks once again for your feedback, all!!!


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flymia
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RE: Flight Simulator For Dummies, Explained To A Dummy

Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:39 am

Quoting notaxonrotax (Reply 12):
As a general comment, I don´t understand why any software producer doesn´t grab this cow by the horns and produce a detailed world…….with detailed planes and everything included………..for dummies like me!!
I´d pay a bit more…….

I wish, but the amount of effort that would take. One highly detailed plane can cost over $50 imagine if the game came with many of them. IMO what FSX and FS9 have is pretty awesome with over 24,000 airports. The planes are not great but there are fantastic planes out there for some money of course but the realism they have is amazing. I know I could walk in the cockpit of a 747 and know where switches are and what they do etc... Of course actually flying the plane in the real world is a different story. But pilots have even told me that just getting used to where switches are on a highly detailed plane on Flight Simulator has helped them in their training and even landing them a job.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
Longhornmaniac
Posts: 3145
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RE: Flight Simulator For Dummies, Explained To A Dummy

Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:41 pm

Quoting notaxonrotax (Reply 12):
That´s cool……but as was said, you can´t make them more realistic! A bought 747-400 by me will only be detailed if I climb in the cockpit, correct?

I'm not sure if I follow your question, but you can download planes that look better, and have them fly AI. Just as an aside, it is certainly possible to use the aircraft that you fly personally as AI aircraft, it will just eat at your computer's processing ability (due to the larger size of those aircraft), and reduce your frame rates (always a bad thing!). One semi-work around to that problem (since the flyable aircraft usually look better than the AI), is to make a copy of folder of the aircraft you fly, and want to be AI, go into their folders, and delete un-necessary components like the panel. This reduces the load a little bit, I've noticed, because it's not loading everything that it would if you were flying it, but the fact remains, flyable aircraft are not optimized for AI, and are therefore much larger files which require more computing power.

That said, purchased planes, particularly the really high-end ones like PMDG, have exquisite modelling both inside and outside. When looking at your plane from the outside (known as "spot" view), the aircraft will look awesome, and sometimes you can even see through windows and such (though usually there's not much inside the plane...sometimes some really cheap looking seats). Then, if you go into the cockpit (or 3D virtual cockpit, if equipped), it will also look good. So if you're asking if it will only be detailed in the cockpit relative to the external model, then absolutely not.

Help to clarify if I missed your point.

Cheers,
Cameron
Cheers,
Cameron
 
flymia
Posts: 7129
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2001 6:33 am

RE: Flight Simulator For Dummies, Explained To A Dummy

Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:41 pm

Quoting notaxonrotax (Reply 12):
That´s cool……but as was said, you can´t make them more realistic! A bought 747-400 by me will only be detailed if I climb in the cockpit, correct?

Well the cockpit if you buy a good add on will be just like the real thing! Why that is important for your AI traffic I do not know. The AI programs and many of the AI planes you can download online look pretty good. You cannot have them look as good as your plane your flying because it would take up WAY too much CPU power and lower frame rates. Your in the air most of the time so it really is not that important if they do not look as good. But they look fine.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
GBLKD
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RE: Flight Simulator For Dummies, Explained To A Dummy

Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:35 pm

Quoting flymia (Reply 13):
I know I could walk in the cockpit of a 747 and know where switches are and what they do etc... Of course actually flying the plane in the real world is a different story. But pilots have even told me that just getting used to where switches are on a highly detailed plane on Flight Simulator has helped them in their training and even landing them a job.

I'll agree with that. The aeroplane I fly the most in FS9 is the PSS Concorde and I've studied the manuals and operating proceedures at great length. I'd say I do about 10 hours a week in it, sometimes a full supersonic TATL and others I'll just spend an hour "base training" doing circuits of Prestwick.

When I "flew" the real Concorde sim at Brooklands a week ago I found that the flightdeck was very familiar indeed, I could identify and operate pretty much everything there.

The real thing was a hell of a lot easier to fly than the FS9 version though.
 
cpd
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RE: Flight Simulator For Dummies, Explained To A Dummy

Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:49 am

Quoting GBLKD (Reply 16):
The aeroplane I fly the most in FS9 is the PSS Concorde and I've studied the manuals and operating proceedures at great length. I'd say I do about 10 hours a week in it, sometimes a full supersonic TATL and others I'll just spend an hour "base training" doing circuits of Prestwick.

The virtual Concordes are all pretty easy to operate, even the FlightSimLabs one, which is the most realistic and complete of them all (and also the most recent one).

It's the only one that really seems to get really close to being able to do everything as it is done on the real plane. I imagine being inside a real simulator will be much easier still - because the field of view will be superior, and you have all the switches quickly at hand. So if you want to change the altitude select dial, it's fast, and if you want to do the altitude check, it's easy - just reading it straight off the relevant dials, no panning the view around and zooming in.

On the computer simulators, setting an automatic landing is a right pain - lots of swapping between panels, setting the electrical system up correctly, etc. On the real simulator, I'll bet it'll be really quick and easy provided nothing naughty has been done by the person in the back of the simulator!   Did the brooklands sim get everything up and running again (ie, all the engineering panels and everything else)?

It's a shame there aren't more people on here who fly that plane in FSX. I used to do trans-atlantic flights with Concorde X regularly, now I'm more doing the long-haul flights in the B747-400. It's just amazing how much accuracy they managed to get into the Concorde X product, right down to the engine surge if you throttle back the engines too quickly at supersonic. And other things like the little nuances of air-groups and how they operate. Say for instance, you have one switched off, and then you switch it back on. The temperature sensing goes full hot until enough air goes through the group, and then the needle on the dial goes back to indicating cold. And in FSX, doing things like the anti-skid test, or the reverse-air shut off check - that's just a great indication of how sophisticated the really advanced addons in FSX are becoming.

Some of them, they have cascading errors - so if something goes wrong, it can knock out other things too - or get progressively worse if ignored. I know that was one question a Boeing representative asked PMDG (about their B747-400X) at a flight-sim conference, and the answer was, yes, the errors do cascade. I think it was probably a setup question.  
 
GBLKD
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RE: Flight Simulator For Dummies, Explained To A Dummy

Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:08 pm

Quoting cpd (Reply 17):
On the computer simulators, setting an automatic landing is a right pain - lots of swapping between panels, setting the electrical system up correctly, etc. On the real simulator, I'll bet it'll be really quick and easy provided nothing naughty has been done by the person in the back of the simulator! Did the brooklands sim get everything up and running again (ie, all the engineering panels and everything else)?

As you said the field of vision was a massive help along with the yoke feeling "right". I use a laptop and a stick so my controls react way too quickly with no real feedback. Brooklands isn't full motion anymore, that was all scrapped at Filton, but having the more realistic view over the glareshield gave a feeling of motion. I sat on a stool in the FE's position while the first guy took off. When he turned left I actually braced my leg against the floor and grabbed something solid to hold on to, that's how well they've got it operating.

I did learn a few things from the pilots which I'm trying to recall bit by bit. For the approach into 27L at Heathrow 109.50 was set into Nav1 and the course was set to the correct heading. I simply lined all of the needles up and followed the PAPIs while quickly scanning the glideslope. Proud to say that I greased it down 1000ft in and spot on centre then landed the nose, called "sticks forward" and put firm but smooth pressure onto the toe brakes. The Captain sitting in the right hand seat handled the throttles and reversers for the landings.

The engineer's panel isn't functional anymore but plans are afoot I believe to try and get it working.

FS9 is never going to feel the same again.
 
cpd
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RE: Flight Simulator For Dummies, Explained To A Dummy

Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:31 am

Quoting GBLKD (Reply 18):
As you said the field of vision was a massive help along with the yoke feeling "right".

The other bit of it is making the addon run fast, so that all the controls operate fluidly and smoothly like they do in real life.

That's important when flying approaches in poor weather using the ILS for guidance.

Quoting GBLKD (Reply 18):
The engineer's panel isn't functional anymore but plans are afoot I believe to try and get it working.

Does it have all the features like Max Climb / Max Cruise working? And how would you do automatic landings with iit? I understand the other Concorde sim (in France) is still fully operational. I'd love to have a go at that one, having flown the most realistic ones in FS9 / FSX for a long time and read the flight manuals and checklists for the real ones quite a lot. I'd love to find out what it is really like a real simulator.

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