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It depends on what you want the stuff for.

I found FS2000 and later FS2002 (2004?) really useful for practicing procedures for the IMC Rating. It saved me at least four figures of £££ in flying costs. One should never go up in a plane to fly any procedure unless one knows fully how to fly it in the comfort of one’s chair (a point which is disregarded all over the place, at the candidate’s expense ).

But I used just a £10 F16 joystick. I tried a yoke and pedals and found them a waste of time. They are for manual flying in VMC, and not needed for IFR procedures.

Similarly fancy radios etc are pointless for IFR currency because you just tune the ILS etc frequency once and practice that IAP over and over. But a lot of people find home simming to be great fun and then by all means get all the kit.

I also used FS to practice the QXC flight (qualifying cross country, or whatever it is called now). It was kind of useful to know what to expect in the way of scenery. But that was in 2000/2001 and I bet nowadays most people use the GPS in their phone

I last used FSX. My younger son had about 500hrs on that, in the end. We also bought X-Plane, with the worldwide 6×DVD SRTM scenery data. It was nice and no doubt a better simulation of the aircraft but the visuals were very simple compared to FSX.

In 2003 a group of pilots in the USA developed a very nice TB20GT model, visuals and performance, and I did some test flights for them to collect real data. Then the head guy in the group (a catholic priest) got put away for child molesting and that was the last I heard. The model is still on AVSIM or some such (G-TTAC).

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I am very hesitant buying this kind of hardware for a PC sim, unless I had a very specific project in mind.

In my years as an editor, I must have flown countless airplane types, each with different avionics and each with other “vital” features which you would have to master in the real cockpit. For me, the thought of actually building some airplane type cockpit in my office never came to mind, as every hardware i’d buy would be useless for the next airplane I’d try.

What I found very interesting however was a little software called FS Panel Studio. It allowed you to move, add and delete gauges very easily on your panels by drag-drop and klick. This way, if I had a PA28 panel in front of me, it was VERY easy to make the panel look exactly like the airplane I was flying in real life for instance. I also got a FS version of the Aspen PFD a while before I bought mine and was very happy with playing around with it, so when I did get my real Aspen, it took next to no time for me to use it. I also used the Reality XP GNS430W to find out about how to use this device without too much hassle: You don’t simply have time in the air to do this.

Aerosoft did a very nice plug in panel for older FS Versions. I had it at the time and it really was a good step in the right direction.


Actually, this is a sim I had for a while. It consisted of the said ACP Pro, a then huge monitor (weighed a ton as well) and a CH Products Yoke and pedals. it also had a networked 2nd PC with Schiratti Commander on it as instructor station. It was very well capable of doing real good IFR training for SEP’s. The Sim was FS98 if I remember right. And if I remember some of the old FNTP’s I had to work with, this one was more capable and had a world wide terrain to play with.

Imagine someone just doing their A320 rating trying to figure out different things, the FMS and all that: Sure a good addon like the FS Labs or (for normal ops) Aerosoft A320 will help. Whenever I went to a full flight sim session I would first fly the session’s objective on FS, be it on the MD80, the A320, MD11, and which ever plane I’d have to fly that day. I wish the Project Tupolev 154 had existed when I played with that airplane….

In the end, I agree with Peter to an extent: You can fly any airplane with a 10 Euro joystick (ok, it’s not much fun, but you can) if the task you are trying to do is just to try out some procedures. For someone who flies regularly, he should do himself a favour and at least get a properly calibrated and manufactured device, such as the Saitec offerings, or maybe even get a yoke. Pedals, I have then for 30 years (thrustmaster are robust) and would not really want to fly without them. And I did treat myself to a CH Throttle unit, which is fully freely configurable, so I can fly an up to 6 engined airplane or I can fly a twin with 2 throttles, mixtures and props. All in all an outlay of maybe 200 euros which has lasted me for more than I care to think back on.

LSZH, Switzerland

Mooney_Driver wrote:

In the end, I agree with Peter to an extent: You can fly any airplane with a 10 Euro joystick (ok, it’s not much fun, but you can) if the task you are trying to do is just to try out some procedures. For someone who flies regularly, he should do himself a favour and at least get a properly calibrated and manufactured device, such as the Saitec offerings, or maybe even get a yoke. Pedals, I have then for 30 years (thrustmaster are robust) and would not really want to fly without them. And I did treat myself to a CH Throttle unit, which is fully freely configurable, so I can fly an up to 6 engined airplane or I can fly a twin with 2 throttles, mixtures and props. All in all an outlay of maybe 200 euros which has lasted me for more than I care to think back on.

I’ve started out with a cheap joystick, then switched to a yoke, then added pedals. I’d say that if you want to do serious procedural training, then a proper yoke (such at the Saitek one) is a must. The same goes for a throttle quadrant. You can do you without the rudder pedals, but if you want the procedural training to include ground procedures (or if you want to do decent landings) then you really need pedals as well.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

I agree to.
Best joystick for me tho(and I try a lot of them) by far I recommend Microsoft Sidewinder Force Feedback 2 using FS Force
You can only find it on ebay amazon etc those days.

Sidewinder Force Feedback2

Last Edited by at 07 Jan 11:39

loco wrote:

Maybe some of you could advise if there is an addon for aerobatics with Prepar3D? Something that would allow at least a snap roll or hammerhead.

I set up P3D with Oculus and thought it could be used to learn an aerobatic sequence instead of walking it on ground. Unfortunately sim aircraft don’t behave like real aircraft at all.

Just want to answer my question from 2016. The best simulator I found for aerobatics is AeroFly FS2 + Oculus Rift. I tried X-plane and P3D, but their flight model for aerobatic aircraft is worth nothing. With AeroFly FS2 you can really practice your sequence before doing it in the real world. Here’s a video example:

EPPO, EPPK

Looks really good!

Sweden

what sort of minimum performance PC would you recommend to use X plane at home with simple pedals and yoke
mainly to practise procedere etc

thanks

fly2000

The Reality-XP GTN works really well with a touch screen and completely and accurately simulates the real thing.

Peter_Paul wrote:

simple pedals and yoke

I can’t tell you the difference that good force-feedback yoke (and pedals on a twin) makes. I use Brunner, and am very happy. They are expensive, but they make all the difference when it comes to reality. Not having FF is like flying without elevator trim – doable but nothing like reality.

As ever, if anyone wants to come to Epsom (SW London) to experience the difference FF makes, just let me know.

EGKB Biggin Hill

Peter_Paul wrote:

what sort of minimum performance PC would you recommend to use X plane at home with simple pedals and yoke

Spend the money from the start to build your pc bmo.

For pedals :
T.Flight Rudder Pedals

FF it is a good solution as per @Timothy . A good, not expensive solution for FF can be an old SideWinder but you need to buy as well a software. Microsoft does not support the old software for this excellent product.
SideWinder Force Feedback 2 Joystick

FS Force

Personal I use both FF and a Thrustmaster hotas warthog for FS CIVIL & DCS.

VR like HTC VIVE Oculus Rift etc is compatible with below pc specs and highly recommended.

CPU : i7 6700k at 4.6G or similar.
GPU : Gigabytes G1 GTX1080 / 8GB ram / 2Ghz GPU clock or similar.
RAM : 16GB ram / 3200 Mhz
HDD : Separate SSD disks for FS and windows
OS :WIN10/64 pro.

Last Edited by at 27 Jun 21:25

loco wrote:

Just want to answer my question from 2016. The best simulator I found for aerobatics is AeroFly FS2 + Oculus Rift. I tried X-plane and P3D, but their flight model for aerobatic aircraft is worth nothing. With AeroFly FS2 you can really practice your sequence before doing it in the real world. Here’s a video example:

Looks really useful for sequence training, will give that a go for sure. What kind of stick and pedals do you use?

Norway, where a gallon of avgas is ch...
ENEG
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