Flight Sims -

millais

The Yellow Rose of Victoria, Texas
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They should, since the game still has all the requisite files because otherwise MP would be a disaster.
So you think that mod compilation should work for my f2p install then? I do want to tone down the AAA a bit since it really fucks me over during balloon busting sorties and I think the default Albatros skin is pretty ugly.
 

Strelok

Perfectly Cromulent Poster
kiwifarms.net
So you think that mod compilation should work for my f2p install then? I do want to tone down the AAA a bit since it really fucks me over during balloon busting sorties and I think the default Albatros skin is pretty ugly.
I don't see why it wouldn't. It's all the exact same client.
 

millais

The Yellow Rose of Victoria, Texas
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
I started a Fokker D.VIIF career and I'm finding it extremely fun. Since it started in mid-1918, there's a target-rich environment of fairly well matched Allied single seaters, mostly Sopwith Dolphins, SPAD VII/XIII, and Nieuport 28s. Plus my Jasta is located opposite French, British, and American squadrons so there is a lot of variety in the opposition I am facing. In my Albatros D.Va career, I was seeing nothing but British two-seater recon planes.

I also started a SPAD S.XIII career but I will have to spend some more time to adjust to how the SPAD handles. The AI can't seem to figure out how to use boom and zoom tactics with their SPADs. I'm hoping I can do better than them.
 

Strelok

Perfectly Cromulent Poster
kiwifarms.net
Anyone else a fan of these things, aka train simulator for the slightly less cripplingly autistic? I've mostly been tooling around with perennial favorite FSX, with some addons for proper AI traffic without huge FPS loss, and some external tools that give purpose to your flights, namely FSEconomy and Air Hauler, which are online/offline tools respectivly for running your own air freight business.

Anyway, I'll leave you with my staring at the panels of a DC-10 unsure of how to start the fucking engine. while ATC is yelling at me to clear the runway.



Edit: nvm figured it out.

 

sasazuka

Standing in the school hallway.
kiwifarms.net
I love them but the most recent one I have is Flight Simulator 2004. I don't think this laptop could play anything much more recent, even Flight Simulator X. Isn't there a new one coming out this year which Microsoft contracted out to Dovetail and which will be playable on XBox One? I don't have an XBox One and I doubt I'll be getting one anytime soon*, but being able to play Flight Simulator on it will be a point in favor of my choosing XBox One over Playstation 4 (eventually).

Speaking of console flight simulators, I'd still love to get Taito's Jet de Go 2 for Playstation 2, flying licensed JAL aircraft on real routes across Japan. That game's a direct descendant of one of my all-time favourite arcade games, Top Landing a.k.a. Landing Gear. Unfortunately, Taito decided nobody in the west would want to play such a thing and I'd have to not only import the game but also a Japanese PS2 in order to play it, unless you can boot disk a North American PS2 into playing Japanese games (not sure, you might be able to, I've never really looked into it to be honest).


EDIT: Here's a better video using what seems to be a better emulator so that there's not the same annoying graphic glitches seen in the video above. (Also no commentary.)


If I ever did import the game, I'd rather play it on the actual hardware that it was designed for and not an emulator.

* No, I'm not going to buy a console I can't afford off Fingerhut. I don't think Canadians can even use Fingerhut anyhow.
 
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Strelok

Perfectly Cromulent Poster
kiwifarms.net
Microsoft might make a new one, but if it's like Microsoft Flight they'll make the mistake of thinking a small, highly detailed handcrafted area is preferable to a large area with just correct terrain and airports and generated towns using OpenStreetMap like X-Plane did. Plus FSX/P3D have a billion mods, freeware and payware, that qualitywise blows the windows off whatever default planes Microsoft can come up with.

Fake-Edit: Actually if it's this, then it's more limited than I thought, as it's just scenarios, and has no ability to load plugins like FSX/P3D and XPlane do.

And Dovetail also made FSX Steam Edition, which is just a updated rerelease of FSX, which is competing with the currently much more updated Prepar3d, which is Lockheed Martin's rerelease of FSX that's labeld as "For Educational Purposes Only" due to license restrictions with Microsoft, but everyone and their mother knows it's just being used as FSX 2.0.
 
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AN/ALR56

Meu avô era do DOPS
True & Honest Fan
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I think we need a new dcs style company for the civilian flight sim market.
Dcs is a massive success for a enthusiast level game that has a significant learning curve even for the more basic non click able cockpit planes.
They made it modular with a base game with a free plane.
 

Strelok

Perfectly Cromulent Poster
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I think we need a new dcs style company for the civilian flight sim market.
Dcs is a massive success for a enthusiast level game that has a significant learning curve even for the more basic non click able cockpit planes.
They made it modular with a base game with a free plane.
There's a lot of payware addons for FSX and X-Plane that reach that level of complexity, (PMDG stands out in particular as a group making that level of payware, and Carenado A2A isn't that far behind for General Aviation planes) and really addons are what keeps Flight Sims alive, as the actual work of releasing new planes (As evidenced by DCSs release schedule) is so much more massive than the building of the sim itself. This is especially compounded by the much wider variety in civilian aviation, between smaller General Aviation planes, commercial jetliners, military cargo planes, helicopters, and so on.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Abacus.


I actually really like Carenado's work as far as planes, their prices are on par with DCS, and the quality is very good and they have a good mix of products for all the major sims (Which again is really just X-Plane or FSX and it's derivatives). Granted most of their planes I only "aquirred" *cough cough*, but I've legitimately sent some money their way as well.

Christ almighty how did I make that mistake. A2A was the devs I was thinking of, not Carenado, who make decent enough default-alikes with good visuals, but nothing overly special as far as realism. With a bit of tweaking their planes are still pretty good though, long as it's not a glass cockpit as those tank framerates. but they have flawed flight models, and certainly aren't the DCS level of A2A/PMDG, where fucking up your preflight might make you fall out of the sky an hour later when the engine explodes.

PMDG is even officially licensed by Boeing and makes their stuff with technical advisers from them.
 
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sasazuka

Standing in the school hallway.
kiwifarms.net
Honestly, the scenery in flight simulators from a decade ago generally holds up pretty well if you're not too picky about it looking absolutely photorealistic. Aside from airports, you're generally looking at the scenery from a certain level above it unless you're doing stunt flying, so you can still get away with blocky textures for most ground objects.

I'm the sort of guy who doesn't mind sacrificing some photorealism for smoothness anyway.
 

sasazuka

Standing in the school hallway.
kiwifarms.net
I love them but the most recent one I have is Flight Simulator 2004. I don't think this laptop could play anything much more recent, even Flight Simulator X.
I upgraded to a slightly faster (coffcoffhandmedown) laptop in January and it can play decade-old games at an acceptable framerate provided I don't have the settings up too high.

Anyway, yesterday I was at Value Village and got a copy of Flight Simulator X for all of $4 Canadian, and it's not just the standard edition, it's the Gold Edition with the deluxe version of FSX plus the Acceleration expansion pack. I went on eBay to see what physical copies of FSX: Gold are going for these days and was surprised that the cheapest copies seem to be going for roughly $60 Canadian (though the physical Steam version is cheaper). My thrift store copy is missing the foldout default control assignment guide and whatever other inserts were included but at least it does have the "keys" so I was able to get it up and running, at least after it took the bulk of last night to install.

I was pleased to find out that FSX does take your system speed into account and seems to minimize the graphics for smooth performance right out of the gate so it doesn't look too pretty on this laptop compared to how it looks on Youtube videos made using proper gaming PCs but the frame rate's butter-smooth and I can nudge up the details until it starts to stutter.
 
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MrJokerRager

I like me some nice big boobs
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The new flight Simulator is coming soon and they saved the 747-800 for the end. On another note, its been 4 years since this thread has been updated. wow.
 

Antique Rice

kiwifarms.net
Are flight sims still a thing? I haven't heard about any popular releases in ages. Everybody moved on to either Ace Combat or War Thunder, which is a shit model for a PC game. Still wish Crimson Skies was a thing. And not the XBox release, I mean the original PC version that was a legit flight sim rather than an arcade game.
 

AsbestosFlaygon

It's never over when I'm here
kiwifarms.net
Are flight sims still a thing? I haven't heard about any popular releases in ages. Everybody moved on to either Ace Combat or War Thunder, which is a shit model for a PC game. Still wish Crimson Skies was a thing. And not the XBox release, I mean the original PC version that was a legit flight sim rather than an arcade game.
Flight Simulators have been more niche recently but they're alive and well, X-Plane 11 probably being the biggest one to release since this thread was last updated. DCS is also still around and it's still the go to in terms of modern combat aircraft, even with its recent early access aircraft woes. There's also the WW2 focused IL-2 series, with Great Battles having gotten half a dozen expansions, and Cliffs of Dover being handed over to Team Fusion since this thread's been active.
 

XYZpdq

fbi most wanted sskealeaton
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What was that ancient PC one where you started at San Francisco and way the fuck out East in nowhere there was a building.
 

TiggerNits

Yankee vampire living off the blood of the poor
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What was that ancient PC one where you started at San Francisco and way the fuck out East in nowhere there was a building.
JetFighter?

Are flight sims still a thing? I haven't heard about any popular releases in ages. Everybody moved on to either Ace Combat or War Thunder, which is a shit model for a PC game. Still wish Crimson Skies was a thing. And not the XBox release, I mean the original PC version that was a legit flight sim rather than an arcade game.
DCS is really big, WarThunder's sim battles community is surprisingly large and XPlane/MSFS are still pretty large in community and then there's Prepar3D thats hyper expensive and really, really good. ARMA's got some flight sim nerds that make some amazing mods. Strike Fighters has a smaller community but their mods are also really fun. Space Sims have been pushing the HOTAS market hard since Star Citizen and Elite started up, so a lot of those guys have been moving on to flight sims to justify the expense of a $700 HOTAS set up
 
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XYZpdq

fbi most wanted sskealeaton
True & Honest Fan
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JetFighter?



DCS is really big, WarThunder's sim battles community is surprisingly large and XPlane/MSFS are still pretty large in community and then there's Prepar3D thats hyper expensive and really, really good. ARMA's got some flight sim nerds that make some amazing mods. Strike Fighters has a smaller community but their mods are also really fun. Space Sims have been pushing the HOTAS market hard since Star Citizen and Elite started up, so a lot of those guys have been moving on to flight sims to justify the expense of a $700 HOTAS set up
Yeah that sounds right. Played the crap out of the demo of that.
 

MrJokerRager

I like me some nice big boobs
kiwifarms.net
A request to the mods first, please combine this thread with the other flight sim thread here:


Kinda makes things unified rather than searching for it and also rename it to flight simulator thread or something like that.
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Here is the insider sign up page for Flight Simulator. (Archive)


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Bing Maps Make the Revived Flight Simulator Eerily Realistic (Archive)

“Hey, I can see my house from up here!”

It’s a joke so tired you’ll hear it from someone jumping on a trampoline, but that’s what came into my head as I banked a small turboprop airplane above my neighborhood in the new version of a revived classic, Microsoft Flight Simulator.

Because there it was indeed: my house. And my neighbors’ houses, along with the shopping plaza down the road, the hospital complex, the farmland in the distance. All of it eerily accurate, thanks to the new program’s use of Microsoft’s voluminous mapping data. Even the trees, fences, and other features I know from my terrestrial explorations were present and accounted for—in full 3D.

Microsoft’s Flight Simulator is its longest-running software product, with the first iteration dating back to the 8-bit days of 1982. At the time, it offered little more than a green expanse of ground and a blue expanse of sky, with a gray strip representing your runway and some black and white blocks for buildings. Microsoft abandoned the franchise in 2012, the general consensus being that it was too niche of a product for the global giant to keep going. It sold the rights to the core sim technology to Lockheed Martin, which uses it for academic and training environments.

Its revival this past June was a surprise to both the software and aviation industry, given that the company hadn’t uttered a peep about the effort. The new game will likely arrive sometime next year, and is now in alpha testing. But even the early preview I got to play with made clear that Flight Simulator could be more than just a game. It could be a valuable learning tool for aspiring pilots.

That’s because of those details on the ground. Digital sightseeing is fun, but it also allows real-deal pilots to practice navigating using the landmarks they look for while airborne. Such flying is called VFR, for “visual flight rules”—meaning that instead of relying on instruments alone, you find your way by tracking certain buildings, roads, towers, mountains, rivers, and so on.

Though it can’t be used as a formal training tool, accurate, simulated VFR flight allows pilots to rehearse their flights beforehand, making the actual flights later more familiar. With most flight simulators, real-world terrain modeling creates a heavy workload for the computer, and doesn’t keep up with a changing world. Back in the original days of Flight Simulator, every byte of graphics data had to be stored locally, whether downloaded or accessed on DVD, CD, or, yes, floppy disk. “This sim steps out of that model massively,” says Pete Wright, a pilot whose YouTube channel, Frooglesim, specializes in reviewing such software. “It’s stunning. It’s unbelievable.”

What changed for the new generation of Flight Simulator is Microsoft’s development of its Google Maps competitor. The game gets its 3D data from Bing Maps, pulling precise details for anywhere in the world from the cloud and rendering the graphics locally. The end result is a virtual world that’s as accurate as the most recent Bing data.

In fact, the Bing connection was the impetus for the whole effort. Jorg Neumann, head of Flight Simulator, says the revival began with an app he was developing for Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality goggles. “We wanted people to be able to use the goggles to go anywhere in the world for a tour,” Neumann said. “It used data from Bing, so the rendering capability was ready five years ago. Two years after that, we started in earnest transferring that idea to a new flight sim.”

Microsoft partnered with French videogame developer Asobo Studio to produce the simulator, with consultation from pilots and the community of flight-sim users and developers who still use the original software. It folded in data and technical guidance from aircraft and avionics manufacturers to ensure that the flying experience is as accurate as the graphics. It incorporated 40,000 airports around the world, with detailed structures, runways, and taxiways, complete with directional markings.

Coupled with realistic weather scenarios rendered from the real-time data, the buildings up close appear photo-realistic, even in dense cities. I took a spin through New York City, expecting the kind of smudgy 3D rendering you’d find while homing in on a target in Google Maps. But it’s all finely drawn, with building details extending all the way down to street level. The simulator will still automatically adapt to available internet bandwidth, and it supports offline gameplay with severely reduced graphics. Users can also download specific small regions for the full experience even without connectivity.

It helps that I have a competent gaming PC and a widescreen monitor, but Asobo CEO Sebastian Wloch says the gameplay will be just as good on less capable rigs. That’s thanks to what he calls deferred rendering. “Twenty years ago, you would render one little piece of an airplane and do all the shadows and lighting on it at the same time,” Wloch says. “Now we’re able to give each element a memory of what it looks like and defer all the lighting and reflections to the end of the rendering process. Because the world is very consistent visually, this helps speed it up a lot.” In short, the graphics rendering process no longer requires total reconstruction of every element every millisecond.

Today, desktop flight simulators actually can have a significant role in flight training, as evidenced by Microsoft’s chief competition, Laminar Research’s X-Plane. The program is certified by the FAA for use in some kinds of classroom training, given the quality of its aircraft and flight modeling. But instead of the graphics capability Microsoft is rolling out, X-Plane uses auto-generated scenery—essentially random buildings and trees—that generally match urban, suburban, and rural environments. (Third-party developers provide more accurate digital models separately for download.) One other advantage X-Plane can tout is its integration of virtual-reality operation through goggles, a natural fit for flight simulation. Microsoft won’t offer that at launch, though Neumann says it’s in the cards for later.

Looking further into the future, both Neumann and X-Plane developer Austin Meyer say they’re poised to respond to the coming age of electrified vertical-lift aircraft, complete with complex multirotor powertrains and computer-assisted flight capability. As those electric aircraft proliferate over the coming decades, aviation enthusiasts will be able to test-fly an air taxi at home before getting on board, and see their houses from up there, too.

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Sim Soars as Learning Tool (Archive)

SO, YOU WANT to learn how to fly a plane? No problem – just find yourself a flight instructor and get ready to spend about $7,000 to get your private pilot certificate.

Or you can go out and buy a copy of Microsoft Flight Simulator and a specialized controller for about $150, and learn on your PC.

Even though it's marketed as an entertainment title, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight is a highly effective tool to help student pilots learn how to fly.

"Flight Simulator started as a very basic program," said Bruce Landsberg, executive director of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Air Safety Foundation. "Over the years, it's evolved phenomenally. It's my observation that someone wanting to become a pilot could save some considerable time and money by using Flight Simulator before starting flight lessons."

Most of that evolution is a result of the explosion in processing speed. Bruce Williams, the business-development manager for Flight Simulator as well as a certified flight instructor, said, "As Flight Simulator has developed and as more computing power has become available, it's become much more than a game. It's now a simulated environment that, as much as current PC technology allows, realistically re-creates the experience of flying a variety of aircraft."

Of course, there's a lot about flying a plane that you can't learn in front of a computer. You can't learn how the controls feel, how the plane handles, or how to use your muscles to control it. But for many tasks in flying, Flight Simulator can be a great help to the learning process.

"An airplane cockpit is a terrible classroom, especially when you're trying to learn a new concept or skill," Williams said. "By the time you get into the airplane, ideally you should have a good basic understanding of the goals of a particular lesson. In the airplane you should practice and refine skills that you already understand, at least at a fundamental level. Flying is mostly a mental exercise – you must understand what's going on and what to do with all the controls and instruments before you can use them effectively and properly."

This is what Flight Simulator allows instructors to do – to teach students the theory while not in the plane. For often-difficult concepts like VHF omnidirectional range navigation, entering traffic patterns, and understanding the basic flight instruments, Flight Simulator works as what is referred to as a "part-task trainer." It allows a student to work on one new concept at a time while not having to worry about keeping a plane in the air.

Herb Lacy discovered the power of Flight Simulator when he was accepted into Navy flight training in 1998, even though he never had flown a plane. Many of the other students had taken flight classes, and some were even certified pilots.

To catch up, Lacy used Flight Simulator to re-create the training plane he would be flying, and he added the landmarks around the air station so he would recognize his surroundings.

Lacy went on to graduate near the top of his class in flight training, and the Navy decided to see if using Flight Simulator would help other students. It found that trainees who used the program did better in their training, prompting the Navy to issue customized versions of Flight Simulator to all of its flight students.

Flight Simulator also is used as part of pilot training at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and FlightSafety International's academy in Vero Beach, Florida.

Currently, time that is logged on Flight Simulator cannot be applied to the hours necessary to qualify for a pilot's certificate. There are some PC-based products that are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration for use in instrument flight training, but these require expensive hardware setups that mimic the controls found in a cockpit.

Even without the FAA's stamp of approval, the Air Safety Foundation's Landsberg thinks that Flight Simulator could have great benefits for student pilots, and the foundation is planning a study to quantify those benefits.

"I'd like to get a group of students and take half of them through traditional flight training, and half through training where they use Flight Simulator as a supplement," Landsberg said. "I'll bet you that at the conclusion, the Flight Simulator group will have saved 25 percent of the time in the air."

Of course, like any tool, Flight Simulator can be misused. Both Williams and Landsberg emphasize that to get the most out of Flight Simulator, it's best to use it under the supervision of a flight instructor. This can help prevent a beginning pilot from developing bad habits.

Additionally, Flight Simulator's limited field of view from the cockpit, and the resulting focus on the instruments that it encourages, can cause problems that need to be corrected in flight training.

"If I was your flight instructor and you came to me, I'd say that it was great that you used Flight Simulator," Landsberg said. "I would then watch you and emphasize the things that are different in a real plane. I'm going to make sure that you are looking outside, and I might even end up covering some of the instruments. I want you to fly by the look and feel of the airplane, and the position of the horizon, and not by looking at the instruments all the time."

Flight Simulator is no substitute for actually flying a plane. But the program has become a powerful tool for instructors and students alike, a tool that could hardly be imagined just 10 years ago.

Said Microsoft's Williams, "The level of sophistication in how Flight Simulator is used in training is more a function of the creativity of the instructor than a question of technology and hardware."
 

Looney Troons

DRINK?
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Not sure where to post this given that there are two threads, but I’ll post it here since this one has been most recently updated and is longer. I’ve been having fun with Elite: Dangerous with my Xbox Elite 1 and 2 controllers, but I’m wanting to go ahead and throw down on a HOTAS. I’ve never used a joystick outside of playing Mechwarrior 2 and 3 way back in the day, and I was super young then. A friend plays DCS and rants and raves about how much fun and worthwhile the investment was. He has spent hundreds if not more on a really nice setup. Not looking to replicate his setup yet, and I wouldn’t know where to begin as I have no idea what he has (something VKB, KGB, etc.), but what could you all recommend for a beginner? I’m not concerned about cost so much if the quality is there, but I don’t want to play around with a device that’s going to be completely alien to me as far as configuration goes.

edit: spelling
 

AsbestosFlaygon

It's never over when I'm here
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Not sure where to post this given that there are two threads, but I’ll post it here since this one has been most recently updated and is longer. I’ve been having fun with Elite: Dangerous with my Xbox Elite 1 and 2 controllers, but I’m wanting to go ahead and throw down on a HOTAS. I’ve never used a joystick outside of playing Mechwarrior 2 and 3 way back in the day, and I was super young then. A friend plays DCS and rants and raves about how much fun and worthwhile the investment was. He has spent hundreds if not more on a really nice setup. Not looking to replicate his setup yet, and I wouldn’t know where to begin as I have no idea what he has (something VKB, KGB, etc.), but what could you all recommend for a beginner? I’m not concerned about cost so much if the quality is there, but I don’t want to play around with a device that’s going to be completely alien to me as far as configuration goes.

edit: spelling
The Logitech Extreme 3D Pro's the go to entry level joystick, it's cheap but very reliable, mines lasted almost a decade and still works just about perfectly. Obviously doesn't have the most features and not super high quality, but if you just want something that's simple and reliable you can't go wrong with it.
 
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