GWJ FBO: Flight Simulation Catch-all

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Lets talk virtual flying. Hardcore, casual, whatever. Tell me what you're flying with, where you're doing it, and what you're doing it in.

2020 Update:

There's some GWJer's out there still active in the flight sim world, and doing some pretty neat stuff.

Hrdina has kindly scoured the forums for other flight sim related topics and come up with the following discussions which he posted in the Newbie pilot thread.

Newbie pilot reporting for duty, requesting help

Multiplayer Flight Sim. - Flight School, or Co-Op, or ATC, Helicopters.

Air Combat Simulator Chat

WW2 combat flight simulators...

Rise of Flight Catch-All : The return of the Red Baron.

DCS (Digital Combat Simulator) Catch-All

DCS: A-10C Warthog Catch-All

I was JUST about to post about getting the lawn dart sim night back on track. Good timing!

I'm still flying with an X-52 HOTAS, but am looking to upgrade to the sexy sexy g940 and hopefully sell my x-52 to a goodjer who's looking to enter the sim arena.

I'm also still puttering about in Black Shark, and have recently gotten back into Lock On and Falcon 4.0:Allied force. The recent update from ED about Lock On 2.0 has me all tingly inside: Black shark engine with all Lock on Aircraft flyable, AND multiplayer compatible with Black Shark? Sign me up!

As always IL2 is still my go-to flight sim, because when you get right down to it, 20mm cannons and 50cal MGs beat missiles any day of the week for challenge and fun.

It has been way too long, those were some fun nights getting turned into lawn fertilizer. Not sure if I can tear myself away from my pile right now, though....

Just picked up IL2 1946 and am in the process of getting it patched up to Lawn Dart Sim Night specifications. Have the AAA mod yet to do.

It had been a while since I'd hopped into a WWII cockpit but I found that it was still quite comfortable.

Not really much of an FSX flyer, but I do have the deluxe version. It adds some new aircraft and textures, that's about it. SimHQ.com is where I go for most of my sim needs.

RE: 1946
The "Must haves" should work with Steam, but I haven't tried it myself. You need to make sure Steam is patched up to 4.09m and then install the "Ultra Pack" which is best downloaded via a torrent found here.

If you are looking to get into sims a little more seriously, yeah your logitech stick isn't going to cut it. That said the G940 isn't an insane choice, and will probably be my replacement for the X-52 I currently have. If you take into account the g940 system has pedals it's actually priced fairly competitively to the x-52. If you are tight on funds there is a lot of used X-52's floating around due to simmers upgrading to either Cougars or the G940, you should be able to find one fairly inexpensively.

Most importantly (more so that the joystick) is the TrackIR. This has become pretty essential to my flight sim experience. If you only have enough budget to blow on either a stick or the TrackIR, I'd say go with the TrackIR first. There are free alternatives to the TrackIR if you are a little handy with electronics, but the TrackIR 4 is priced fairly well now. I've been very happy with my TrackIR 4.

Never flown Xplane, been quite content to be shot down repeatedly in IL2

I am a flight sim noob, having just got some stuff a few days ago, but I'm finding I really enjoy it. I got FSX Standard ($18) and a cheap $20 Logi joystick from Amazon, because I wasn't sure how much I'd like it, but damn if I didn't mess around with it pretty much all day yesterday. I am fortunate to have a pretty nice PC, so I am able to max out everything to their limits, and it looks really nice.

Now I've decided to delve further into this and possibly make it a hobby, so I have a bunch of questions.

FSX questions:

* What am I missing by not having picked up the Deluxe version? Googling around, I found there is no 'upgrade' option, so I'd have to pick up the whole thing for the difference.

* What are some good sites to learn more about FSX and learning to fly?

* How do you incorporate add-ons, and which add-ons (or mods) are the best. At the moment I'm content flying the small planes (and even the trike) so the add-ons I'm most interested in are those regarding scenery and graphics upgrades.

IL2-Sturmovik 1946 questions:

* I got this from Steam last night, and have noticed that Druidspeak says that there are mods and patches for it. What are the 'must haves' for that, and will those mods/patches work with the Steam version?

* again, any sites or PDF guides for learning this sim would be appreciated

Hardware questions:

* my $20 Logi stick is, as you can imagine, not going to satisfy for really getting into flight simulation, so I'm looking at various options for better hardware. Is the Saitek X52 the 'go-to' controller? Would the Logi G940 be an insane choice? Are there other options in between?

General question
:

* As I have FSX, is there any reason to get X-Plane? It's very reasonable at just $29, and is under active development. Still how much is the same? Is one 'miles' better than the other? I don't know much about X-Plane.

Any question(s) you can answer would be greatly appreciated. TIA.

Thanks Stylez,

Ironically, as you were typing this, (and before I'd read it) a friend of mine was preaching the virtues of TrackIR -- so I'm now looking into that as well.

Current feeling is go with a standard X52, and maybe TrackIR, and hold off on pedals for now.

Thanks for that link to the 1946 upgrade torrent. I'm getting a crazy fast download speed on that.

There's an almost overwhelming amount an info to take in on this hobby!

It's hard to explain just how much of a difference TrackIR makes, but once you've used it you really can't go back. I'm fairly happy with my X-52 set, but the stick is very light and the twist rudder is "squeaky". I'm looking forward to upgrading to something more solid, but the X-52 has all the right buttons and is great for pretty much any sim.

Once you have the Ultrapack installed, you just need to install Hyperlobby to play online. This is essentially a server browser that will allow you to jump into a 50+ player game, often with varying objectives above and beyond "shoot down enemy fighters".

In the more modern combat front, Lock On: Modern Air Combat: Flaming Cliffs 2.0 is close to release, which will bring all the aircraft from LOMAC into the new engine they created for DCS: Blackshark, as well as allowing people flying the black shark to compete online with all the aircraft from Flaming Cliffs. Pretty stoked about that release.

I found a great deal on the Track IR 4 Pro (new in box), with the "pro clip". $122 shipped from a very good seller on Ebay. I also went with the X52 (non-pro) new, from Amazon.

Stylez wrote:

It's hard to explain just how much of a difference TrackIR makes, but once you've used it you really can't go back.

I watched some videos on NP's site, and on youtube, and yeah, the device looks to be very useful, and I actually could have used it last night in some of the FSX tutorial missions. I wanted/needed to look at the dash, but to do so meant taking hand of the stick,and pressing space and using the mouse to look around the cockpit. The TrackIR looks great for that.

I have about 20 tabs open in Firefox right now, trying to sort all this stuff, lots to learn. Thanks for your help!

Edit: how do you tell which version of IL-2 1946 is installed? the UltraPack mod says I need 4.09

When you launch IL2 it should tell you in the bottom left (or is it bottom right?) corner. Should say 4.09m or somesuch.

Stylez wrote:

When you launch IL2 it should tell you in the bottom left (or is it bottom right?) corner. Should say 4.09m or somesuch.

It launches in a gaudy 1024 res, and I can't see the version. I tried going to 1600x1200 but my screen went black and stayed there. I'm trying to sort out the UP 2.0 mod right now.

Edit: no luck getting UP 2.0 installed and working I got it installed, and I can see that it's on the splash screen, but right after the splash screen the game CTD's. I can now see that the game is indeed patched to 4.09m, and I did run the patch to prep the game for the mod, if you're using a downloaded version (D2D, GoG, Steam, etc).

Wasn't sure what to do with the JSGME.exe ... you run it, and enable the mods. but almost every mod you enable warns you that the file you're altering has already been altered by another mod. I tried removing all the mods (move them from right to left) but the game still CTD's.

Ah. Yeah I can help with that. I bet it's the mod order that's causing the crash Here's the mods that should be enabled.

00_6DOF_Tracker_4GB Version (Only if you have 4gb of ram or higher
00_Effects_High
00_FMBPlus
00_Perfect_map_textures

Stylez wrote:

Ah. Yeah I can help with that. I bet it's the mod order that's causing the crash Here's the mods that should be enabled.

00_6DOF_Tracker_4GB Version (Only if you have 4gb of ram or higher
00_Effects_High
00_FMBPlus
00_Perfect_map_textures

Thanks, unfortunately it CTD's even before I attempt to enable those mods in JSGME.exe.

example:

vanilla IL2-1946 installed, pre-patched to 4.09m

install the 'if you have the D2D/Steam/GoG version files first

then install UP 2.0

game will CTD (before running JSGME.exe)

If I then uninstall UP 2.0, the game will load fine. I tried installing UP 2.0 without the pre-mod files, it does the same thing. When I load the game, I get the splash screen for about 5 seconds, I can "Ultimate Pack 2.0" banner, then it CTD's, every time.

Hmmm that's pretty odd, it may have something to do with your video settings. There's a forum set up for UP troubleshooting. Hopefully something here has the answer.

Jeff,

If you're looking for some good scenery and aircraft addons for FSX, I can speak from experience that Real Environment Xtreme is possibly the best add on for any game I've ever seen. The clouds are so spectacular that it makes flying around just so enjoyable. It's a bit pricey, but if you're thinking about getting any add-ons it is by far and away in my opinion the best value. Here are some screenshots from when I was using REX v1 (it's up to version 2 now):

IMAGE(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/EvoSiNz/11.jpg)

IMAGE(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/EvoSiNz/13.jpg)

IMAGE(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/EvoSiNz/14.jpg)

IMAGE(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/EvoSiNz/3.jpg)

Also, if you like GA planes like I do, Carenado makes some absolutely amazing and affordable add on aircraft that blow the standard FSX GA planes out of the water. I would highly recommend checking out any of their aircraft, especially since most are in the $10-$15 neighborhood. I am in their Mooney M20J in most of the above pictures. I also have some pictures posted of it here from when I first tried it out. There are also some more REX shots lower down in that thread.

In terms of ground scenery, the only stuff I've tried is Full Terrain Experience. Most of their scenery covers Australia, which is actually great because of how varied the scenery is in different parts of the continent. They just release a terrain pack for the Pacific Northwest of the United States. There's a demo pack that lets you check out the state of Tasmania here if you want to try it before you buy it.

I don't have much experience with freeware stuff for FSX. Sites like AvSim.com have good libraries of freeware planes, airports, etc... but it is like the wild, wild west in terms of finding gems. The payware add-ons are very professionally done, and many are worth the price.

PM me if you need help sorting the wheat from the chaff on some of this stuff. I don't have a ton of experience with payware, but I can probably tell you the reputable, professional brands from the basement hobbyists.

But where's the cannons on those things?

Seriously great shots there Evo. I admit I haven't put much time into FSX, but with mods it can definitely look stunning.

Jeff-66 wrote:

Thanks, unfortunately it CTD's even before I attempt to enable those mods in JSGME.exe.

example:

vanilla IL2-1946 installed, pre-patched to 4.09m

install the 'if you have the D2D/Steam/GoG version files first

then install UP 2.0

game will CTD (before running JSGME.exe)

If I then uninstall UP 2.0, the game will load fine. I tried installing UP 2.0 without the pre-mod files, it does the same thing. When I load the game, I get the splash screen for about 5 seconds, I can "Ultimate Pack 2.0" banner, then it CTD's, every time.

I had problems getting UP2 running on my Steam copy of the game last week.

Not sure which files you are talking about that I bolded up above, but I'll give you my install process.

Deleted all of my content for the IL2 and then the install folder in the Steam directory.

Downloaded the game from Steam, which is version 4.08m

Downloaded and installed patch 4.09m

Downloaded and installed UP2

I initially installed UP2 to 4.08m copy from Steam and would crash to desktop at 5% on the splash screen.

I'll be in Vent tonight if anyone wants to jump on a server and watch my back while I accidentally bomb my own tanks.

Stylez wrote:

I'll be in Vent tonight if anyone wants to jump on a server and watch my back while I accidentally bomb my own tanks.

I'm on now - look for me in vent

Forgive me, gonna make multiple posts here. First to share my fun for the day, and then to respond to some of the awesomely helpful posts above.

I've been flying today, and had a blast. I did tutorial 8, which is your first time in a jet. It's a Bombardier CRJ700, pretty big plane. You're in Scotland, and the instructor takes you on a short 35 mile hop from a small airport to the Glasgow airport. You get full tower comms, with the ATC's calling your info. The instructor explains what's going on, and explains the basics of the control panel, gauges and what-not. The big plane was surprisingly easy to fly, and even the instructor says it's really not much more to it than the small planes. You are told the goal altitude, the desired airspeed, and a heading. So the flight is you juggling the controls to balance those three things, mostly. Upon approach, Glasgow ATC gives you new alt, speed, and heading, and you make a couple of left banks during the flight. A big green tutorial arrow points at the runway so you can spot it easier.

Took me two tries. the takeoff and flight were not too hard, but the landing is tricky. you have to lower gear, raise flaps, line up, and manage the descent vs the approach .... not easy for a noob like me. First time i came in short and crashed into some trees. 2nd time i was sweating bullets, but came in smooth. Touchdown was exhilarating, and it was nice to hear "nice landing!" from the instructor.

As fun as this was, I did it with that cheap-ass $20 stick, and it's going to be a LOT more fun with the X52 and TrackIR. I really need the TrackIR for looking around. The next lesson is helicopters 101, but I'm holding off till tomorrow to do it with the X52, since It'll have the twist on the handle, which is a big part of flying those, apparently.

First off, Evo, a HUGE thanks for those suggestions. That stuff is exactly what I was looking for. I stumbled on MegaScenery Earth last night, and they had done all of central FL through south FL. Talk about pricey ... $7.50 per area, down to $2.75 per area for big lots of tiles. I splurged for my county (Volusia county FL) for $7.50, and for me it was well worth it, I could see all the recognizable landmarks, the local high school, even flew over my own house. Pretty neat.

I'll definitely be checking out those you suggested. I think I'm going to end up being a textures and scenery whore for this sim. The screens you posted look awesome.

Now to Redhwk. I think you described my problem perfectly. I didn't realize steam only gives you the 4.08 version. I'm going to follow your steps exactly and try and get UP 2.0 installed. I really appreciate your post, I have a feeling that it describes my situation to a T. One question though, where do you get the 4.09m patch for the steam version (and why doesn't steam do 4.09m itself, is it a fan patch?). If you still have the patch, I'd appreciate it, or if you can point me to it. A HUGE thanks to you as well.

http://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.ph...

3 posts down for links to the 4.09m patch. Definitely get this up and running, it's a hoot playing with these folks. Unfortunately the time difference doesn't always work for me.

Lawn Dart Sim Night thread

Druidpeak wrote:

http://simhq.com/forum/ubbthreads.ph...

3 posts down for links to the 4.09m patch. Definitely get this up and running, it's a hoot playing with these folks. Unfortunately the time difference doesn't always work for me.

Lawn Dart Sim Night thread

Thanks Druid, grabbing it now.

For those interested in the TrackIR concept who don't want to spend a lot of cash, check out FreeTrack. If you already have a webcam, you should be able to put together a comparable system to a TrackIR for about $10 worth of electronic components.

I probably need to get back to doing a little more FSX/X-plane, as I haven't put any entries in my real log book going on 2 years now, and I'm surely quite rusty.

Jeff-66 wrote:

First off, Evo, a HUGE thanks for those suggestions. That stuff is exactly what I was looking for. I stumbled on MegaScenery Earth last night, and they had done all of central FL through south FL. Talk about pricey ... $7.50 per area, down to $2.75 per area for big lots of tiles. I splurged for my county (Volusia county FL) for $7.50, and for me it was well worth it, I could see all the recognizable landmarks, the local high school, even flew over my own house. Pretty neat.

I'll definitely be checking out those you suggested. I think I'm going to end up being a textures and scenery whore for this sim. The screens you posted look awesome.

Now to Redhwk. I think you described my problem perfectly. I didn't realize steam only gives you the 4.08 version. I'm going to follow your steps exactly and try and get UP 2.0 installed. I really appreciate your post, I have a feeling that it describes my situation to a T. One question though, where do you get the 4.09m patch for the steam version (and why doesn't steam do 4.09m itself, is it a fan patch?). If you still have the patch, I'd appreciate it, or if you can point me to it. A HUGE thanks to you as well.

For IL2 make sure that you are disabling automatic updates in steam. You can do this by right clicking on the game and selecting properties. There is a tab in there for updates (this is from memory so forgive me if it is not perfectly accurate) where you will have the option to configure how the system deals with patching.

See you in the skies.

lactose wrote:

For IL2 make sure that you are disabling automatic updates in steam. You can do this by right clicking on the game and selecting properties. There is a tab in there for updates (this is from memory so forgive me if it is not perfectly accurate) where you will have the option to configure how the system deals with patching.

Done.

And UP 2.0 is working!

My next question is: What is the relationship of the JSGME.exe, and it's list of mods to the actual UP 2.0 install? So I just installed 4.09m, then UP 2.0, and the game loads to the menu now. Are the mods actually not installed until I do something in JSGME? or are they installed and the list in the JSGME tool extra stuff?

If you run JGSME without any mods enabled you will still get the sounds, skins, and new planes. The mods are kind of like "Bonus tweaks" that can be applied to your game. For the most part they are online compatible. the 6 degree of Freedom mod for trackIR is a definite must, as is the scenery upgrades. Not overly keen on the more intensive engine management. I have enough trouble keeping targets in my sights as it is without making prop pitch and fuel mixture more significant.

Stylez wrote:

If you run JGSME without any mods enabled you will still get the sounds, skins, and new planes. The mods are kind of like "Bonus tweaks" that can be applied to your game. For the most part they are online compatible. the 6 degree of Freedom mod for trackIR is a definite must, as is the scenery upgrades. Not overly keen on the more intensive engine management. I have enough trouble keeping targets in my sights as it is without making prop pitch and fuel mixture more significant.

Ok, cool. Up above you wrote these should be enabled:

00_6DOF_Tracker_4GB Version (Only if you have 4gb of ram or higher
00_Effects_High
00_FMBPlus
00_Perfect_map_textures

Is that about it from the JSGME list for a noob, do you think?

I am really excited to learn more about flying, and as it happens, Amazon threw this in my Gold Box quick picks yesterday:

IMAGE(http://img2.pict.com/37/9e/28/3002836/0/fsxbook.jpg)

I know it says "for pilots", but I started reading the user feedbacks, and they are glowing. The common theme is that there is much to be gained for even those new to FSX, and that it's like a greatly enhanced tutorial written by professional pilots. For $17, I went ahead and grabbed it.

Some of the feedback that sold me:

When I bought this book I started at the beginning feeling like a newbie all over again. Many points that I missed before are explained fully and in detail and finally it is all making sense. As a result I am enjoying my flight simulator more than ever. Aside from the wealth of interesting and informative detail I think the most important thing is that the reader gets to make connections. The information connects from one chapter to the next and consequently, step by step, everything fits together. Going through this book is an immensely enjoyable experience. An added bonus are the generous number of free mission files and charts available on the wiley.com web site which are enjoyable and extremely useful.
The book is eminently practical as a good teaching manual should be. It offers a stepwise approach to flight training from the Piper Cub to the twin-engine Beechcraft Baron & beyond. A novice completely unfamiliar with simulator flying could use this book from the beginning to become competent in VFR flight before even thinking about sophisticated avionics & instrument flying. It is crammed full of practical tips & offers context for the theory of flight which can be gleaned from other sources.
It's a lie. The title. That's what the lie is.

I'm no pilot and don't play one on TV either. This book is terrific -- accessible, filled with facts any vicarious pilot will love, and filled with information on such things as how to get free aerial maps.

How do those VOR and NAV things work? This book will tell you and entertain you at the same time.

It's a labor of love from two guys who know both the material AND how to present it. This is the one to buy. Outstanding! I can't even begin to offer a suggestion for improving it. And, despite the tone of this review, I'm ALWAYS wishing for things that aren't present when I look at instructional materials.

Jeff-66 wrote:
Stylez wrote:

If you run JGSME without any mods enabled you will still get the sounds, skins, and new planes. The mods are kind of like "Bonus tweaks" that can be applied to your game. For the most part they are online compatible. the 6 degree of Freedom mod for trackIR is a definite must, as is the scenery upgrades. Not overly keen on the more intensive engine management. I have enough trouble keeping targets in my sights as it is without making prop pitch and fuel mixture more significant.

Ok, cool. Up above you wrote these should be enabled:

00_6DOF_Tracker_4GB Version (Only if you have 4gb of ram or higher
00_Effects_High
00_FMBPlus
00_Perfect_map_textures

Is that about it from the JSGME list for a noob, do you think?

That looks great. I'm really enjoying Up 2.0 with those settings myself.

Jeff, does your version of FSX have the Rod Machiado lessons in the game? You should take those if you haven't already. It does a good job of teaching you the basics, which will make you a better pilot in FSX and any other game you play. It also has some very basic stuff on navigation, using approach plates, ILS, and flying heavies. If you don't know how to coordinate turns, choose a climb rate, or trim the plane properly, you should do the lessons. You'll be a much more efficient pilot for it.

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