GWJ FBO: Flight Simulation Catch-all

The flight sim community coming together to help a lad honor his grandpa who is gravely ill.

https://www.reddit.com/r/flightsim/c...

I get choked up reading the thread. I'll be participating.

Carlbear95 wrote:

I have completed my HOTAS "downgrade", finding a t16000m joystick at MSRP and will keep my Alpha/Bravo combination. The t16000m allows for both a left and right configuration which is really what I needed, since most GA aircraft with a stick are configured for the left-hand.

One word of warning, after having eaten five t16000m at this point, watch out for the manufacturing flaw with the twist axis if you end up using it. They use a pot underneath the stick to pickup that input, and they are low quality at that; no amount of cleaning stops them misbehaving and wearing out pretty quick. I finally went and got peddles to stop me funding their production line

It a great stick bar that axis.

Hrdina wrote:

If you really want to fly low-and-slow but still have a cockpit:

This looks like something from Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe, but apparently it is a real aircraft.

It is a wonderful plane; was lucky enough to fly one back in my home of Dorset, as they were made in the neighboring county. Our Police even had one in preference to a helicopter for a while as they made much better use of fuel than copters did and the view is truly amazing. The feel is not that far from some of the bigger microlights; and you really don't want heavy headwind if you need to get anywhere

For folks who remember the Rob Peck/Mark Hamill film Slipstream (no, not the newer one), this is the aircraft used in that film.

ShynDarkly wrote:
Carlbear95 wrote:

I have completed my HOTAS "downgrade", finding a t16000m joystick at MSRP and will keep my Alpha/Bravo combination. The t16000m allows for both a left and right configuration which is really what I needed, since most GA aircraft with a stick are configured for the left-hand.

One word of warning, after having eaten five t16000m at this point, watch out for the manufacturing flaw with the twist axis if you end up using it. They use a pot underneath the stick to pickup that input, and they are low quality at that; no amount of cleaning stops them misbehaving and wearing out pretty quick. I finally went and got peddles to stop me funding their production line

It a great stick bar that axis.

Good to know. I have pedals, so will only use the twist axis for nose wheel steering. I suppose it will be a bigger deal if I get back into something like Elite that really needs that axis, but for flight sim, hopefully use will be limited enough that it will last.

If you like the Just Flight Arrow III and Turbo Arrow III/IV, this really in-depth review of the Turbo Arrows shows that a very nice third-party GTN750 integrates very nicely. That GTN750 has a free basic version, and a surprisingly pricey licensed version.

I did end up buying the Turbo Arrows shortly after release, but have had time for only a single flight in the Turbo III since then. I just spent about the same amount of time watching a video about them as I have spent flying them.

GTN pricing isn't that bad, until I saw that it was an annual license. Its essentially the same cost as the Reality XP version, except that is a one-time charge. The reality XP one as far as I can read is pretty much an exact replica of the real thing, including using the actual garmin database, which means unless you are actually an IFR aircraft owner its not economically practical to update its navdata. I've been tempted to buy it a few times, but I don't really fly most of the aircraft that take advantage of it in that sim, so it would be a bit of a waste for me, and without updated navdata someone less practical for flying online with ATC (though certainly very doable).

Quite a bit of news coming out of MSFS land the last few days. XBOX Series X/S versions release on July 27, and 30 fps confirmed. The Series S is basically a One X so I'm curious how that will look. 30 FPS is about what I get on my 3 year old i7700k/1080ti with mostly "High" settings. Cross platform confirmed, and if you own it on PC, you own it on console. Asobo created DLC will be available, 3rd party will have to port it (not sure how hard/easy that is). I'm assuming FPS is going to be an issue with more complex 3rd party scenery or aircraft.

Also Turtle Beach announced this franken-flight controller, Velocity One.. It seems to combine a Yoke with a 4 lever throttle quadrant AND a set of standard push/pull controls, AND what I think is a trim wheel. I will assume that something with that much function doesn't do any particularly well, but it will be a huge step up from a straight up controller, and if it can plug into a PC, is another good hardware option for those who want to get into flight simming.

Carlbear95 wrote:

Cross platform confirmed, and if you own it on PC, you own it on console.

Not true if you bought MSFS through Steam, from what I heard.

Also, wasn't the DX12 update supposed to be tied to the console release?

Hrdina wrote:
Carlbear95 wrote:

Cross platform confirmed, and if you own it on PC, you own it on console.

Not true if you bought MSFS through Steam, from what I heard.

Also, wasn't the DX12 update supposed to be tied to the console release?

Steam doesn't just us the MSFS launcher? I bought it direct from MS, so not sure about that one.

DX 12 I think PC users have assumed that to be the case, but I don't think I've seen anything confirming that.

Carlbear95 wrote:

Steam doesn't just us the MSFS launcher? I bought it direct from MS, so not sure about that one.

If by "MSFS launcher" you mean the standard MSFS start-screen, then yes Steam just starts that.

I think it was an Obsidian Ant video where I heard that the PC/XBox thing doesn't apply to Steam purchases, but I wouldn't swear to it.

Then again, I don't own an XBox so...

Carlbear95 wrote:

DX 12 I think PC users have assumed that to be the case, but I don't think I've seen anything confirming that.

Yeah, I've seen that posted in several places, and I know that DX12 is part of the MSFS development roadmap, but I don't think I've ever seen the association between DX12 and the XBox release in anything official.

PMDG's DC-6 has been released for $60 for MSFS. I'm not a huge fan of vintage aircraft so not my thing, but its a big deal since PMDG's Boeing 737 series is considered best-in-class (with a best-in-class price tag of $100) and so its going to need its first foray to show consumers that it is capable of bringing its level of sophistication and will be good data for them to see if the MSFS audience is willing to pony up for premium content. Systems and dynamics wise it seems that its up to par, and I believe it is the most expensive aircraft available on MSFS. Its still probably half of what it's 737 will likely cost unless MS has thrown a mountain of money at them to subsidize the price.

I love to fly WW1/WW2 combat aircraft, but but airliners not so much.

I can still sit back and admire the beauty and craftsmanship in something like the DC-6 (both the original and this model), though, without thinking I would have fun flying that.

Hrdina wrote:

I love to fly WW1/WW2 combat aircraft, but but airliners not so much.

I can still sit back and admire the beauty and craftsmanship in something like the DC-6 (both the original and this model), though, without thinking I would have fun flying that.

My Dad flew a Douglas AC-47 gunship in Vietnam, which was the military version of the DC-3 outfitted with three side-facing miniguns. Maybe you can do both someday.

I picked up the DC-6 and spent the better part of 4 hours yesterday going through the Introduction PDF and the 2 tutorial flight PDFs. I feel like I can comfortably fly the aircraft with the virtual flight engineer managing the nitty gritty under the hood stuff.

Today, I spent quite a bit of time going through the PMDG youtube tutorials, which have a bit more depth to them, and I feel like I'm starting to understand what is going on under the hood. I'm still not ready to tackle the 333 page POH, but I don't feel like I need to right now to be able to enjoy this aircraft.

Honestly, I wasn't sure if this was going to be my cup of tea, but I find that I'm really enjoying it. It has -- for lack of a better word -- charm. Managing it is like nothing else I've flown, and it handles incredibly differently from anything else. The sounds are superb, and the visuals equally superb. There is so much attention to small details, that probably wouldn't matter if they weren't there, but serve to make the experience so much more immersive.

So far, everything works as it should. I haven't found any bugs, though apparently there are some because PMDG has a list of stuff that they have fixed already for the first update. There is an outstanding bug, however, where your game crashes if you fly multiplayer with other DC-6s.

I will say that I do feel comfortable enough with it at this point that I'm willing to take it onto VATSIM for my next flight.

No regrets on this purchase. I love it.

DonD wrote:

I will say that I do feel comfortable enough with it at this point that I'm willing to take it onto VATSIM for my next flight.

You're braver than me. MSFS aside, even in Xplane, even though I have a ton of aircraft, I only trust myself in the B738 and A319/20. I'm still confused how model matching works in VATSIM on MSFS... there are no Boeing 73X models in there, so what do you see when you see other traffic? Its probably one of the most common aircraft on VATSIM.

Orphu wrote:
Hrdina wrote:

I love to fly WW1/WW2 combat aircraft, but but airliners not so much.

I can still sit back and admire the beauty and craftsmanship in something like the DC-6 (both the original and this model), though, without thinking I would have fun flying that.

My Dad flew a Douglas AC-47 gunship in Vietnam, which was the military version of the DC-3 outfitted with three side-facing miniguns. Maybe you can do both someday.

The C-47A Skytrain is available for pre-order in IL-2 Great Battles! They are also planning to add the Lisunov Li-2, which was a version the Soviets built under license.

IMAGE(https://forum.il2sturmovik.com/uploads/monthly_2021_05/C-47_Profile.png.5af3fa12eb30c939e66617290649fe9d.png)

From what I've read, the C-47A will be a supply/paratroop aircraft, useful when the Battle of Normandy module is released. The Li-2 version can have a turret and can be used as a bomber.

Not exactly a spooky gunship like the AC-47 but still potentially fun.

I'm still confused how model matching works in VATSIM on MSFS... there are no Boeing 73X models in there, so what do you see when you see other traffic? Its probably one of the most common aircraft on VATSIM.

There are 2 answers to this.

1. vPilot will substitute another aircraft for the one it can't find -- which aircraft shows up depends on how you set up vPilot.

2. I have the IVAO x-csl folder in my community folder (from the Altitude client) and there's a .vmr file for vPilot for it. If I come across a 737, it will pull the model out from the x-csl folder and I will sometimes see an aircraft with 737 across the tail. Other times, I will see the aircraft and the correct livery. I'm not sure exactly what is happening with that.

Regardless, it is almost never an issue for me as a pilot. If I'm instructed to give way to the Boeing 737 crossing from left to right on taxiway D, it is pretty obvious which aircraft that is 99% of the time. The other 1%, I can ask the ground controller if I need clarification.

VATSIM gets a bad rap sometimes as being old curmudgeons that will berate you for even the tiniest mistakes, but the truth is that it has seen a massive surge in new pilots and controllers due to both MSFS and Covid quarantine and most of the people you will encounter are really friendly and want you to enjoy yourself. You should follow proper procedures, of course, but if you make a mistake it usually just gets a reminder from a controller of what the proper procedure should be (as a learning experience for next time).

Stuff I've seen:
Screwed up a SID: 'N73AB, I see you are off course. Do you need assistance?'
Missed the localizer: 'N73AB, it looks like you missed the localizer. Turn right heading 230.'
Screwed up taxi instructions: 'N73AB, you missed your turn onto B. Turn left at the next intersection onto C then C N to Runway 27L'

I really haven't seen anything cringeworthy.

Cool, I have a full set of X-CSL's so I'll read up on vPilot to see how to integrate those. Didn't realize they could render those in MSFS.

I agree, for the most part VATSIM controllers are friendly enough. If you find your way into a busy event though, I think everyone's patience gets a little thin. My worry really is about the aircraft doing what I want, or me knowing the right buttons to push to make sure I can execute if I get some late vectors or the controller leaves me high and fast (recent event into Melbourne was quite an adventure).

I do agree that events have the most potential for a bad experience. Controllers are put under a tremendous amount of stress due to the massive amount of traffic that far exceeds their day to day (or even real life) experience, so screw ups can lead to frustration.

I often watch controllers on Twitch during events, and I have seen some controllers get really frustated -- to the point of stepping away from the radar -- but I still haven't seen them acting harshly towards pilots.

I generally avoid big events myself (I've done a few). I prefer to fly smaller events held by individual centers (Boston center featuring Burlington, for example) and I've only had positive experiences. I'm not saying there are no bad controllers, but I do think the culture has changed from what it was before.

Just as a point of reference, on my VATSIM profile, it shows that I registered in 2003, had 1 flight that lasted 10 minutes, and I never went back onto VATSIM until December 2020. I actually don't remember the experience, but I imagine it was pretty bad for me to not want to log in again. In fairness, I was probably pretty clueless about proper procedures, and charts were not nearly as easy to come by back then.

Edit to add one more thing: I've been part of 2 VARTCCs (Boston and NY) and both take feedback from pilots very seriously. I can't say this is true across the board, but I imagine it probably is. If you have a bad (or good) experience, there's a place on the VARTCC website to leave feedback either for a specific controller or more general feedback. You can find the VARTCC websites through https://www.vatusa.net/ -> Facilities.

Yeah, I think some controllers take the Educate a little too seriously. I get it, maybe it was a former RL ATC controller, but the other day he was lecturing a pilot on Slant codes. Likely the pilot had no clue so just stuck a random code into the Flight Plan but does it really matter for VATSIM? Definitely not, but I get it. I think from a pilots standpoint in big events, not responding to instructions and having the controller repeat 2-3 times every time really drives everyone crazy. In busy airspace and I'm getting vectored, everything needs to happen pretty snappy, so slowing everything down because someone is busy chatting in their discord or stream gets everyone riled up. I've heard "Get off of discord and pay attention" more than a few times when flying busy events.

I will say that it gets challenging when doing VATSIM out of the US. Accents are all different, clearances and procedures are different. I had a really hard time understanding a controller out of Ho Chi Minh. Even when audio isn't great in the US, I generally know what to expect. In another country, if things are read in a different order overseas and you miss the first part of a clearance, you basically miss the whole thing other than your squawk

I would definitely encourage everyone to try it. Yes, you'll be nervous the first time and maybe even the 100th time, but it adds so much to the experience. My first experience was just doing pattern work out of KAUS. The controller was S1 as well. I gave him some positive feedback, but I remember looking later and I never saw him again.

I asked around today and the main thing that is a big issue is talking over other pilots, or talking when another pilot should be reading back to the controller. Since only one person can talk on frequency at a time, it blocks everyone else from talking.

DonD wrote:

I generally avoid big events myself (I've done a few). I prefer to fly smaller events held by individual centers (Boston center featuring Burlington, for example) and I've only had positive experiences. I'm not saying there are no bad controllers, but I do think the culture has changed from what it was before.

So see you here?

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/wZop94j.png)

I usually fly those events but tonight I have actual plans so I'll be missing this one.

According to this article on PCGamesN, Sim Update 5 is supposed to have significant performance improvement, but not due to a move to DX12.

From the linked video (a snip from the dev stream), they're changing the code to be more GPU-heavy and less dependent on CPU and RAM.

Obsidian Ant also spent some time talking about that dev stream.

If you own the PMDG DC-6, there's an update out for it.

Details here:

Update through the Ops Center.

Awesome to hear about the performance gains. I've read about them briefly, hopefully all levels of hardware will realize those improvements, not just the higher end.

Maybe I'll (finally) buy the JF Piper and/or CRJ like I keep saying I will.

In xplane news Laminar Research has been dropping small tidbits of what many are assuming are Xplane 12 features, including a new lighting system (sorely needed) and an A330 that will ship as a default aircraft. No one from Laminar has said XP12 in any official capacity yet, so no one really knows. I think they will have to tread very carefully. My purely anecdotal and speculative feel is that more P3D folks are switching to MSFS, while most Xplane users are going back and forth. A misstep on an XP12 launch whether related to backwards compatibility, realism, or some other technological bug is going to be pretty bad for Laminar. At this point they will have to content themselves with playing 2nd fiddle to MS. They will always have the commercial market (I believe a decent chunk of the RL IFR Trainers are Xplane based), but they still need to hold onto the more hardcore enthusiast market.

I finally went back and added my pre-LittleNavMap flights into my LMN logbook. The blue lines are the flights I've already taken, and yellow ones are (rough) plans for future flights. The blue lines only show a direct path between my departure and destination airports, but don't show all the various meanderings I do enroute.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/dosgwez.jpg)

I didn't fly much through May or June, but in July I finally finished my trek across upstate NY then flew up to Montreal (again), Ottawa, Quebec City, and the Canadian Maritimes.

I've notice a lot more weirdness in the scenery up in Canada compared to the US. I'm assuming that this is because Bing has better data for the US, and also because the USA had a World Update but Canada hasn't. The most common thing I see up there is that sometimes the elevation of rivers is significantly higher than the elevation of the surrounding land. Still, the scenery up there is pretty nice, especially around Montreal and also in the hills and lakes of rural Quebec province.

I plan to hop out to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia before heading back into the US. I haven't flown around my own area since I got my new PC in January.

I noticed the same weirdness with the water/river elevation up around Quebec. This problem used to be more widespread, but they fixed it. I was really surprised to find it again.

While the US imagery is better, it isn’t current. I think the satellite imagery is at least 5 years old. In the last Developer Q and A, the Asobo lead said they have newer data to work with and will be revisiting the US for another update next year.

That's pretty cool Hrdina. What aircraft are you generally flying? The JF Piper's?

That leg you have between New Brunswick and Newfoundland terrifies me

Yeah, I've been flying the Turbo Arrow III ever since it was released. It's just as nice as the standard Arrow III, but a bit faster as long as I'm willing to climb up to 10K feet or so.

If you mean that hop from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia, is that even legal when flying VFR? When I get there I'll probably move along the coast to that SW peninsula where the over-water distance is shorter. Even so...