Flight Sims

This is where I will write about flight simulators and controllers for them, mostly for computer.

First, before I get into all the complicated details of flight simulators, I would like to show you this.
The Google Earth Flight Simulator.

If you can’t be bothered to go out and buy a proper Flight Simulator such as Microsoft Flight Simulator X (a very good flight simulator which will be described in detail later) and you like flight simulators, then this might be the thing for you.

Download Google Earth (completely free and presents the whole world to you in photographs. Just click or search where you want to go and… you’re there, looking at photographs of that area- amazing). Inside google earth, there is a hidden flight simulator. You can fly two different planes, an F-16 Fighting Falcon and another much slower plane, an SR22. The SR22 is much easier to fly by the way so you might want to start with that. You can fly over anywhere in the world, over Google Earth’s amazing scenery. To use the flight simulator, open Google Earth and press ctrl+alt+A with windows or command+option+A in Mac OS. Then select what plane you want, where you want to start and fly!

google-earth-fs.jpg

Picture above from http://www.appscout.com

For more information on the Google Earth Flight Simulator, see: http://sebgray.wordpress.com/2007/09/18/google-earth-secret/

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Non combat Flight Simulators- no shooting

Perhaps one of the best flight simulators for computer is Microsoft Flight Simulator X. I have the Deluxe Edition and I have to say it is amazing (as is the normal version, but the Deluxe Edition is better). This flight sim is perfect for everyone, whether you want a really realistic flight simulator to try out your skills as a pilot or simply want a bit of fun, flying planes around and vistiting famous buildings or mountains or any other famous place. In the game itself, the scenery is quite close to reality, only you can’t visit your own house or anything like that, only famous buildings. There are houses, but they are just made up houses, not the ones that are really there. That’s where expansion packs come in. You can get various expansion packs which give you real scenery in specific places. You can get ones for the UK, for the whole of Europe and so on. The more specific a place the expansion pack is for, I would think that the scenery is more real (although I’m not sure how true that is, never having had one of these expansion packs myself… yet). With these, I am told by people who do have them, you can visit your own house, if you get good quality ones for the right places. It must be fun to take a helicopter and to land it in your back garden… or on your roof. You can also get expansion packs which make one airport look amazingly real (even though all airports already do, the expansion packs improve them). You get many planes (even more in the Deluxe Edition), including the Leerjet 45 (can’t not have that- it’s amazing! Read my post about it!) and many other planes, mostly propeller planes. You can get more planes by getting expansion packs, such as Flight Simulator X Acceleration, which gives you a Boeing F/A 18 Hornet, P-51D Mustang and a helicopter- the AgustaWestland EH101. All these are really fun to fly- I have Acceleration and have tried them. Accerleration also gives you a lot more missions. You can download planes for FSX and previous Microsoft Flight Simulators from the internet. Most are very good, but it is not the same as buying expansion packs, as these tend to be more realisitc. I have recently found a Eurofighter Typhoon expansion pack for FSX… If i get it soon I’ll tell you what its like!
I strongly recommend the Deluxe Edition of FSX, as you get 6 more planes, 20 more missions, 10 more high-detail cities, 5 more high-detail airports, 3 planes equipped with the GPS Garmin 1000, the ability to be air trafic controller in multiplayer and you can even be a co-pilot in someone else’s plane.

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Controllers

Saitek X52 (PRO) Flight Control System

One of my favourite controllers is the Saitek X52. It has lots of buttons for lots of different things and is a very good quality controller. There are two versions- the Saitek X52 and the Saitek X52 PRO. The PRO is better. You can know whether it is the PRO version or not because the normal one is mostly silver and the PRO is black. Both have a screen on the throttle unit. This tells you your speed and lots of other things when using a flight simulator. When not using a flight simulator it tells you the time and date and other things. On the throttle there is a mouse, so you don’t have to move your hands from the controller to move the mouse. It is great for combat and non combat flight sims. I have the PRO version and it is great. The only thing that the X52 does not have is force feedback, but everything else is so realistic, force feedback is not necessary. Force feedback is not amazing with planes anyway and does not make it any more realistic. In the real world, you don’t only feel force from the controller.

Here is a picture of the Saitek X52:

x52.jpg

Picture above from http://www.fspilotshop.com

And the Saitek X52 PRO:

x52-pro.jpg

Picture above from http://www.techshout.com

MORE ON FSX, OTHER FLIGHT SIMS, COMBAT FLIGHT SIMS AND CONTROLLERS IS COMING SOON!

    2 Responses

    1. is there any helicopter sims you know about

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