View Full Version : Much literature says FS2004 is boring when at cruise

09-23-2003, 10:07 PM
I've read a few pieces about FS2004 from non-devotees, things like "The graphics are great and the instrumentation is the most accurate available on a PC but apart from take off and landing there isn't much else to do in between" or words to that effect.

What do other simmers do when at prolonged cruise?

During this time I do the following:

1. listen to the soothing peaceful drones of the engines, especially at night with all the lights off.
2. imagine what kind of passengers or cargo I am carrying, what their purpose is.
3. watch TV! (sorry).

Cruise flying isn't as boring as non simmers would think IMO.


09-23-2003, 10:12 PM
I have been simming for over 10 years and I can wholeheartedly proclaim, "cruise fly is boring in my book." :-)

I never got into the 12 hour trans-oceanic flights. My absolute longest flights from takeoff to touchdown are about 1 hour...I just don't have enough patience to stare at the computer monitor for anything longer. :-)

So, as a "simmer" I have to agree with the "nonsimmers" who say that cruise flight is boring. :-)

09-23-2003, 10:15 PM
If you're flying a 747 from London to Paris there isn't much time for TV watching as you're getting ready to land when you take off.

I've never done the 11 hour flight thing. Still at the flyng a Cessna around different places sightseeing stage and trying to complete the Lessons.

One thing i would like to see Microsoft do is add more downloads for the Select A Flight missions like the chauffer flying and dropping the fisherman off for their holidays. ;oD

09-23-2003, 10:46 PM
I used to think it wasn't boring either Chris. But that was before I wasted 3000+ hours the last few years cruising around in a WestWind 747 :-) . Now I can honestly say that it's true - cruising is boring. It's all mostly low-and-slow now. In fact, I never fly any flight with a duration of over two hours anymore. I think the non-devotees have it figured right on this one.


09-23-2003, 10:50 PM
< If you're flying a 747 from London to Paris there isn't much time for TV watching as you're getting ready to land when you take off. >

How often does that particular flight take place in real life? not very often, most 747 scheduled flights are long distance I bet. There are many flights of 747s in Japan that are of relatively short distance but most flights of heavies are of long cruise time :-(.

Taking into account what you say, I'll need to plan my flights better so that they are of shorter duration but still realistic and interesting.


09-23-2003, 10:53 PM
Yeah, but unfortunately most flights of the heavies are of more than one hour aren't they? Maybe you know of a few scheduled flights in real life where the heavies fly for a short time, though.

Keep flying happy.


09-23-2003, 11:12 PM
Chris -

What question are you asking? Are you asking people whether the cruise phase of flight simulation is boring or are you challenging people that you can't fly a 747 without cruising for a long time?

If it's the latter, I agree. If you want to "simulate" a heavy like the 747, you will be in cruise phase for a long duration. That is exactly why there is not a single "heavy" loaded on my machine (but for the never-flown default 747). I'll stick with my original answer and state that as a longtime simmer, cruise flight is boring. :-)

For me, it is all about IMC simulation and low and slow GA's.

09-23-2003, 11:13 PM
anybody that can sit and look at computer monitor for 11hrs and watch fs gauges has "way too much time on their hands" and i for one find it hard to believe it happens that way.
just my thoughts and 2 hrs in a cub fighting winds is too much for me.

09-23-2003, 11:29 PM
I amuse myself during cruise phase by cross checking my position on a VFR chart (I do mostly GA flying). The browser on the kneeboard is a diversion too.
But yes, cruise phase can be a little dull.

09-23-2003, 11:45 PM
I don't do the trans-atlantic/pacific flights much, unless to Hawaii, but I do a lot of flying across the continent, and a majority of my flights along the west coast of North America. I fly VATSIM, and if I pick my times right, my flight is busy with ATC, talking with fellow pilots, keeping an eye on the weather etc. During the rare times of being "non-busy" I will re-arrange my office here, odd bit of maintenance on the computer or read my FLYING magazine. Once in a while I get into shorter hops, do these for a while, then back to longer hauls. The beauty of FS, whatever ya want, ya can do!


09-23-2003, 11:48 PM
I agree cruise flight is rather boring. I use to fly for no more than an hour, UNTIL I started flying multiplayer. I go to the ZONE website and fly around with other people. Its easy and fun.

I started to host my own flights and have come up with some pretty cool routes. VNLK, VNBJ, VNTR, VNLD, VNJS, VNDP, VNJL in a King Air 350 with five or ten other King Airs is a lot of fun. It takes a couple of hours and never gets boring, unlike flying for hours by my self.

Granted, the above flight is a lot of taking off and landing and not all that much cruise but you can talk to other people about flying, keep track of where people are, watch others land, etc.

Everyone should try it, IMO. Really gives more life to FS9.

AMD XP 2600+
Biostar M7VIB 266mhz fsb (o/c 276)
GeForce4 Ti 4400 128mb 4xAGP ver 45.23
1152mb PC2100 ram
19" Sony Trinitron & 17" LCD


09-24-2003, 12:37 AM
Fly the 747-200 RFP and you're constantly busy reprogramming and realligning the INS (not to mention trying to fix the failures that crop up from time to time).

Otherwise: study (handy if you have more than one computer), read, chat, go shopping, etc. etc.

09-24-2003, 12:41 AM
One thing I liked about FSNavigator (I dont have the new version for FS2004) is that I could plan a long flight and then if I get bored use the "move aircraft here" feature to jump me ahead a bit.

Using the 4x is ok, but ATC drives you nuts with handoffs.

I am suprised that there arent any good virtual airlines that are short haul biz jets. That would be more fun than flying Boston-Denver.

09-24-2003, 12:45 AM
I don't fly the "big iron" at all, never have, and don't have the desire now. The largest plane I fly is a Shorts 360, Beech 1900, etc. Most of my flights are 1-3 hours in length. I have both a world and US atlas. I enjoy geography, so I will track myslef in the Atlas's. I've learned a lot about the surrounding country-side, that your gps can't give you.

09-24-2003, 01:52 AM
I don't think cruise flight is boring. The cruise is the meat of the flight and to me that is just enjoyable as taking off and landing. The cruise is boring to people who are inpatient and want to land the plane already.

A pilots best gift is patience and time, with those you have nothing to worry about. And cruise flight isn't boring if you have a buddy flying near by on the long ones ;-)

It isn't boring to the real 747 pilots because they talk/joke and share moments through the entire flight.

I do long flights when i'm in the mood and if the time is right. I don't do the long ones if I think i'm going to cancel halfway there.

Finally, id say go for it. If you are flying IFR from KJFK to KLAX go for it its a long flight but if you get tired or bored...with fSACOF immediately request a new IFR destination and end your flight...good idea is to save it and continue it later on like I do =)

Lazarus Long
09-24-2003, 03:52 AM
This may sound silly to some of you...

I fly long intercontinetal flights in FS all the time. As a college student I use the "cruise time" as a study aid. For an example a 777 flight from LAX to JFK gives me just the right ammount of time to finish up a lab report or a paper. A flight from Atlanta to Heathrow is the perfect time for preparing for a test. I clear my brain by taking off and getting into a good cruising altitude - turn on the autopilot - hit the books - Then as a little reward after a long cramming session I get to land the airplane. It keeps me on a good timeline. I will also get to take short breaks here and there to check the instruments and to communicate with ATC or simply just to admire a beautiful virtual sunset over the Atlantic.

I've got routes for every possible homework. It's been getting me through college... One more semester before graduation , so about 60,000nm to go! :D

09-24-2003, 05:02 AM
Cruise time on a longer flight may be boring but only if you don't have a good mesh like the ones from FSGenesis or FSFreeware. Have you ever flown from Phoenix, AZ, to say - Whitehorse, Canada with an FSGenesis Mesh?

Boring? It's breathtaking scenery all around!!! You'll learn much about the geography. Unless you got bad weather all the way, that is.


(And no, I'm not involved in FSGenesis in any way!)

09-24-2003, 05:19 AM
I dont fly any of the small GA aircraft. I have FS2004 and have not flown any of the Cessna's etc. at all!! I am only interested in commercial airliners.

However, i agree that long cruises are boring. Thats why i mainly fly the 737,727's and do flights between airports no more than 500 miles apart.

I do however do some longer flights i.e. in the 747 which last up to 5 hours. However i dont sit there looking at the screen. When i hit cruising altitude i go out or watch tv. Then came back just in time to manually land the plane at the chosen destination.

09-24-2003, 05:42 AM
I could only the fly transcontinental flights like LAX-JFK. I also like do a lot of transoceanic flights, but I change the sim rate to 16x while cruising.

09-24-2003, 05:46 AM
If you use the INS and if you fly North atlantic tracks like the real pilots do you'll be continously busy and you can't bore at all during cruises.

09-24-2003, 06:41 AM
>I am suprised that there arent any good virtual airlines
>that are short haul biz jets.<

Try here...........



09-24-2003, 08:12 AM
I only fly heavies in long trips all around the world, and I just make one or two hour hops each time, firstly because I have no more time available and second because that way I donīt get bored.
I normally end a 10 hours trip in some 5 to 7 days...
Anyway, with that new kneeboard feature that allows you to navigate in the web, Iīm almost constantly looking for updated weather radar images, metars, etc...and check my mail, of course...

09-24-2003, 08:13 AM
Turn off the auto pilot.. ;)

09-24-2003, 08:45 AM
Whatever turns the simmers crank. Myself I find letting the computer fly a heavy iron plane for hours at a time a waste of my time. When I do sim, it's light aircraft. Fly a two hour flight without the autopilot in bumpy IMC and you will not be bored.

I also tried some of the games like Quake, and other first person shooters. Same thing all the time, just variations on killing something. They are popular with a lot of gamers. Its just what interests you.

09-24-2003, 08:54 AM
>It isn't boring to the real 747 pilots because they
>talk/joke and share moments through the entire flight.

You may want to actually ask a "real" 747 pilot if cruise is boring and I think you will be surprised. ;-)

09-24-2003, 08:56 AM
>Whatever turns the simmers crank. Myself I find letting the
>computer fly a heavy iron plane for hours at a time a waste
>of my time. When I do sim, it's light aircraft. Fly a two
>hour flight without the autopilot in bumpy IMC and you will
>not be bored.


09-24-2003, 09:21 AM
I find long cruise can be wonderfully soporific...zzzzzzzzZZZZZZzzzzz


As for the opinion of non-simmers. Who cares? The non-specialist press doesn't understand anyway, being populated by quasi-journalists with interests only in gore, splatter effects and body counts.
Only the aviation press `gets` flight simming. Everyone else can go take a flying... lesson, as far as I am concerned.

09-24-2003, 09:29 AM
>This may sound silly to some of you...
>I fly long intercontinetal flights in FS all the time. As a
>college student I use the "cruise time" as a study aid. For
>an example a 777 flight from LAX to JFK gives me just the
>right ammount of time to finish up a lab report or a paper.
>A flight from Atlanta to Heathrow is the perfect time for
>preparing for a test. I clear my brain by taking off and
>getting into a good cruising altitude - turn on the
>autopilot - hit the books - Then as a little reward after a
>long cramming session I get to land the airplane. It keeps
>me on a good timeline. I will also get to take short breaks
>here and there to check the instruments and to communicate
>with ATC or simply just to admire a beautiful virtual sunset
>over the Atlantic.
>I've got routes for every possible homework. It's been
>getting me through college... One more semester before
>graduation , so about 60,000nm to go! :D

I do the same thing... except it got to be a pain when my pre-flight planning took up to 2 hours before my wheels left the runway. It became hard to schedule THAT in...


Wer Rechtschreibfehler findet darf sie behalten!

09-24-2003, 09:43 AM
"Maybe you know of a few scheduled flights in real life where the heavies fly for a short time, though."

I know one, Cargolux flies B744 from ELLX (luxembourg) to EHBK (Maastricht, Netherlands). About 90nm apart. No idea how the flight develops.

09-24-2003, 09:50 AM
Hmmm I've used my long-range sim time as a study aid, and for a number of activities:

- Updating the Aircraft logs (ok, I dunno if anyone does this, but I keep an aircraft maintenance/use log for every one of my FS aircraft)

- Monitor fuel usage calculated from my flightplan, and compare it to actual usage

- As most of my passengers are most likely doing, read the newspaper, update the website.


Wer Rechtschreibfehler findet darf sie behalten!

09-24-2003, 09:55 AM
Still, whenever i fly the 747 i want to fly somewhere further away. 90 miles seems very short and strange when flown in a 747. I try to do a flight which is maybe 3 hours but i dont sit there looking at the screen. I go off and do something else and then come back.

Put simply, the best bits of flying are taking off and landing.

I dont like flying the GA aircraft because i find they are pretty easy to land as you come in slow (or thats how it appears to me). I prefer the 747 or Concorde etc. which are generally harder to land and present an interesting challenge.

09-24-2003, 10:15 AM
I don't do this everyday, but about once a week I do a trip from KJFK to KSEA or vice versa in a 757. It's time consuming, but to me it's not boring. In FS2002 it used to be a little less interesting, but with the FS2004 weather engine, the cloud formations and weather keep me looking at the screen, there always seems to be a hidden suprise. I also like to schedule a flight overnight that will let me see the sun rise as I approach my destination, this way I have that to look at also. Another thing that I like to do as I do when I'm flying as a passenger in an airliner is try to spot the rotating beacons of the airports, which FS2004 features.

09-24-2003, 10:51 AM
I typically will stick to shorter hauls or GA VFR flights. Most of the time I'll take short hops like Salt Lake City to Jackson, Wyoming in a King Air, or other such flights. I do like flying the big boys sometimes, but I still usually keep it short. The other night I took my FFX FED-EX DC-10 from KLAX to KPHX, about a 45 minute flight. It's a short hop for such a big bird, but hey, it's "virtual", so there's noone to rip me a new one for such a non-effecient use of the aircraft. I have flown to Hawaii and back (two different trips on different days) in my old FFG DC-10 in FS2002. Once at cruise, I monitor radio chatter, scan the skys for traffic, read Private Pilot or whatever book I'm reading at the time, or go get something to eat/drink since I can see and hear the computer from the kitchen. But I'm with alot of the folks on here and tend to keep even my airliner flights to under 2 hours, where a good portion of that is filled up with takeoff, climbing, descending, approach, etc. to keep the cruise time at a minimum.

09-24-2003, 11:05 AM
Back in my younger days when I was a "real" pilot I found any cross country flight more than an hour in length to be very boring. I found any flight were I wasn't PIC to be boring from start to finish.


09-24-2003, 11:37 AM
That's why I no longer use the heavies. The flights are just too long. I'm down to only two aircraft now. The RealAir SF260 (which I fly 80% of the time) and the PMDG 737NG. There are a jillion 737 flight possibilities which are under two hours duration. Here's a real life 747 short-flight story though. Back in the '70's I flew a 742 from SFO to ORD - with a stop at OAK. You can see OAK from SFO (most days :-) ) and it tooks us 35 minutes for the "up-and-down". The stop was scheduled (we knew about it before takeoff) but they never did say why.


09-24-2003, 12:14 PM
The reason that GA planes are easy to land is that the sim planes have gear that could take a carrier landing. I have pulled off landings in the sim that would have made a big dent in my bank account in real life.

Try this, crank in about 19 gusting to 25 knots at a 45 degree angle to the runway. Moderate turbulence right up to the ground. None of this super smooth stuff when you get under 200ft agl. Oh yeah, lets use your typical airstrip of about 3000ft. For the challange with the headwind component you should be able to put the Skyhawk in a runway of 2000ft or less in the first 1/4 of the runway.

Fly by hand IMC for two hours, lets see how easy you think it is, and hold the plus/minus 200ft bust altitude.

09-24-2003, 12:21 PM
While I am not the most traveled person around, I have been on about 50 flights of over 8 hrs. as a passenger. I am bored out of my mind (and I am a former obstetrician used to waiting for something to happen). I can't imagine sitting in front of a computer monitor for more than around an hour. I don't even care for programming in a short flight and just watching.
Jim O'Brien

09-24-2003, 01:18 PM
its the same story for me...
cruise flights are indeed boring..........
For that reason, I do short flights......... I do short hops. My shortest hop was yesterday when i flew a twin otter from long beach airport to catalina islands. As soon as I take off, i just go climb for VFR and the approach to catalina islands is wonderful and the scenery is great too..ur high above the ocean....
"I believe Im a pilot for an airline company transfering people from long beach to catalina islands " so it doesn't get boring...as Im constantly tracking the instruments and maintaining throttle for a smooth cruise... :)...its a lot of fun... plus, u can hop on to the other islands ..

09-24-2003, 01:42 PM
I also agree that the "non-devotees" are right. I recall a one-liner description of an airline pilot's job as something like "perpetual boredom punctated by occasional bouts of absolute panic."

I've been flying FS for ages, but I'm a GA flyer only, and never use autopilots. Two hours is about my max time for flights, long distance flights I'll sometimes shorten by increasing the sim rate to 2x or 4x.

I don't have anything against flying the big heavies, but flying them realistically at FL300 doesn't do it for me. LA to Tokyo or NYC to Paris in a 747...yeech! Nothing to look at or do for hours at a time.


09-24-2003, 02:52 PM
"One thing i would like to see Microsoft do is add more downloads for the Select A Flight missions like the chauffer flying and dropping the fisherman off for their holidays"

If you want to do the fisherman thing, check out the bush flying forum over at avsim. Lots of support and ideas there.


09-24-2003, 03:30 PM
Jeff -

I play golf 2-3 times a week with a now-retired airline pilot who flew 742/3's for years. I'll ask him what he thinks. If I can clean it up enough I'll post his answer :-) .


09-24-2003, 03:37 PM
Are you guys serious? Long cruise flight is much fun as flying from LAX to Catalina. :-)

My longest long haul flight on FS9 so far... was Continental (Meljet) B777-200er from Newark to Hong Kong. Total flight time 15hrs and 32min.
Took off, played golf with my friends...went home and change my cruise alt. Went to see a movie with my wife, came home and change to final cruise alt. Clean the carage and went to my computer for descent preparation 45 min. prior to arrival in Hong Kong.
Perfect manual landing.....
BTW...this was real time base on UTC, East Coast and Hong Kong time.

man...I love flightsim !!!!!

I think, Its time to do LAX to Melbourne on Posky Qantas B747-400ER.

Kin M.

09-24-2003, 03:55 PM
FsHotseat, as real as it gets just got realer, realer:is that a word??

if u want to make the cruise a little less "boring", tho i don't think it is, get FSHotseat, it adds a co-pilot, sure it's a little electronic sounding, but does have radio with a dj, and a proper cp who assists with pre-flight, passengers, cargo etc. Feels great to fly a 737/747 hearing the flight attendants/cp etc. And ur cp can get u weather reports for ur destination. Get a rating on how good/bad u r. I love it, sure it's like 41 dollars (to get in uk) but well worth it. BTW the radio station is a fictional that plays ur mp3 files.

09-24-2003, 04:13 PM
Doug, you live the life if you are playing golf 2-3 times a week. :-)

09-24-2003, 07:14 PM
I chose to be a serious flight simmer about 9 years ago in order to vicariously enjoy the thrill of flying without the expense. As a hobby I find that I use the long haul time to learn as much as I can about the aircraft I'm flying, or weather, or navigation, or history and on and on and on. Basically I immerse myself in flying information. Even now I fly at least 10 hours a week and about 3/4 of the time I am increasing my knowledge of flying. Also, my spouse never bothers me while I'm flying so it's a great time to meditate and have some quiet time and relax from the pressures that most of us have these days.

Rodger Butler
aka Jumping Mouse

09-24-2003, 09:34 PM
Hi All,

when I started with FS way back when....with just lines across the screen "simulating" a cockpit I never flew very long in anything.
Then later on with FS5 and 95/98 I got into the heavies for a while.
While in cruise I usually browsed the net for information on my destination and enroute attractions. With FS2k and 2k2 it more the GA planes and flights that kept me simming and I did 3 round the world
trips in them again using the web to get more information about my destination and all the reality that AktiveSky brought to the sim.
In May of this year I have finally had the time to actually go form Sim to real world flying. Now it's mostly "cheap" practice in my Piper PA28.
So very little long cruising. Most my flights are in the 2h range.

09-25-2003, 12:08 AM
When I fly long hauls, I try to do it realistically which means I might leave it unattended for a few minutes to go to the bathroom or grab lunch while keeping an eye on it but I never leave the house or go off and do other things for long. That's one reason I never fly legs longer than about 4-5 hours and those pretty rarely. One thing I do to relieve the boredom, is I never fly using GPS routes. I always fly heavies using high altitude IFR charts and I file my flight plan that way. That keeps you reasonably occupied since it's never all that long from waypoint to waypoint. In the longer gaps, I spend time watching out the window or occaisionally reading a book.

09-25-2003, 02:36 AM
Thats exactly what cruise flight is for. In real life I don't think you would be bored as you would have to communicate with ATC and monitor aircraft instruments at the same time...you would be busy all the way.

The way some people are putting it here is that talking to ATC, monitoring aircraft instruments and looking outside for the incredible view is boring...I THINK NOT! Cruise flight puts a pilot in heaven its were he or she wants to be and dreamed off. Cruise is flying and thats what pilots love to do, fly! =D

Many of the people who use flight simulator are anxious to land once the plane is of the ground. They enver enjoy the nice clouds and scenery and special effects MS has put into the sim. The nice clouds and scenery are there to make the cruise flight more enjoyable.

Wing views also make flights enjoyable. If you dont want to look at instruments all the time get an aircraft that has wing views..after you take off you can be the pilot and the passenger at the same, its what I do and its fun I tell ya...especially watching the replays in wing view! What a feeling!

09-25-2003, 05:29 AM
Hey, alright... I guess flightsim is getting closer to reality with every installment. Boring during cruise? You bet! But hey, that's how REAL flying is. Except up there, you can't flip on the TV or take the dog for a walk on long routes. In the real plane you get to look out the window (try doing that for 3 hours when you're VFR-On-Top...*yawn*), or maybe punch buttons on the brightly colored display I like to refer to as the "magenta railroad." Good stuff.

09-25-2003, 08:58 AM
Personally, I love the long haul flights. There's just a bigger sense of achievement when you land! (Sad, I know!) That's what the simulation rate is for, although i try not to use it.

On a related question; I'm trying to get used to this Garmin system. The old fs2002 system was much simpler, but then not as realistic, so that's fine! :-)

Anyway - how can you tell the Route ETE and Route ETA so I know how long a particular flight is going to take? They do get quite boring, so I like to go and watch the telly or something in the meantine, and I like to know when I am due back at my PC!!


09-25-2003, 10:14 AM
Every simmer does what he/she likes.

I do fly long haul and I don't get bored. That's because I never end up "just looking a monitor and clocks and digits going by".

I switch to external views, I scan for traffic, I tune my VORs to the next waypoint just to crosscheck the FSNavigator route, I check the Encarta Atlas on my laptop (or the kneeboard browser) to see photos and info about the cities that I'm flying over, I calculate my ETA, I keep track of the fuel burned and things like that.

BUT, human I am and sometimes I get bored, even in the middle of a flight. Then I go out, watch TV, even fall asleep.

There were some times and night flights when I would climb to cruise altitude, set the alarm clock just before the BOD, go to bed, sleep, wake up, pause the sim, save the flight, go to bed, wake up later, land the plane.


09-25-2003, 06:28 PM
< What question are you asking? Are you asking people whether the cruise phase of flight simulation is boring or are you challenging people that you can't fly a 747 without cruising for a long time? >


In the first place I asked the first question but I am also asking the second, in the course of things. There are some flights of the 747 that are relatively short, like in Japan from one major city to another that is about 100 to 300 miles away, and they are almost always full. A similar thing may happen in China as aviation expands there.

In other parts of this thread there have been many descriptions of what people do to ward off any boredom during cruise, many of them related to the flight, like looking up Encarta to find out information about the place they are flying over and the like.


09-25-2003, 07:20 PM
Peter Sydney Australia

09-25-2003, 07:50 PM
Got his answer today. The Old Master says that, even though there was considerably more to do in the 743's than the newer heavies, cruising is, indeed, boring. Straight from a guy who has thousands of hours doing it for real. Good enough for me.


09-25-2003, 08:03 PM
"I've" noted a severe "over-use" of "quotation marks" on this forum...
Gives me images of Dr. Evil making "finger quotations"

Now..just to keep my post "on topic"......

I love to travel the world in FS...Leaving from home in Little Rock, AR, I just arrived in Tokyo yesterday.
I use a smaller commercial liner or the default Lear and make 45min
up to two hour "short hops". I just cant stand to break the feeling of covering distance by increasing the sim rate on long hauls, so I set my auto pilot after reaching cruise, I let ATC go ahead and scream there lungs out until they cancel my clearance, then go do laundry or something.
Cruise is indeed quite boring...but hey, all long haul pilots have to leave the cockpit sometime! Whether they are going to the restroom, inspecting a wing or engine, or.....laundry.


09-25-2003, 11:08 PM
In real life on a long haul flight, there are multiple crews. They switch and one crew sleeps while the other flies. The place to ask exactly what really happens would be on the aerowinx forum, as the guys over there know a LOT about big iron (especially the 747). In PS1, most people will go to sleep and wake up in the morning and finish the flight.

As far as keeping busy during cruise, there is stuff you can do, but the systems are fairly autonomous. One thing that is important is checking the winds aloft and programming the FMC with new winds. In PS1 and real life, you can use ACARS to get destination weather well beforehand so you know what approach you'll get and other information.

I definately go with the boring crowd- yes, you can spend 15-20 minutes every couple hours re-programming your flight, but you could also leave it alone and as long as you have enough reserve gas you'll get there in one piece.

I like the cruise phase as I work from home, and I can generally work and fly at the same time without them interfering with each other.

09-25-2003, 11:15 PM
Many of my friends have been shaking thier heads for years.

What does this game do?
Why do you just sit there and fly?
When do you blow up stuff?
Why isn't there anybody to shoot at?
How come the planes are so slow?
This game just looks to easy?
This game can't be any fun?
Where does it show how many points you have?
How do you get points?
How can you play one game for 15 years?

And you think FS is boring at cruise, you should talk to some of these people.


09-26-2003, 12:31 PM
Whats really fun is to let them ask those questions, then insist that they give it a try...its very entertaining to watch them struggle.

09-26-2003, 03:25 PM
Another fun thing about FS using the long haul flights, if you have other resources to incorporate with this simulation.
I use actual Oceanic Charts with Airways info and GNC maps ( Global Navigational Chart ) when i'm flying across the Ocean.
I like to track my flight using these charts and apply that with the GPS on FS9. I make time measurement between waypoints, using scale ruler for that chart...things that real pilots use.
I've done a real time mode using FFX DC-10 flying from LAX to HNL (5 hrs flight )and almost stayed the entire flight in front of a PC for about five hours.
Also, you can validate the map texture sceneries that Microsoft used on FS9 and compare that on ATLAS well-detail map that shows rivers, lakes, coastlines and mountain ranges. You will be amazed on how exact the scenery compare to the map.

Kin M.

09-26-2003, 04:01 PM
It's amazing isn't it how many people spend $$$'s on Geforce this, Pentium that and end up with a multi- thousand dollar [font size ="20"]egg timer!!

09-26-2003, 04:45 PM
My twin brother was a QANTAS 747 Captain - most of his flights obviously were long ones from Oz. Yes - they were very boring in between take off and landing. VERY boring. He is now retired.

09-26-2003, 10:21 PM
Yes it is. I have done that many times. They freak out when trying to land with the sound cranked up and my constant running badgering about wrecking the plane, killing the passengers, quit jerking the yoke around etc. Many have come away with sweating palms, great fun. Their excuse is always "I could have done it if I hadn't been drinking so much, or if I would have brought my other pair of glasses".

09-27-2003, 10:38 AM
after 61 boring posts we can resume that:
according the majority of virtual pilots cruises definitly are boring.We suggest to all pilots in order do not sleep in front of their computers to make flights without cruise.
Fly for instance:Kennedy-La Guardia choosing for TO RWY 31R.In this manner after TO you are quite in long final for landing.
Don't choose high altitudes because somebody in the future may post that climbs&descents are boring to.
Hoping that the argument has been discussed enough and it should be
considered over.

09-28-2003, 12:25 AM
I also think that cruising on autopilot is quite boring. I love flying the smaller aircraft like the Cessna 172 or Piper Cub at lower altitudes and off of autopilot. I use VNC's to navigate and if you use dead reckoning navigation trust me it will keep you busy during cruise.

I run a small virtual airline and flying club that is based on the whole "autopilot" is boring thing. The VA is for bush flying in Canada in generally smaller aircraft, our biggest aircraft is the Dash 7, smallest is the Cessna 182. The flying club is for people who like flying General Aviation aircraft. If you are interested check out our website at http://www33.brinkster.com/ontarionorthern

09-28-2003, 02:35 AM
I got to this late but you hit my nerve with this comment:

"2. imagine what kind of passengers or cargo I am carrying, what their purpose is."

To me, that's what Flight Sim is lacking. If we could play the game in some sort of career mode, that would add a lot for many people. Let me get a job, have a purpose, gain points based on proper flying and hitting target times, etc. Rate my flight and then let me be promoted or demoted as a result, and so on.

I just know I would love to have a sense of purpose in this game. The lack of a sense of purpose is what gets me to shelve the game release after release far sooner than most (or maybe not).

I keep buying it because of the potential and as a toy to see how far they've taken it but that wears thin quickly and then I stop playing. I'm still here now reading about any new, great releases of things but I haven't actually flown in about 3 weeks and this could be the start of the shelving of FS9 for me after investing in MyTraffic, FSUIPC, FSGENESIS mesh and much more.

A sense of urgency would be wonderful without having to resort to joining some virtual online airline. Let me take on a job with my King Air and be told, "You must shuttle 6 business passengers to their meeting in Indianapolis from Philadelphia and then pick up 4 passengers in Indy and get them to Kansas City and be back in time to pick up the 6 passengers in Indy and return them to Philadelphia." That sort of thing.

It would also get me to see MUCH more of the FS world. I now mainly fly from Philly (KPHL) to select airports and that's about it. Why? Because I have no reason to fly anywhere else or from anywhere else? Why take off from some airport I don't even know exists and to go where? I think the game should provide that itinerary for me. Show me the world, large and small. Give me the mission and the direction.

Anyone else think something like this might help? But it also has to be more than a single "adventure".

09-28-2003, 05:29 AM
ALL cruise flight is boring.

Real cruise, sim cruise, if it is longer than say 2 hours, it is boring. Why do you think that they invented moving maps? Do we really need a moving map? Naw. Not with all the detail available, a plain old monochrome display works perfectly fine for positional awareness, and yet we have all the colors there, why? To kill time in the cruise.


I have yet to climb into the cockpit of any real airplane designed to fly legs longer than 2 hours that does not have some sort of reading material, illicit or otherwise stuffed in the map pockets, or between the seat and the center console...

Todd :-wave

09-28-2003, 09:31 AM
Dear Agrajag,
did you try the leg suggested in the post 62?It has been specially studyied to chase away the boredom due to cruise.Kennedy and La Guardia are not so far from philly.Try it.

09-28-2003, 10:58 AM
After scaning this thread I am struck by what seems to be a lack of imagination by many and wonder why they even bother with the sim in the first place.

I like flying to distant locations and often simulate real flights made by friends who travel. For instance, last year my brother-in-law took a job on Kwajaliem Atoll for a two year stint. He took his family with him. Flying Delta the 767's first leg was KMCO to KATL. Then Atlanta to San Francisco. Overnight layover and it was on to PHNL, Honolulu, all Delta 767's. Overnight layover, then Hickham to Buckholtz AAF on Kwajalien in a DC-8 ATI on government contract to supply Kwajalien Atoll.

Why bother? Well, the flight needs to meet many standards for it to be a success. I like to calculate fuel loads with a small reserve. There are no alternate airports available at many Pacific Islands. Navigation is a big part of Ocean flights.

Flights from London to the Middle East involve overflight rights and can influence the flight plan.

You do not have to stare at the screen continuously for hours to fly long distances. I usually do these flights on weekends when I can set the autopilot and go do yard work and the like. I check the sim occasionally and make adjustments.

Yes, staring at a screen is boring, so I don't do it on flights over about 2 hours. But, there are a lot of interesting complexities related to long distance flights. Use your imagination and then do other things until it's time to set up for the landing.

I hope negative opinions expressed don't cause developers to stop making those wonderful heavies.

One of the old flight planners used to have the option to meet scheduled departure/arrival times. The first officer would remark whether the flight got off on time or how many minutes late. Also cabin announcements could be made at times by attendants. I know a lot simmers don't give a wit about this, but it is of interest to others. I don't know of such a program for FS9.

One thing is for sure. Flight simulation appeals to a wide range of flight interests. I hope nothing happens to limit its appeal. I do my share of low 'n' slow, but 2-3 times a month I fly a long route in a heavy.

Regards, Al

09-28-2003, 10:59 AM
I say, get the 747 up to cruise altitude, go to sleep :-sleepy , wake up and attempt to land. u might need some extra coffee. :)
otherwise you could fly ga.(which has been the main topic of this thread)

09-28-2003, 12:10 PM
>Dear Agrajag,
>did you try the leg suggested in the post 62?It has been
>specially studyied to chase away the boredom due to
>cruise.Kennedy and La Guardia are not so far from philly.Try

It doesn't really address my concerns at all. First, I've flown from and to there but it's really no different than my flying from Philly to BWI (Baltimore/Washington). Plus, again, there's no compelling point to it.

09-29-2003, 02:48 PM
There was a response earlier about "what is the point.." and "career mode" and simulating what type of cargo you have.

Is this not the purpose of VA's? To give you schedules. To have a choice in what type of Aircraft you fly, regionals, heavys, cargo, stuff like that? For those who want more 'purpose' to why you fly, that is what I would look into to. Some offer specialized scenery for areas they serve. Special gates and things..

Also...the cabin announcememts and the FO are available with the new version of S-combo. I think it is payware now do to having to get the license for the module FSUIPC. I believe that is why alot of these old freeware products are becoming payware. Because they are having to pay for things they previously got free. Too bad someone couldn't create a freeware version of it.

09-29-2003, 05:05 PM
Well I first saw this post last night, and didn't have time to right a just response. I am one of those increasingly unpopular people who enjoys long flights. So far my longest flight was from KDTW (Detroit) to NRT (Tokyo). Let me put my reasons for liking this in order:

1. Long flights give me a great sense of accomplishment, eg. "wow, I'm in a whole new country faaar away from where I departed, I managed my fuel well and safely brought my passengers to their destination." Trust me, there is no feeling like hearing those wheels touch down after an 11 1/2 hour flight through storms, darkness, and after thousands of miles.

2. There is a free program called TCFMC. It was made for FS98, but works great in 2002. It is a guage that is easily installed in any panel, and it is basically a fuel calculator, Vspeed calcuator, and more for many different types of aircraft (you can select what plane you are flying when you first turn the guage on). Before takeoff you enter your zero fuel weight and it gives you your total weight (fuel+ZFW), flap settings, flap retraction speeds, Vspeeds, and then in cruise it gives you your optimum altitude for fuel efficency, then it gives you your flap settings and vspeeds for landing. This adds to the realism and joy of these long flights greatly.

3. When I get a better computer, and FS2004, I can't wait to download meljet's 777. Virtual cockpits and especially virtual cabins add to the fun of long flights. If you get bored, walk around the cabin! Look out the window from different passenger seats. Take pictures to show to friends, which brings me to my next topic:

4. Find a friend that is into flight simulator, and have them spend the night. For really long flights, we usually do them over night, and one person will do the takeoff and climb, then in an hour, the other person will take over and the first person can sleep for an hour, or get something to eat, watch tv, etc. Then keep having hour shifts, until it is time to land. Then, both pilots should be in the cockpit (at the computer screen) and the pilot that didn't take off gets to land.

5. Leave the computer. As others have said, go do some yardwork, watch tv, eat, or something. As long as you don't contact the next ATC center, they won't cancel your flight plan.

I am really suprised at the number of people who don't enjoy long flights. Also, take breaks between long flights. Explore the new city you have flown to in a bell 206, or a cessna. Have fun!

09-29-2003, 07:18 PM
Thats because most simmer hit the "autopilot everything" button when the wheels are 5 foot off the tarmac and keep it on until the last 10 seconds and then gleefully land the aircraft.

Boring? Yeah,flying like that would be ##### boring IMO. But...if your the one responsible for ALL the navigation from point A to point B it can be great.Turn off the GPS and all the automatic stuff and fly VOR to VOR,chase NDB's for 1200 miles,find and fly over airports all along the way.

Plot your course on a sectional and follow along knowing where your at all the time without a GPS screen spoon feeding the info to you. Use two OB radios tuned to two different VOR's and find your exact position on a sectional.

Like others have mentioned buy some good landclass and mesh. I did a flight a few months back from San Fran to Wichita,took nearly six hours. I loved it,I had a blast--and a few times I got up and "walked around the cabin" as it were.

The scenery does changed in these sims now. Its not like FS5 or 98 where all you see is endless farm textures.


09-29-2003, 07:36 PM
As I thought. ;-)

But, more importantly Doug, what did ya shoot that round? :-)

09-29-2003, 07:36 PM
For the long cruise portions I usually work on my homework. Unless I have to write a paper. After doing a very long flight of around 10 or 11 hours, I agree with bjpilot that there is a great sense of accomplishment. I love logging 10 hours in the logbook. The longest flight I've done so far was from Honolulu to Sydney. No I didn't do it all in one sitting. It took about a week for me to finally finish it. I did my homework or read during that flight. I also, only did a couple hours a day on it. The longest flight I've done in one sitting was about 5 hours. From SFO to Honolulu. Flight sim is more than just takeoff and landings. I sometimes also fly the Cessnas by hand, no autopilot, for hundreds of miles. I can only do that when I have the time though. Flightsim offers so much more than just takeoffs, landings, and long cruises.

09-29-2003, 08:44 PM
Me 78. Him 75. I'm $30 poorer (but still ahead for the year :-) .

09-29-2003, 08:48 PM
Remind me not to play with you guys...I am happy to break 100 :)

09-29-2003, 08:54 PM
Shoot far...I'd be happy if I had a 78 on the 14th hole.

Nice shootin'!! :-)

James, we should play some time. ;-)

09-29-2003, 10:25 PM
I've just started the practice of flying for hours using 'unaccelerated time', and am quite amazed at the 'stress-relieving' humming of the props and the endless expanse of clouds...

One question I have is for real life pilots. Apart from chatting with the copilot, can a pilot bring other 'entertainment' stuff on the trip? I'm thinking maybe an ipod, maybe a crossword puzzle or two, magazines, books etc. I can understand how flights under 2-3 hours one might not get the chance to do all this, but for those across the large oceans ones, what gives?

I was on a chartered 747-400 a few years ago, and walked up to the cockpit to have a look, there were zero business-class passengers and to my surprise the pilot was walking around outside, killing time. I asked him, "why on earth are you not at the controls, who's flying this thing?!" or something to that effect. He mumbled something about going back to check once we reach another checkpoint... He didn't allow me to go into the cockit though, darn!


09-29-2003, 11:22 PM
The FO is undoubtedly manning the cockpit while the captain is walking around... at least he should be :) No matter how boring, someone has to be in the cockpit (and it should be someone qualified). Don't know if they have other entertainment- probably. I know they like to pass pictures around, and read newspapers.