View Full Version : What Is this Fastination With Fake Airplanes?

02-13-2006, 12:01 AM
I have been a Flight Sim fanatic for a year now. Last Feb 2005 I started with the flying lessions and got my private pilots license in about 2 months (FS9-truly worked at it). I got restless and started out on my own with twin props, but couldn't pass the Commercial pilot checkride. Biggest problem was I couldn't keep in trim, plus multipe other small techincal errors. Got pissed off and eventually gave up. Anxious to move on. Kept flunking the friggen test.

Since then, one year later, I have learned alot on my own, thanks to the likes of you all and can fly the "big birds" with somewhat ease and have downloaded helicopters, military AC and environemental enhancements like BEV, Ultimate Terrain, Ultimate Night Environnment,Freeflow envivornoments, world textures, etc. I love this "game"? I love the time I spend flying all over the world in over 30 different aircraft, perfecting my skills. About 1/1/2 hrs a day.

I am an experienced boater... 32ft SeaRay, twin screws(the real thing). I can't say I love flying more than being on the water, I am a "Boater". What I want to know is what drives you??!!.. Why do you you fly simulated aircraft? Why are you so serious about it?

I am hooked, why are you?


02-13-2006, 05:34 AM
It's all I can afford.

02-13-2006, 08:58 AM
Cause I should have been a pilot...I'd have made a Great Fighter Pilot...he he

Truth is...that's really about it for me...I should have been a pilot...But I'm not...So this way I can Fly F-18's off carriers...and navigate MD-88's through the toughest of weather..ect..

Hat's off to all of you Professional Aviators!!

I am working on my PPL...But I know I will never make a living flying...Just gotta settle for building High Performance Jet Aircraft...It's Fun...But like the license plate frame says...I'd Rather Be Flying...

02-13-2006, 10:31 AM
Good question...

I was around it much of my childhood. My father was a pilot in the Air Force, and I still remember climbing in his T-28 North American trainer at the air base as a young kid, and fascinated my his flight helemet when he came home. He went on to fly the B25 Mitchell ans KC97 refeuler.

After he left the Air Force he continued to fly with business associates in both Cessna'a and Piper's, and I had the chance to go along during that time, even jumping in both the left and right seat over those years and 'take the yoke'.

I remember 'for family fun', we would go to the airport and watch planes land and take-off either at the end of the runway, or atop the old observation decks they had back then. My favorite airliner was the 'Connie', no doubt about it...but I also liked the DC-6's as well.

In other words, this stuff gets 'into' you, I saw the love my father had for flying, and it rubbed off on me.

For many reasons, I never pursued my license, but there was a time when my goal was to be a pilot 'when I grew up'; even memorizing the pilot radio alphabet at a young age.

I've though about going to flight school, (it has 'tugged' at me over the years), and may actually do it before I get too old, but stuff like family, mortgages, career, and saving for retirement always seem to take the forefront ;) Paying for lessons isn't really the issue, but dealing with the cost & time of flying after that. I know more than one person who has gone through the process but just do not have the time and expendable cash to stay 'current' and 'sharp', thus becoming something they 'once did'.

..So..FS is a way to feed that addiction and love I still have for flying. There is allot about FS that isn't like the real thing, but also allot that is,...at least enough to keep me coming back to FS on and off over the last 10 years.

02-13-2006, 10:40 AM
Two main things:

(But first a little of my background)I was a full time CFI (CFI, CFII, MEI) for quite a while. I got up to the ATP, but at that time you could not get on with the airlines without jet time (mid-80's) so I went back to my engineering backgorund, and now they pay me too well to give it up to go fly rubber dog sh!t for 18K a year. I pretty much gave up flying for a few years, just an hour or two every couple of months. So now my 9 year old daughter has the "flying bug" and wants me to teach her to fly. I gave up my CFI a few years ago (I, know, I know, stupid, stupid, stupid!).


1) I use FS9 to work on my Instrument "chops". I spend the vast majority of my time doing multiple approaches, in all weather conditions, with systems failures and mainly in light general aviation aircraft. I honestly think that FS9 is the best learning aid I have ever seen, especially for learning instrument procedures.

2) I am also an amature aviation history buff, and FS9 allows me to fly some of the most famous aircraft ever. (X-15, XB-70, F-104, B-58) Obviously I am mostly interested in 1950's and 60's flight test.

I have two goals this spring:

1) Get my CFI back

2) Get my Intrument Competency check.

I feel that FS9 will prove to be a great tool to help me achieve these goals.

02-13-2006, 12:36 PM
I like to fly the heavies because for 3 or 4 hours, I'm sitting there with headphones on and I can't hear my wife nagging.

02-13-2006, 12:58 PM
These are FAKE???? OMG! :-)

02-13-2006, 01:36 PM
I've been flying sim planes since SubLogic's Flightsim 2.0 on an Apple II computer. The biggest reason that I have stayed hooked is similar to what Chuck (Navav2004) said. I shoulda been a professional pilot (particularly a naval aviator) but it just wasn't in the cards for me. When I was trying to choose a career, I was wearing eyeglasses in the days before laser eye surgery and even the airlines were still wanting new hires to have good vision.....so, I ended up becoming a professional boat driver instead (merchant marine and then surface Navy).

Although the timing didn't seem to support me being a professional pilot, it has always remained in my blood (grandfather flew B-25's, my dad is a commercial pilot), so sim-flying is a way of trying to quench the thirst.

While I didn't get to pursue a career as a professional pilot, I do fly general aviation planes in the real world, but that gets pretty expensive if you want to fly alot. Sim-flying is sooooo much cheaper and you can fly airplanes that you could never in a million years afford to fly and maintain in the real world, not to mention the ability to fly rare planes or ones that don't even exist anymore or can only be found in museums. There's just something about being able to climb into the cockpit of a DC-6 even if it is only in a computer simulation and fly it somewhere....anywhere on a Saturday morning while the wife is still in bed......not to mention that I don't have to worry about TBO's on those four gas guzzling P&W R2800's or the premium it would take to insure the dang thing! That's what I love most about simming!

Anyway....that's my story.

02-13-2006, 01:38 PM
Many years ago I used to fly model R/C aircraft at a field in New Gloucester, Maine. One day a young man and his son showed up and watched us for a while. I made the mistake of introducing myself and asking the dad if his son was going to learn to fly. I was refering to model airplanes and his dad said, he sure is but he's not wasting his time and money on these play things. He's going to get a real pilots license. He mentioned that all of us should get a life. With that he walked off, his son tagging along behind him.
Never saw the guy again and now I'm glad I didn't since I have progressed all the way to where I am now, no model airplanes anymore and here I am sitting in front of a computer flying "Fake Airplanes". I wonder what he would say. Probably something about Get a Life!


02-13-2006, 02:38 PM
Hello, All,
I've enjoyed reading others' comments about this wonderful (and time-gobbling) hobby. To me, its diversity is amazing: everything from carrier-based fighters to long-haul heavies, unstructured entertainment to those who enjoy the structure of virtual airlines.
Me? I like to build old planes, either odd ones or those of historical importance. With the latter, it's good fun to replicate the historical flight (Louis Bleriot's cross-channel flight in his Type XI; Tony Janus's Tampa-St. Pete route in the first heavier-than-air regularly scheduled passenger service, Howard Hughes nudging the huge Spruce Goose off Long Beach Harbor, etc.).
My time is likely split 100:1 building:simflying, but no matter. It's still a great hobby.
Thanks for asking.
Dennis S

02-13-2006, 03:00 PM
being as i'm a commercial cleaner, i'll never get the chance to fly one of these things for real......so, heres my big chance!!!!


Jim Robinson
02-14-2006, 12:58 AM
Heh, heh... That's a funny story, Harold :)

I guess it's the same for me as anyone else, I'm a "has-been" private SEL, A&P, homebuilder, R/C builder/pilot, and the sim is a cheap & easy (heavy on the easy) way to stay "plugged in" to something that has fascinated me as long as I can remember - aviation.

Mainly though, I just like to mess with stuff, and FS is infinitely customizable. I enjoy painting textures, messing with panels, sceneries, XML, playing with all the add-ons, etc. I rarely produce anything other than a lot of wasted time, but I have a good time doing it. It seems like there's always something that I haven't messed with yet, so I suppose, until I've messed with everything, I'll remain an avid flight simmer.

That reminds me, does anyone know of a freeware "Avid Flyer"? I haven't messed with one of those yet... :)


02-14-2006, 07:19 PM
Gee - why do I fly? Well, had a Commercial Multi IFR ticket years ago. Had eye problems so couldn't get to the airlines. Eventually got much older and had a heart attack (1986) so RW flying was out. This way I get to still get the fun of flying, get to practice my IFR skills and MAINLY - if I make a mistake, I just reload the flight rather than kiss my fanny goodbye.

Really good question and some really good answers!


02-14-2006, 08:43 PM
Same story here,

I always liked the airliners since I was a kid. I am 54 now. I wanted to be an airline pilot, but the VietNam war put a kink in that for me. I was discharged in '73 and I needed to earn money so I went to work.

I used to go under the approach strobes for 14R at O'hare, can't do that today or they'll take you away.

I used to take my boys when they were young and they got hooked on the planes as well.

We would sit out on the patio in the summer ( we're close to were they intercept the ILS for 9L at O'hare) and try to guess what aircraft it was just listening to the engines. We were close 80% of the time, the MD 80's and the 727's always threw us off.

Anyway it was always in my blood and I either had the time and not the money or vice versa to get a pilot's license.

When I got my first computer in '96, I went out and got FS 95.
That was like winning the lottery for me. I was able to finally figure out how to download and install planes, panels and I was in Heaven.

I got every version of FS that came out. I even went and got new computers to run the more demanding versions, fs2000, remeber that beast?

My girlfreind even used to make fun at me saying, Why do I get so serious about flying planes that arn't even real? Well to me they were real and I think as long as I can see, I won't give this up no matter how old I get.


02-14-2006, 11:16 PM
I'd never used a civilian flight simulator until FS2002 and I was absolutely floored by the depth and complexity of the sim.
I agree with what everyone else has said, but there is one other aspect that hasn't been mentioned.
I'm someone who can fly across the continent and never take my face away from the window looking at the country scroll past beneath.
FS lets me 'visit' parts of the world I'll never see. My "Eureka" moment of FS remains the time I 'flew' a C182 into Gibraltar and landed just as the sun was coming up over the Mediterranean. I may have been sitting at a computer in my basement, but I could almost feel the heat of the sun and the excitement of visiting an exotic locale.

02-15-2006, 08:31 AM

You just brought up an outstanding point that I had overlooked. The more realistic the FS world gets, the more fun it is to just go out and explore the world without paying an arm or a leg. I can't tell you how many times I've been cooped up in a house surrounded by snow on the east coast and loaded up a flight from SFO to Honolulu, put on some Hawaiian steel guitar in the background and experienced flight simming bliss.

So many planes.....so many places...


02-15-2006, 12:00 PM
>So many planes.....so many places...
...so little time!

02-15-2006, 05:46 PM
Interesting responses.....here's my reason(s):

Ever since I bought my first home computer, I couldn't wait to do some "desktop flying". My first-ever sim was Pro Pilot 99. Then, I moved up to Flight Unlimited 3. At that time, it was all my computer could play. (integrated video card,966 mhz,128 ram,etc) After purchasing my current system 3 years later, I just HAD to go to FS2002,to see why Microsoft was starting to rule the flightsim market. What a difference!!!! No disrespect to the other,now defunct companies, but I quickly stuck w/ Microsoft afterwards.
Oh, and in real life,I've never flown a plane at any time.While I was in the Navy, I'd always dream that I was an F-14 pilot,taking off and landing on carriers during the Gulf War 1991....lol....this makes that dream "somewhat" come true,as well as becoming a captain of a 747,etc. So for me, it's just the fantasy of the whole thing that keeps me addicted.

02-16-2006, 08:52 AM
It all started when I was 15 years old. I had just got my first computer. I was in Virgin Megastore and saw FS95 I thought, ah sure il give it a go! I thought it was so amazing! Learning how to navigate was my big problem. This whole area of aircraft interested me so much. I too wanted to be a pilot. I took a few flying lessons during my last year in school. It was a great experience but I just knew it wasnt really for me. Based on my interest of aircraft I went to university to study a degree in aeronautical engineering. Once I graduated I got contract in developing flight simulation systems. A lot of the work was with FS2004 and integrating hardware and software. As I was still big into flight sims this was the best job ever!! I have now completed that contract, to be honest I dont think il ever use MSFS again for fun. I think I was over exposed to flight sims. I still have an interest but only for career reasons. Maybe when im an old man I might get back into it! Im now on another contract working with automotive technology. I might turn into a motor head! I doubt it though! I want to try and get a permanent postion, contracts are ok but i like the idea of having long period income. Anyway thats my flight sim story.

02-16-2006, 03:22 PM
Great topic, love to read it!!!

I've never had much to do with aviation. I have no father being a pilot, no uncle being controller. Never thought of taking up a flying career myself. Aircraft went by rather unnoticed.
But one day a guy living next door showed me this nice programm, "it simulates real flight, you can fly inverted under the Golden Gate Bridge", that sort of stuff... Judging by the graphics, that must have been FS4. For some days I visited the guy an tried to fly inverted under the Golden Gate Bridge, but then he needed to do some stuff on his own computer. So I more or less forgot about it.
Did I?
Years later, I saw a low price copy of FS98 and bought it, remembering the old game. This was something like an eye opener. As FS2002 hit the market, I upgraded, and so I did with FS9.
And now? I'm flying FS because I'm fascinated with the world of aviation. Because one is able to do things that are not possible in real life like flying inverted under ... - you get the picture. And because I find it very relaxing to just fly around in the DF Archer and look at the scenery.
At the moment, I'm reading a lot about the handling of Pratt an Whitney R1830-94 engines, and try them out in "Navy 819". Why? Just for the fun of it. I'm not really hoping or expecting to do anything even remotely useful with my modest aviation knowledge. It's just fun.

And besides, I like to keep on messing around with my computer, the sim itself, various downloads etc.



Artificial flight may be defined as that form of aviation in which a man flies at will in any direction, by means of an apparatus attached to his body, the use of which requires dexterity of the user."
Otto Lilienthal

02-16-2006, 03:42 PM
Finally decided to jump in this pool...
My father flew with Pan Am in the 50's & 60's, then flew in the military, so a boy in the late 60's, and living near KORD, I was facinated with planes. I wrote to every airline asking for "free stuff", and within 2 weeks my walls were covered with pictures of the early jets from UAL, AAL, DAL, COA, Northwest Orient, Eastern, Ozark, Braniff, Allegany, Flying Tigers, on & on & on...
I was lucky enough to live on the 22R outer marker for KORD, so I was always looking out my bedroom window, or sitting outside watching approaches & departures. Also, during that time, as things were really cooking in Southeast Asia, Glenview Naval Airbase was VERY active, and I saw tones of military jets screaming around, lots of Huey's (my dad did tours in those too), and the sonic BOOM of the sound barrier busting was a common occurance.
As I got older, also took a large interest in trains (model, N Gauge) so was into that for a bit.
It was not until i got my firt computer in 1996 that I got really heavily back into planes. A friend gave me a copy of FS5 and from there it spawned. Now I have every add-on in the world :P, built my last pc just for gaming (and I learned more about pc's through this hobby too), and sim about 14-18 hours a week.
Also, still living near KORD (09R/L outer markers) my wife and I always go spotting at KORD, or nearby with the scanner blarring away. In fact my scanner is with me in my truck no matter where I'm driving!!! :P

love it to death, always will....I keep wondering how cool it will be in another 10 years!!!!

Neil :7

02-16-2006, 04:33 PM
When I was a child I was insanely jealous of friends who had been on holidays which involved going on a plane. I was desperate to know what it was like to be up in the sky. Eventually I got to fly from Gatwick to Corfu aboard a 727 when I was 10, and it was a magical experience looking out of the window at the top of the clouds. A couple of years later when the Sinclair Spectrum was popular, I acquired my first flight simulator program (this was in 1984) which I played with constantly. I relished any opportunity to get on an airliner, though I never had any ambition to actually pilot a plane.
I got FS 98 for the PC and with that I began to try to learn how a pilot would actually fly a plane for real, but sadly the information included with the program about VORs, ILS etc was hideously unclear if you were new to it and the built in flying lessons were frankly rubbish. Only when I finally upgraded to a new computer last year was I able to install the latest software and I was blown away. It's now made me actually want to go out and learn to fly a plane for real - the only thing that stops me is the cost.

02-16-2006, 04:48 PM
I'm not really hooked to FS, I'm really addicted to real world aviation, I do some FS on the weekends when I won't be flying for the next couple days. I am into boating in real life as well, I hope to own my own boat someday (nice boat btw). FS is really just passing the time untill I can start to work towards my ATP in real life.

02-17-2006, 11:10 AM
A guy I was working with back in about the mid 90s wanted to be a pilot. He was just out of high school (I was only about two years older.) And he was working towards his PPL. I've got a good story about him.* Anyways, he talked about planes and aviation and blah blah blah all the time.

Then another guy started working there that we were talking to, and he lent me a copy of Chuck Yeager's Air Combat which I for a little while. I flew it for a little bit, then moved up to FS-5.1.

That version of the sim didn't have a world map or anything, just a few charts in the manual (yes, it came with a detailed manual.) So I kind of came up with my own method of navigating, by flying from one city to the next.

Anyways, eventually the old 486 was replaced by a more powerful PC, so I flew FS98 for the last few months before FS-2000 came out, and have used each new version since.

I've been creating scenery since the FS-98 days, and with FS-2004 started with aircraft as well.

*Here's the story, names have been left the same since I doubt they're reading. I had asked Bonnie if she had any plans for the long weekend that was coming up in a few weeks. She said she was going to visit her mother, Roland was going to fly her there, and she'd pay him. Roland was the plane nut who had just gotten his license, this was a huge deal to him.

So the day before the long weekend I said to Bonnie, "Enjoy your visit with your Mother."

"I;m not going." Bonnie said.

"Why is that?"

Turns out...Roland had been so excited about this, and then he had booked the plane for the wrong weekend!

02-21-2006, 03:05 PM
I also got a Commercial license with Multi-engine and Instrument ratings years ago, but my timing was lousy. It was at one of the lowest points in general aviation history (late 1970s/early 80s): airline jobs were out of the question unless you had a college degree and an ATP rating AND were under 30 --- none of which were true for me. CFI jobs paid peanuts (still do) and even local charter work was impossible to get.

I flew on and off for years, all single-engine VFR and damned little of it, then quit for 9 years. I tried going back but had lost the skills I once had. I've quit again --- it's gotten too expensive.

So, I fly virtual airplanes. I did an around the world flight a few years back in a sweet Lancair IV-P. Now I fly a Legacy and the occasional warbird. They're all fun but actually harder to fly than real airplanes, I think.

02-22-2006, 04:54 PM
I got here from a different angle. When I was young, I was very interested in computers. Now, this was way back before it was common to have a computer in the house. Fairly quickly, an interest in computers turned into an interest in computer games. Even through the graphics were crude, I was amazed at what could be simulated on a PC.

One of my very first "flight simulators" was some sort of helicopter game (IIRC made by Sierra). If I had to guess, I'd say maybe around the late '80s or so? From there, it was the great F-15 Strike Eagle sim by Microprose. At that stage, I mostly stuck with combat sims, although I usually picked up the general sims eventually. The first non-combat game to hold my interest was Chuck Yeager's Advanced Flight Trainer. I'm sure there are people out there who remember it...

I eventually picked up MSFS around maybe 3-4? I played it now and again, but it never really held my interest for a really long time. I skipped over all of the versions until finally I picked up FS98. From here, my interest exploded. At this point I became very interested in aviation and Flightsim. I've played every version since. And the rest is history...

02-22-2006, 05:49 PM
Im only 16 and ive been fascinated with flight since i was two young to remember but since i cant fly yet, i jsut work at getting into the navak academy and in my free time i paly and do the extracurriculars so i can be competitive to get into the school. I jsut fly with the sim to fantasize about what ill be doin in a couple years hopefully

02-22-2006, 08:47 PM
Yo Flyhigh,

The reasons are many; here's one:

Our tax dollars buy 'em, a chosen few get to fly 'em,

And then they roast in a slow open air oven out at Davis-Monthan.

This sim is as close as most of us will ever get to our investment.

Happy Contrails,


05-01-2007, 02:00 AM
My first interest in planes started in the early 70's. My dad was a Marine and he would take us on base to the air shows and stuff. I remember sticking my head into the intake of a Harrier and checking out a Bronco. I had planned my own flight sim way back then by taking a box and rolls of clear plastic and painting clouds on them and then attaching a mechanism to roll the plastic out while i peared thru a hole I would cut in one end of the box and watch the clouds go by while imagined flying a real plane. I never got around to making it though. I used to wonder out to the landfill that was out in woods close to where we lived and I found three military maintenance books tossed away. One had pages listed as confidential and I gave it to my dad and he took it to the base with him the next day. One of the others had confidential pages in it, but they had been ripped out. The pages were serated so they could be cleanly taken out. I still have those two books to this day. I tried to get into helicopters while in the Army, but I had glasses. I was a meteorologist while in sevice at Holloman AFB. I remember the sounds of the F-4's as they flew over. It was quite impressive. With the purchase of my first computer I also had to get some games for it. I think it was the F-15 Strike Eagle game mentioned earlier. My computer monitor only supported four colors, but I didn't care. I was finally flying. Later on I got an F-14 Tomcat Fleet Defender game which I still have. I bought FS9 maybe two years ago and then bought one for my brother so we could fly together, which we didn't do very often. I hated the fact the ATC didn't work in the networked games. He bought me FSX. I don't hardly play it as my computer just doesn't have the horse power to give the detail I want. In FS9 I have everything cranked up.

I want to learn to fly, but I have physical issues that prevent me from becoming a pilot. So I am a Flight Sim pilot. I enjoy creating a flight environment as real as I can get it. I am constantly adding AI aircraft and afcad's for military airfields I come across.

I have flown around the world in a B-58 bomber. I actually raced my brother who was using a DC-3, but with the game speed turned up. I still beat him though as he kept running out of fuel too quick and had to start over from his last save point. I flew around the world again in an A-6.

My favorite aircraft was the P-38 Lightning. I'll evetually fly it around the world too. It doesn't get the respect it deserves from historians. They say the Zero was too easy a target and that's why the P-38 pilots had the leading Aces of WWII. The Zero was the prominent dogfighter of WWII. The P-38 was the perfect aircraft for exploiting one of it's weaknesses; the lack of self sealing tanks. With it's guns close to the center point of the aircraft it was the sniper of air. The P-51 Mustang wasn't much of a plane untill it got a major overhaul with the Merlin engines and them aerodynamic wings. Of course it was perfect for it's role as an escort plane defending the bombers. In todays military strategy, the versatility of aircraft is more important than it's strength's in just one area. The P-38 was a successful air to air and air to ground aircraft. The P-51 wasn't as successful in ground attacks. Oops, sorry got carried away there. Nuff said, sorry.


05-02-2007, 03:44 AM
There's no violence in it.

05-02-2007, 04:38 AM

P-38: To counter the dangers of transonic shock waves, P-38's had the nifty innovation of speed brakes. They could have been faster with thinner wings but they opted for greater range instead w/ thicker wings. During transonic flight, shock waves would focus themselves smack in the middle of that wide horizontal stabilizer, and a number of P-38's were lost when those horizontal stabilizers would break up in flight.

P-51: It's a shame that the P-51 could not reach its' full design potential. What it needed to be was a lightweight H model, but with the huge Griffon engine instead of the Merlin. Griffons in P-51's have proven themselves to be a great combination in Reno racers. An interesting crucial design feature was that they needed UPLOCKS for their main landing gears, because the original models that had not had them designed in yet, had their gear(s) get pulled out into the fast airstream during high g turns. I know of at least one P-51 lost during WWII due to this problem, so they designed in uplocks to positively hold the landing gears up and out of the airstream at all times. Flying at 300-350 knots while having a landing gear drop down due to g forces would put such a high stress load on the plane that would result in catastrophic structural failure and the plane would break up in mid-air.

My Dad made me his co-pilot/"autopilot" to hold the plane on course during long cross country flights, and from 8 to 10 years old I flew about 50 hours. Unfortunately my parents divorced so that was the end of flying. So I was major frustrated my entire life over the disire to be a pilot. I remember seeing the box cover of an ancient MS Flight Simulator many years ago, and I thought, if I could just get my own simulator I could get my license a lot easier. Unfortunately I had one employer after another that either ripped me off, or gave me the boot every time I was on the verge of reaching some of my goals. Finally about three years ago I lucked out with my first Flight Sim capable computer, and right away started flying extremely long hours to address my flight frustrations, and develop my skills.

Now tonight, for the first time ever for me, I'm flying SEVEN flight simulators simultaneously--hee haa! I'm flying all 747-400's, completing various stages of a number of flights around the world. So far I have completed 337 flights around the world, and I'm trying to reach 20,000 hours of simulated flight time. I haven't added my hours for about 11 months. I'm guessing that maybe I'm at about 15,000 hours so far possibly. But that's an extremely rough estimate. I've broken two joysticks in the effort. So what am I going to do when I reach 20,000 hours? Rest on my laurels of course!! Until of course some whipper snapper comes along and completes 21,000. Then...it'll be war...and the smell of digital kerosene will be in the air, and my fake flight attendants will be announcing our departure into the wild digital blue yonder and even more hours...and the Twilight Zone!! Hee hee haa haa!

I echo the poster above, what, this is fake??

I have worked so much on my hardware, over the past 12 months or so, I may have spent a solid four months doing nothing but working on my hardware. But it was worth it because my sims are working great, perhaps half of them have dramatically improved in performance.

I also fly my sims because they are slightly cheaper than the real thing. Back around the time when I only had a mere 10,000 hours, I inquired and was invited to attend a highly respected pilot factory. I'd like to go there, but just one problem, it costs $85,000 for one year. That's even more than a cutting edge flight sim computer!! So I light those digital engines instead, and loft my heavies into those beautiful Microsoft skies, until I can figure out how the heck to pay for the pilot factory. Some of my buddies here on this forum have told me not to pay for so much training, and they have a good point, but if I can I might try a graduated approach. I might send my resume out to airlines right now, and see if they would train me from point zero, or might get some real plane hours/certificates and apply again, then if I find a way to pay for the pilot factory program, I might go for it, and try hard to find a job afterwards to pay for all that education. Current airline salaries are not encouraging at all, if I were a United Captain how the heck will I be able to afford MS FS 11 and the "Colossus: Forban Project" computer to run it??

05-02-2007, 12:57 PM
This appears to be the sister post to the forum post I initiated a little while back inquiring why real world pilots flew flight simulators. Now the rest of us get to tell our stories. Good post Flyhigh.

It is interesting to read how and why each of us got to this point. You could almost make a book out of it all.

Myself, I had a father who was a private pilot and an air traffic controller. Seemed he could always get me into any new aircraft that came along (touring and sometimes a flight). Flew in the first Pan Am 747 prior to its delivery, it had no seats in it yet.

We hit airshows, (sometimes he'd fly me there). I was the four year old standing on the hood of the car, at the end of the runway, with my Dad, watching every plane take off and land. At that tender age, I could name everything in the sky. This was 1959/60.

I built models of aircraft when young. Read up on all aircraft when I was older and grew up in Tucson, AZ near the boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB. Always had a dream of buying one of the few PBY's or S-2 Trackers that sat baking in the sun, and turning them into my own private aircraft.

Flew as a Naval Search & Rescue Aircrewman in helos and have (aircrew) flight time in many different aircraft.

My forte now is military aircraft, from all periods, especially WWII.

About 10 years ago I got into computers and have kept slightly ahead of the curve since. Never saw any flight sim software until I noticed MSFS 2004 COF on a Best Buy shelf. That was 2 years ago. One computer upgrade later and my Dad and I are are flying it together and it has brought us back full circle to our aviation roots.

The cost of real flight has been prohibitive for me. FS9 satisfies every itch I have regarding aircrat flight. Most all the reasons have been mentioned already.

What amazes me even more about FS9 is the ability one has to branch out into so many other areas that pertain to the flight sim experience. I speak of the design aspects (scenery, aircraft. etc.) the aviation art aspect of great screen shots and the quantum leaps that have been made in the making of flight sim videos. Some truly amazing stuff has been created here, and all for the love of avaition/flight.

Most of what I have added to my FS9 is freeware. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all who have dedicated themselves, unselfishly, to the creation of all freeware, so that we may have the most realistic experience possible, and fulfill our own love of flight.

Steve Woodman

05-02-2007, 02:28 PM
I second that, thank you to all freeware developers, my FS9 computer only has 1.7 gb's of free disk space because it is overstuffed with freeware aircraft and some scenery. These files have greatly enriched my life. Too many great files to mention, but I'd like to especially thank Mike Stone, his Gulfstream 5 is one of my favorites, and what would I do without his C5 Galaxy?? And his Constellations are beautiful also. I think I have several of his Learjets.

Also Rob Young with his great V88 planes I still rack up big hours on, and his FS7 F104G, and FS 7, 8, 9 Falcon 50.

The work the freeware developers have done boggles the mind, thanks to all you very talented people.

Time to land at Area 51, down below is a photo of my 747-433 Air Canada plane overflying Area 51. I don't have the name of this developer handy but he did a great job on the Area 51 scenery in the screenshot, perhaps I'll look through my files and find his/her name. But, now we know the truth about Air Canada! Their mysterious flights to Area 51! (A la X-Files: ) I always thought that their white paint was always a little, too white, if you know what I mean. And their airline almonds were just a little, too good, now things are becoming more clear! Air Canada is actually operated by AAAAAALLLLIENSSS based at Area 51!!!! I knew it I just knew it!

And of course there are the POSKY's, perhaps 80 to 90% of my flights have been in POSKY 747's.


Gimli Glider
05-02-2007, 06:09 PM
I fly FS to get my flying fix. I fly in 'real life', but don't get to the airport often enough for my liking...

My first airplane was one of those cheap styrofoam things when I was a year-ish old. I think my first sim was FS95...



05-03-2007, 11:01 AM
You can walk away from any landing. ;)

05-09-2007, 09:09 AM
With any spare change I made or came across, I went up to the local dime store and spent it on those (Skeeter?) balsa airplanes that had the wind up, rubberband powered, props. Flew them all day long.

05-09-2007, 02:56 PM
Wow! You sound a lot like me. Except that I was in the USAF and became a licensed aircraft mechanic during that time. I love airplanes and volenteer at the EAA in Oshkosh WI on Saturdays. Two weeks ago they took me for a ride on the EAA Ford Trimoter during pilot training.
I'm now in my mid fourtys and within a couple years it will just be my wife and I. She is now finishing her degree and hopefully will increase our household income by a lot. I have already told her that at that time I plan to buy a sport plane and get my license. I use FS9 as a learning tool for when that time comes. FS9 helps to build my hopes and dreams for the day when I have my own plane.
I'm on FS9 about 2 hours per day.

05-09-2007, 10:10 PM

Exactly what I did.