I'm starting this thread because I really want to focus on what's genuinely important to me: The Flight Characteristics of Default Aircraft in both FSX and X-Plane 10 and why it matters to me. There is already a discussion going on about which looks more pretty. I don't mind pretty. However, my first priority is the accuracy in normative characteristic behavior of the aircraft and making a final decision about which flight simulator will give me the best alternative to "real" aircraft flight characteristics.
I'm trying desperately to understand why the default Cessna 172 in FSX flies so poorly relative to the default Cessna 172 in X-Plane 10, which does seem to fly significantly better. Can anyone help me with that question?
I know how real aircraft are supposed to "feel." More importantly, I'm familiar with real Flight Control System Dynamics, Augmentation and Boosting. I understand the difference between hydraulic and pneumatic based flight control systems and the difference between mechanical and fly-by-wire. What I don't understand is why I have so much difficulty maintaining "realistic" control over the default FSX C-172 and have absolutely no difficulty whatsoever in maintaining control over the default X-Plane 10 C-172?
I am currently evaluating both flight simulator platforms to see which one I will ultimately stick with. That will determine where my money goes in terms of purchasing aircraft models and other types of add-ons. The main things I care about up front are making sure I decide on the flight simulator that offers the best (most accurate):
1) Flight Dynamics & Characteristics
2) Airport Navaids & Navadata
3) Aircraft Model Offerings with Accurate Avionics, Systems & Instruments
4) Integration with PilotEdge and/or VATSIM
5) Integration with TrackIR 5
6) Overall Instrument Procedures Simulation
7) G1000, or Prodigy Flight Deck 300 Simulation
8) Seneca or Duchess or Cessna 340/421/441, and King Air C90 or Super 200, and Phenom 300 Aircraft Models
As a distant number #9, I will deal with Scenery, Weather, Airports (look & feel) after I get the flight simulator platform, live ATC, aircraft models and airport navaids working properly and meeting my needs consistently. I don't need eye right away and I'm willing to sacrifice it for now, for these other more important requirements.
Right now, I've only recently installed both simulator platforms: FSX Deluxe and X-Plane 10 Global. I've taken flights around my home base in both default C-172 aircraft. I am temporarily using the track-ball of my Logitec TrackMan mouse, as the Yoke and all other aircraft controls go through my keyboard (for now). I will eventually be using a Saitek Yoke, Rudder Pedals and a TPM for singles and a Throttle Quadrant for twins. But, for now, I'm controlling the aircraft with the track-ball of my mouse.
X-Plane 10's default Cessna 172 is fairly well controlled using the track-ball. The aircraft's stability and dynamic behavior does a pretty good job of mimicking the C-172 that I'm familiar with and remember flying in the real world. The FSX default Cessna 172 on the other hand, is all over the sky. It has too long a period of lag in its initial aileron response and the increase in responsiveness relative to the distance of travel in the cursor using the track-ball, seems linearly incorrect. You are constantly "behind the roll-rate" with the FSX default C-172.
I can execute a fairly good coordinated turn throughout 60-degrees of bank and the necessary up-elevator input required to keep the nose on the horizon for a level turn seems just about right for a C-172. One very key observation is the returning of the flight controls back to neutral after initiating a turn requiring more than 30-degrees of bank or so. When returning the Yoke back to neutral in the X-Plane 10 default C-172, the roll rate stops and stabilizes pretty much where it should. Not so, in the FSX default C-172. That aircraft has a nasty tendency to keep rolling and requires moving the Yoke to a more than neutral opposing aileron position just to halt the roll. This is how I end up always fighting the lagging roll in the FSX default C-172 and ending up behind the aircraft in most cases. This also makes landing the aircraft on any kind of short final, on a turn from a relatively close base leg.
I'm not here to shoot down FSX, but I do need to make a decision based primarily on which flight simulator will give me the closest thing to "real" (for what its worth - we are talking about a computer, not a real airplane) world aircraft behavior. Right now, according to my evaluation and based on my computer equipment, X-Plane 10 is proving to be the better of the two in this category.
If anyone has any ideas on how to tighten-up and stabilize the characteristics of the default FSX Cessna 172, I'd really like to hear about HOW to get it done. Do I have to move up to third-party Aircraft Models in FSX, just to get better flight characteristics? Is is just the default aircraft that have the lessor flight dynamics quality? Is it fair to make a final decision about which flight simulator I will use, bases solely upon the flight characteristics of the default aircraft models?
I'll deal with bells and whistles later. Right now, I need the most true to form flight modeling that I can get from these two platforms, FSX and X-Plane 10. How do I go about doing that exactly? There is a very significant difference between both base model C-172 aircraft and the way they respond to control inputs while flying through the same airspace.
Thanks a bunch!