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Newbie Simmer wanting to choose first flight hardware and software - PC purchased


Maz

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Hi all

I am looking to fly again after a considerable time being poor. I am still not rich enough for RW flying but once held a FAA commercial (in the days it was 300hrs) AMEL, ASEL, INSTA. I also have another 150 hrs including a lapsed instructor rating in UK gliders. Total hrs ~500. I have always wanted to fly a helicopter and a seaplane; both fell through at the time due to bad flight school or location.

 

I am not sure which software platform to pick or what hardware to purchase at a moderate price.

Most of my flying was carried out in mid-Florida or England although I did a solo trip from Florida to Cal City via the winter southern route to celebrate my PPL in a rented Piper 140. I have flown a quite a few small SEL/MEL GA aircraft, Piper cub, Piper 140, Citabria, C152/172, Taylorcraft etc., some complex, and owned and flew a 1945 Auster in the UK; Taildragger training was carried out in Maryland. Gliders were all European, single and dual, ASW, Grob & Puchaz manufacturers some with retractable gear; winch and aerotow launch.

I have flown into Orlando INT solo in a C172 under full IFR with SIDs & STARs a couple of times but most flying has been VFR and all below 12,000'.

I also have >1000 skydives.

 

What I want from the sim. 

To rerun through PPL/IFR syllabus

To relearn IFR procedures and practice for GA aircraft.
To recreate my flights in the southern and north-eastern US/UK mostly under VFR.

To soar gliders.

To learn to fly a DC3. I have over 100hrs sitting in the back of one but never landed in one 🙂

To learn to fly a helicopter up to a BELL Ranger including a Vietnam-era Huey.

To fly some familiar aircraft and perhaps a Boeing 737 as I have a couple of hours in a 737 commercial simulator.

 

What are your best suggestions for an initial setup? I will be restricted to a single 24" screen to start with. I may get the THRUSTMASTER T.16000M FCS Hotas Joystick & Throttle Bundle as a first pass. My PC has i7 14700K 3.4/5.6GHz 33MB cache and 32GB DDR5, 1T SSD and a 4060Ti 16GB.

Many thanks

Maz

 

 

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There's no clear answer to this question, one that gets asked regularly.

 

The two main sims offered for sale these days are:

 

Microsoft Flight Simulator (aka MSFS 2020)

X-Plane (v12 is the current, but people frequently still use v11)

 

Either of these can do most or all of what you want and should run on your computer. You should expect to buy add-ons to achieve some of the things you want (i.e., adding certain airplanes).

 

Others will have different opinions. There is an open source option called FlightGear that you can use for free. People are still using Microsoft FSX (circa 2006) and FS2004 (circa 2003) as well.

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Welcome to the forum. Under Real Aviation Profiles below you'll find information about a number of members here who are real world pilots -- perhaps you could add yours.

 

Nels has good information above, and you certainly can ask questions here to get help with whatever sim you choose or whatever you need to know/brush up on, keeping in mind that in some respects (as I'm sure you well know) the U.S. and the U.K have considerably differences in their operations, in addition to all the ways they are similar, and the sims tend to reflect U.S. rules.

 

Larry N.

As Skylab would say:

Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

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4 hours ago, lnuss said:

Welcome to the forum. Under Real Aviation Profiles below you'll find information about a number of members here who are real world pilots -- perhaps you could add yours.

 

Nels has good information above, and you certainly can ask questions here to get help with whatever sim you choose or whatever you need to know/brush up on, keeping in mind that in some respects (as I'm sure you well know) the U.S. and the U.K have considerably differences in their operations, in addition to all the ways they are similar, and the sims tend to reflect U.S. rules.

Good advice.  But as a RW fixed and rotary wing pilot, I'd also suggest you consider P3D among your options.  I'm among many RW pilots that find P3D suits our needs the best.

 

Whichever sim you choose to fly Welcome Aboard!  And BTW, you really don't need to just focus on one sim. Different sims have different attributes.  But once again, Welcome Aboard!

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Being an old chopper guy I usually fly low and slow.
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43 minutes ago, Rupert said:

Whichever sim you choose to fly Welcome Aboard!

You have asked the question of the ages, and even a brief perusal of the numerous forum entries will show that there is no clear answer.

I personally use FSX, and it meets "my" needs (familiarity with program, scenery creation, aircraft repainting).

However, if I were starting in the sim world, I too would use either the latest MSFS (especially for VFR realism), X-Plane (next closest for VFR) or P3D (possibly a good middle ground IFR/VFR).

There are many satisfied simmers on this site using almost any sim variant imaginable, and as long as it meets their needs, they are extremely satisfied and have zero intentions of moving to another sim version.

So when you do make the decision, stick with that version and learn to make it do everything you need it to do.

Should you feel that you have outgrown that sim in a few years, or it no longer meets your needs, the simming skills you learned will make any future change an easier transition.

And remember, Have Fun!

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Always Aviate, then Navigate, then Communicate. And never be low on Fuel, Altitude, Airspeed, or Ideas.

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Laptop, Intel Core i7 CPU 1.80GHz 2.30 GHz, 8GB RAM, 64-bit, NVIDIA GeoForce MX 130, Extra large coffee-black.

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Long as you realize and accept the 'obvious' RW omissions then any current Platform on the market will allow you to achieve the goals you set forth in your initial post.

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"I created the Little Black Book to keep myself from getting killed..." -- Captain Elrey Borge Jeppesen

AMD 1.9GB/8GB RAM/AMD VISION 1GB GPU/500 GB HDD/WIN 7 PRO 64/FS9 CFS CFS2

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To all that replied to my question, many thanks for your time; Nels_Anderson, Larry N, RupertPhrogPhlyer & ViperPilot2.

 

I did do a fair amount of research and thought I might be missing something. That is true, I never came across P3D. Now I've had a brief look at it, I'm still leaning towards XP12. I'd heard that XP11 was a bit agricultural compared to FSX and P3D, but I don't know how MSFS24 will fair against XP12. I think I would like decent ground features like transmission lines to follow etc.

How about the Thrustmaster 1600? Is that a good starter package, the joystick and throttle are pretty cheap (£109) with the same price again for the rudder (£99). I'd prefer to go somewhere and try out a few options but it seems all the vendors only work online.

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How about the Thrustmaster 1600? Is that a good starter package, the joystick and throttle are pretty cheap (£109) with the same price again for the rudder (£99). I'd prefer to go somewhere and try out a few options but it seems all the vendors only work online.

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