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Thread: Do you use the Sim as an educational experience?

  1. Cool Do you use the Sim as an educational experience?

    Besides learning the basics of aviation and if you have something like a PMDG aircraft, it's systems, I turn FS into a geological educational tool. I like to fly around the world. Mostly due to it being quite boring flying from one state to the next and back to your home base all the time. So I go around the world and make it a months long project. Along the way I learn about the countries I visit through Wikipedia and learn about the airports I visit. Then I go onto Google street view with this website and have a look around the country I landed at. In one instance, I think it was Latvia where I saw a New York Pizzeria on the street corner. Thought that was interesting. One thing I have learned is that damn near every single country has a McDonalds, Subway and a Starbucks. Especially the more westernized countries.

    I know this sounds like dorkified beyond dork, but I have learned a crap ton on where a great majority of countries are at. I remember when I crossed the Caspian Sea and just had to read about that on Wikipedia. If you don't know about it, it's worth the read. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caspian_Sea I have crossed that sea four times now.

    I've even learned about airports here in the states. Like at Louis Armstrong airport in New Orleans was where the first ILS was, and that at the Oakland airport in Californiastan was where Amelia Earhart took off from for her final flight. And Oakland at the time had the world's largest runway of some 7,000 feet if I can remember.


    So do you turn FS into a learning experience? If so, what have you learned?

    They say a mind is a terrible thing to waste and that you don't learn anything with video games. But FS would prove them wrong in a New York minute. LOL
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  2. #2

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    I'm just getting back into simming after a few years away, so I haven't done all that much "educational" stuff like you've described recently.

    But "back in the day", before my hiatus from FS, I had a running list of "things to do" - visit the Pyramids/Angkor Wat/Mt. Fuji/Macchu Picchu, etc., fly around in the Niagra Falls basin, see Victoria Falls in Africa, fly the length of the Grand Canyon below the rim, etc... The list never seemed to get any shorter as I'd always think of something new to do, someplace new to fly, some aspect of flying that I hadn't done/tried before. That meant I was always seeing new things which in itself is educational. After a while, my FS9 installation was all but unwieldy(sp?) - causing FS9 so long to start that I did the "batch file scenery library load thing" (used a batch file to load only continent/country-sized scenery areas where I was going to fly). Before each flight (or if I was planning ahead, after each flight), I'd search for and download freeware sceneries & afcads, update a spreadsheet detailing my "exploits" and then, as you mention, go do a little educational/Google research on the areas I was flying over, to and even from. Sometimes I'd find historical flights had occurred along the route, to the destination or to places "just off" the route which would make good diversions.

    6 round the world flights via 6 different routes in over 32 different aircraft kept things interesting.

    For a while, I was a "hangar whore" - I downloaded and flew/tried to fly countless different models of aircraft from blimps to the Wright Brothers stuff to the Concorde. My Warbird hangar was stuffed to the gills and you won't get me to admit how many times I upgraded my HDD just to store airport sceneries and aircraft, including having 3 different time-period-limited setups to choose from. If that's not educational, I'm not sure what is.

    Something I did that I haven't heard of anyone else doing except in real life: I took one of the "flyable" ships and sailed the length of the Mississippi River. It's something I have considered doing in real life but don't really think I'll ever do it. (The scenery along the banks of the River really aren't "up to it" in any version of FS...but people had done round-the-world flights, so I figured I'd try it just to see what it "looked like".) Otoh, I did pilot a ship from Miami to New York City staying within 5 miles of the coastline... Gave me a real appreciation of distance due to the limited speed [similar to the effect of my first coast-to-coast auto trip decades ago].) I did a similar naval expedition and sailed end-to-end in the Suez Canal and another sailing the entire length of the Panama Canal (though I had to learn land class creation to do the latter[never published what I came up with as I was never satisfied with it]).

    As I become more involved in my return to flight simming, I am equally amazed at what I have forgotten about "simming" and what I remember - installation methods, (former) favorite aircraft, locations, specific flights I had made, etc. Re-learning or re-doing a fair bit of all that, but in FSX this time around, will definitely be an educational experience.

    To be honest, just trying to learn various aspects of the FS environment is an education in itself. Think about how much pc knowledge is required at various levels, hardware/software interactions and bottlenecks (video card VRAM vs "regular ram" use, flight sim "cockpit" designs & creations, multi-monitor setups, FSUIPC connectivity, DX9 vs DX10...), learning how the elements of the FS world relate to each other (world grid/structure, mesh, land class, autogen, afcads/afcad design, aircraft design/texturing, scenery design...and on and on), multiplayer session connection possibilities (ex., FSX multiplayer or Vatsim)...

    I don't think it's unrealistic to say that the educational possibilities are nearly endless. For me, at least.

  3. #3

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    Thanks .....I think this is a great idea and something I will start to use in my flying experiences.

  4. #4
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    My educational interests are more toward the aircraft I fly. For example, one of my favorites is the C-133 Globemaster, predecessor to the C-141 and C-5. To prepare for my C-133 flights in FSX, I asked these questions: where did the C-133 fly, where was it based, what was a typical mission profile, what did it haul, what were its strengths and shortcomings as an aircraft? Education about the plane and applying that information, when I can, to planning flights makes it all more enjoyable to me.

    Enough time has passed since the end of the Cold War that lots of previously secret information has been made public, so facts and historical accounts about planes like the SR-71, U-2, SAC bombers, Soviet aircraft, etc. have been published, a treasure trove of sources for those of us who enjoy flightsimming military aircraft.
    Last edited by ftldave; 07-22-2018 at 11:57 AM. Reason: add txt

  5. #5
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    Default Geographic education

    Educational Experience? I affirm that description with a resounding "YES!"

    I don't recall having much interest in geography in grade school but it's the most fascinating subject for me currently and is also what drives most of my choices of flying location. I don't recall where in these forums I first read it but, to me, FSX/P3D really is a "World Simulator" that I can fly through. I haven't been everywhere yet but I'm working my way there every day nearly.

    Examples: when I retired in 2010, I joined a UK-based on-line flying group that met twice weekly to conduct ongoing tours somewhere. Initially it was across the US on one day and across Europe on the other. Afterwards, we flew nearly a year around the coastal regions of Australia, then Japan. We've flown the length of the Danube, the Columbia, the Mississippi rivers. We've flown extensively through the FTX regions of the western North America: the Olympic range, the Rockies, the Sierras. We spent just over a year following the Panamerican Highway from the artic to the southern end of South America.

    My current flight 'project' is built around random world locations (if there are airports reasonably nearby).
    Recent picks have taken us to Myanmar, Indonesia, Brasil, India, and Ukraine. Next flight is along the Orinoco in Venezuela. A random location can be generated here https://www.random.org/geographic-coordinates/ or here http://adamcadre.ac/content/earth.php (you don't have to do a journey in a boat if it selects 'wet' locations - there are many ocean locations created of course.)

    One problem in much of the non-US/European world is the poor resolution of the terrain - most of Asia, Africa and South America are at 300 meter quality vs 38m for US and 76m for UK. FreemeshX is my solution. http://ninetwopro.com/freemeshx/

    Then there's also the option to put a little photo terrain along your route to add to the immersion.
    The upcoming Orinoco flight is gonna look like this for me:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The folks at Digital Theme Park usually have one or more interesting tours going all the time; check em out on TS3 at ts3.digitalthemepark.com

    Happy touring!

    Loyd
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  6. #6

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    As others said .this sim can certainly be used for educational purposes .; Example . there are a lot of countries I never even heard of before I started this game.
    I like doing the missions. There is a guy named Don Ollson that has made a lot of tour missions,where he takes you to different cities and he takes you over all the different buildings and landmarks in those cities.
    There is another guy that has made a set of missions where he takes you on a tour of all the western states in the US . Very interesting and well done.
    Anyone interested visit this site https://fsxmissionshangar.com/.
    The guys name is Laserpoint490 . He is making 13 of these . He is nearly done , but all are available at the website
    This is an example https://fsxmissionshangar.com/node/1357

  7. Default

    Just want to make a correction. I said that KMSY had the first ILS, and I thought I read that at Wikipedia, but it appears maybe not. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instru...system#History
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  8. #8

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    Any one tried Google Earth Pro. You can fly over the path you designed without flying a plane. The picture quality should be excellent.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparky347 View Post
    As others said .this sim can certainly be used for educational purposes .; Example . there are a lot of countries I never even heard of before I started this game.
    I like doing the missions. There is a guy named Don Ollson that has made a lot of tour missions,where he takes you to different cities and he takes you over all the different buildings and landmarks in those cities.
    There is another guy that has made a set of missions where he takes you on a tour of all the western states in the US . Very interesting and well done.
    Anyone interested visit this site https://fsxmissionshangar.com/.
    The guys name is Laserpoint490 . He is making 13 of these . He is nearly done , but all are available at the website
    This is an example https://fsxmissionshangar.com/node/1357
    Thanks, sparky. I just finished #13 and I hope you enjoy it too.
    Laserpoint490

  10. #10

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    If I am flying low-n-slow with no particular place to go I load up FSDT's XPOI. It will highlight small towns, historical sites, mountain peaks... just about whatever you want. From there as I fly I will kick on Google and do some research/sightseeing as I fly about the place or location. A nice change of pace.

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