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Thread: Article: A Small Beginners Guide to Flight Simulation

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 1996
    FlightSim.Com World HQ
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    Default Article: A Small Beginners Guide to Flight Simulation

  2. #2


    Very nice Paul.

    My contribution: BGL file format seen in sceneries.

    BGL is the file format used by Microsoft Flight Simulator to store scenery. It uses the .bgl file extension. BGL stands for BAO Graphical Language, where BAO stands for Bruce Artwick Organisation who was the original creator of the Flight Simulator series.


  3. #3


    Well done Paul. A very well thought out Guide indeed.
    If I may add:

    Pedals - a hardware add-on to control the rudder of aircraft.

    Joystick - popular handheld controller, with a twist grip, to simulate rudder movement

    FS2004 (also known as FS9) released in 2003 - was shipped with several historical aircraft such as the Wright Flyer, Ford Tri-Motor, and the Douglas DC-3 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first flight.

    FSX released in 2006 - Microsoft Flight Simulator X is the most recent version of Microsoft Flight Simulator. It includes a graphics engine upgrade and compatibility with preview DirectX 10 and Windows Vista. It was released on October 17, 2006, in North America.

    FSX:SE (Steam Edition) On December 18, 2014, Dovetail Games released Flight Simulator X on Steam titled Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition. It includes content that was provided with the original FSX: Gold Edition which includes FSX: Deluxe Edition, the Acceleration expansion pack and both official Service Packs and repackages them in one bundle and a single installation.

    Microsoft Flight Simulator (MSFS)
    Microsoft revealed that they will be bringing back the Flight Simulator series with an updated release, featuring Microsoft's Azure AI. The new flight simulator includes 4K ground satellite textures and aircraft. The title is due to be released in 2020.[27] This is Microsoft's first simulator since Flight Simulator X in 2006 and Microsoft Flight in 2012.[28] This will also be the first of the Microsoft Flight Simulator series to not be PC exclusive, as this installment is also launching on the Xbox One. Asobo Studio assumed the lead developer role.
    Last edited by zswobbie1; 11-05-2019 at 06:50 AM.

  4. Default

    Nice summary Paul, well done. Here's a suggestion for further improvement of this article:

    - crystal clear illustrations to your next version, since "a good picture is worth a million words"
    - links to website where your readers can dig deeper into the aviation / flightsim matter at hand if they want.

    - Not everyone is as experienced as you already are
    - images make a far more efficient way of knowledge-transfer

    Looking forward to the next version of your guide.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Memphis, TN.
    Blog Entries



    While we don't yet know the specific resources that will be available for the next sim, The Learning Center in FSX is in HTML format so it can be accessed with your favorite browser even while flying: no need to interrupt flight to go into 'help'. Find the startup file (LC01.htm) with Windows Explorer and then create a link to [your FSX installation]/Uires/lc01.htm

    The Federal Aviation Administration provides numerous manuals, handbooks and guides in all aspects of real-world flight in PDF format for FREE. The "Airplane Flying Handbook" is probably the best starting place.

    And certainly don't forget that Google/Bing search, as well as Wikipedia can help with almost anything you need.


  6. #6


    A bit of Technical Terminology:

    Hyperthreading (HT)is Intel’s name for simultaneous multithreading. It basically means that one CPU core can work on two problems at the same time. It doesn’t mean that the CPU can do twice as much work. Just that it can ensure all its capacity is used by dealing with multiple simpler problems at once.

    Is the extraction of three-dimensional measurements from two-dimensional data (photo's) to successively estimate, to create the a 3D view of the subject.

    Azure AI:
    Artificial Intelligence, cloud based, used by Photogrammetry, and map data to create 3D objects (buildings, trees, terrain).

    Bing Maps:
    is used by Microsoft, combined with Photogrammetry & Azure AI to provide accurate scenery for thenew Microsoft Flight Simulation.

    Photo scenery:
    Add-on scenery based on real life photographed scenery. (a bit 'flat'looking).

    FlightGear Flight Simulator is a free, open source multi-platform flight simulator developed by the FlightGear project since 1997. It has a large range of detailed aircraft and scenery, and probably the best and most detailed Space Shuttle out there.. Freeware!

  7. #7


    Pitot: pronounced 'p-toe' (as it's French in origin).

  8. #8


    A great resource for real simulation.

    To sum it up simulators in the U.S. are certified by the National Simulator Program, an office of the FAA, and for motion are certified A through D and designated Full Flight Simulators (FFS) and 4 through 7 for non-motion Flight Training Devices (FTDs.) There is also a category called Aviation Traning Devices (ATDs) that are certified as either Basic or Advanced. Not all motion sims are FFS, howver, as Redbird, choose not to get their motion system certified and their devices are Advanced Aviation Training Devices (AATDs.)

    At one time the FAA did certify a device call the PCATD (Personal Computer Aviation Training Device) which is now a defuct category of training devices.

    Listing simulators from most capable to least:

    FFS Level D
    FFS Level C
    FFS Level B
    FFS Level A
    FTD Level 7
    FTD Level 6
    FTD Level 5
    FTD Level 4

    Your personel setup does not even make the list and is considered amature simulation or hobby level computer simulation.

  9. #9


    There are things in real life that flight simulator users are not aware of, and which I have occasionally been asked about. Two of them that cropped up more than once was:
    "Why do the small GS planes go a bit sideways when they stop at the hold short in FS9?" (was hold short in your list?) The answer is that when small planes stop on a taxiway they point the nose off to one side so the other small plane behind doesn't get a load of hot air and maybe small stones shot at it.
    "Why don't helicopters just go and land, or take off and go where they want?" and the answer is "At airfields with no control tower all planes, and that includes helicopters, make the same announcements and follow the same taxiways and runways so that there is only long queue with everyone doing the same thing and no surprises".

  10. #10


    Thank you, Paul!

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