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Thread: Peripheral/dashboard recommendations for PC.

  1. #1

    Default Peripheral/dashboard recommendations for PC.

    I'm seeking to get my flight license with a goal to maybe pilot commercially. I want to learn as much as I can using FlightSimulator prior to shelling out thousands of dollars behind a real plane. That way, I have the mechanics of piloting down and when I get in the air for real, I can focus on the feel of the plane (if that makes any sense).

    I have a strong enough computer to run FS2020 with plenty to spare. Where I'm lacking is any kind of knowledge of what kinds of controls I'll need for the most realistic simulation that I can achieve. Remember that my goal is take what I've learned in my simulator and apply it when I'm actually in the cockpit.

    Any suggestions are greatly helpful! Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Guess you could start here:
    https://www.flightsim.com/vbfs/forum...ckpit-Builders


    And Youtube.
    CLX - SET Gaming Desktop - Intel Core i9 10850K - 32GB DDR4 3000GHz Memory - GeForce RTX 3060 Ti - 960GB SSD + 4TB HDD - Windows 11 Home

  3. #3
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    IMHO, the very BEST way to learn to fly is to start your ground school with a private pilot training center. As you are no doubt aware, flight school is pricey but so is 'quality' flight sim hardware that would effectively - for your goal - mimic a real aircraft. If I had to choose one or the other, I'd go 'real life' in a heartbeat.

    Most every school in my experience offers a low-cost Introduction to Flight session - usually about $150 or so. You'll get to experience first hand General Aviation and get an idea if it's for you. Then you can decide where to spend your hard-earned $$$. Most good schools also have simulators on which you can practice what you're learning without paying the plane & instructor hourly rate.

    IMHO flight sims are great fun, but they merely 'approximate' the real experience, no matter how immersive the environment the expensive hardware you buy creates.
    Last edited by chicagorandy; 07-01-2022 at 06:28 PM.
    "Don't believe everything you see on the internet." - Abraham Lincoln HP Pavilion Desktop [email protected], 16gb RAM, 1TB M.2 SSD, GTX1650 4GB, 300 MBPS internet, 31.5" curved monitor, Logitech yoke-throttle, Flt Vel trim wheel, TFRP rudder pedals, G/M IR headset, Extreme 3D Pro joystick

  4. #4
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    Randy says:
    IMHO, the very BEST way to learn to fly is to start your ground school with a private pilot training center.
    While Randy is right that you can best learn by starting in at a flight school, you can get a head start in many ways, including studying training manuals. There are many outfits that will sell you various learning packages (King, Jeppessen, Sporty's, Ron Machado, and a number of others) the FAA offers a tremendous amount of information for free online.

    You can download the actual training manuals published by the FAA, if you wish, at no charge, from this page: https://www.faa.gov/regulations_poli...nuals/aviation

    The Airplane Flying Handbook is at: https://www.faa.gov/regulations_poli...plane_handbook

    The Aeronautical Information Manual is at: https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/

    And the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge is at: https://www.faa.gov/regulations_poli.../aviation/phak

    There are many other publications at that site, as well, including the full set of aviation regulations (FARs).

    Flight simming can provide you a certain amount of knowledge, but over the last 20 plus years I've found that simmers cover a broad range of knowledge and of mis-information. In addition, as a former flight instructor I long ago discovered that it is easier (and more permanent in your mind) to learn things right the first time, rather than to try to correct incorrect information in your mind after the wrong way has been ingrained in your habits.

    So while you can get proficient on many procedures in a sim, if you're doing it without an instructor to keep you from doing things wrong, you will likely pick up some bad habits that you will then have to pay extra time from an instructor (and airplane cost too) to eliminate and to instill correct ones.

    All the above being said, if you're looking for a fun hobby and, "Oh, by the way, it might be neat to fly" then simming can be good. If you're looking to practice procedures that your instructor (CFI, or Certificated Flight Instructor) has taught you, it can be excellent, and yes, you can learn a lot on your own, but it's very difficult to avoid some bad habits, even very basic ones such as, "Quit looking at the panel. A glance is OK, but you fly by looking out the window and by feel and by sound." OR, "Use rudder and elevator together smoothly" or "Don't PULL, add back pressure" and many other things.

    These problems show up because you didn't learn them right (no one to tell you different, and it's NOT obvious to the inexperienced), but part of the reason for many of them is that the "feel" of a sim is a WHOLE LOT different than the real thing.

    So I'll second Randy's suggestion to start with an introductory flight to get introduced to the real thing AND to aid your "immersion" in any sim you may try.

    As for equipment, a decent yoke or stick (you don't have to spend $1,000 or more for a setup beyond the computer costs) AND rudder pedals (few of them feel like the real thing) will do to start. Randy is right about equipment too, that you don't gain much, in terms of learning, by spending $1,000 or $1,500 or more, instead of spending $250-$300, or even less. You'll gain an appreciation of that after an intro flight, too.

    All that said, if you really want to sim for quite a while (you don't learn fast like this) before doing much with real flight training, then have fun, spend as much as you like, and go to it. But if professional aviation is your goal, I'd seriously suggest starting with the real thing, and save simming for some procedural practice and perhaps a hobby later on.

    Hope this helps.

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

  5. #5
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    Larry is of course 100% correct. Nothing wrong with starting with an online or other at-home study course. When I was considering going for a Sport Pilot rating I picked up the Gleim offering and found it to be very comprehensive. And it IS a skill- teaching reality that 'unlearning' a bad habit is much harder than learning the right way the first time.

    For the record, I tallied the costs vs benefit of spending the thousands of $$ from my limited retirement discretionary monies on a Sport Pilot cert here in inner-city Chicago. Real world aviation as a realistic hobby lost out to my financial reality. I opted for the flight simming hardware listed in my signature and use it almost daily. lol
    Last edited by chicagorandy; 07-02-2022 at 07:25 AM.
    "Don't believe everything you see on the internet." - Abraham Lincoln HP Pavilion Desktop [email protected], 16gb RAM, 1TB M.2 SSD, GTX1650 4GB, 300 MBPS internet, 31.5" curved monitor, Logitech yoke-throttle, Flt Vel trim wheel, TFRP rudder pedals, G/M IR headset, Extreme 3D Pro joystick

  6. #6
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    I picked up the Gleim offering
    Yes, Gleim is one that I couldn't think of, but they've been around for many decades, always with a good reputation.

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kyoto5 View Post
    That way, I have the mechanics of piloting down and when I get in the air for real, I can focus on the feel of the plane (if that makes any sense).

    Where I'm lacking is any kind of knowledge of what kinds of controls I'll need for the most realistic simulation that I can achieve.
    I recommend the best rudder pedals you can find. Not pedals that "also are used for car games". Heavy push pull pedals, not pivoting. The first thing you can do is jump in a 152 with conventional gauges and taxi around the runways. Yeah, boring as F but will translate well and get you to stop steering with your hands. https://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Pro-...-pcguide-us-20

    Then find out what actual airplane your local flight school has, preferably with an intro flight. Probably a 152. If so get a yoke or a stick if that is what your trainer has. Buy a good one. With these two items you can get cross control movements down faster for cross wind landings. This is one area (about the only one) I found was actually helpful for flight control manipulation. I use one similar to this since most of my sim and real time was with a stick. https://www.amazon.com/200-571-CH-Pr...%2C467&sr=8-16 and throttle https://www.amazon.com/CH-Products-P...s%2C467&sr=8-7 I cant recommend a yoke, which is probably what you need since I don't use one.

    Next, get a copy of the POH for the aircraft you will fly and learn the v speeds so that you put some discipline in your maneuvers. This works better after you have several hours dual.

    Learning the nav aids like VOR and ADF is way easier to set up in a sim and get lots of practice by doing only that portion of the flight with different wind settings. Visualizing what is happening is helpful for that portion of the written. I did mostly self study by using the FAA questions as a study guide and reading the various manuals recommended by people above.


    Just an opinion worth what ya paid for.

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