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Outside flying?

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I read a post today by someone I respect who wrote they fly "outside" the plane 99% of the time (and thus disdaining the cockpit/VC view).I'm not as experienced as some here but not exactly a new kid on the block either yet this remark kind of stumped me. I've taken outside views as I fly around various places, but are there really a lot of people who fly their planes from the outside most of the time? That's kind of like a radio-controlled plane, right? What are the normal views used? (Like, do you normally position the spot view off to one side, to the top or bottom, how far away, etc?) How do they figure altitude, rate of climb... these are all just "guessed" at, right?I love to view the scenery in FS, so there is something in this that appeals to me, but it also seems to me that the experience of watching the plane from afar would kind of distance you from the simulation of really flying (unless, I guess, you position yourself behind and, perhaps, slightly above your plane, in which case it might seem as if you are in another plane flying along. And then I'd have to ask why not put a few instruments there as well and... whoops, we're back inside!)

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I agree it does seem odd considering it's a flightsim, but then hey, his PC, his FS2K2, his perogative.

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This has always confused me, too... Everyone to their own preference, I suppose... You (and I) seem to want a realistic virtual-pilot experience. I become very happy when my computer's cycles are used up in realistic flight models, and realistic nav-aids/runways/taxiways/airport-lighting.For me, using up some of those cycles to render a photo-realistic sunset is a waste (at least till I get my Athlon XP2100+, or whatever :-)For others, the view is the thing (scenery and/or aircraft-in-flight).Probably most simmers are somewhere in the middle.But I would not doubt that there is some small percentagefor whom the view is so much more captivating thanthe "pilot-experience", that they spend much of their sim time in slew mode, just checking out incredible scenery :-walksmile.Art.

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For me, the view itself, without flying the plane isn't very exciting, neither is stairing at a panel full of gauges that take up 7/8th of the screen. For me, the best thing is looking at the scenery from the cockpit. So I guess I'm somewhere in the middle. I enjoy looking at the sunset from the VC in my C182 more than spending 8 hours babysitting a monitor full of gauges, but I still want an element of realism, with ATC, a realistic cockpit (as long as it doesn't block too much of the view, and accurate flight dynamics.I'd say everyone has their own view of what's the best way to enjoy FS, and sometimes it's hard to accept other's views. Some may sneeze at those who fly the plane unrealistically, ignoring ATC and the complex panels. Some think it's boring and not enjoyable to look at a panel chock full of gauges for 8 hours. Some couldn't care less about the flight dynamics as long as the special effects and scenery looks good etc...But we all share one thing, the interest (obession?) of flying and/or flightsims.

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I always fly from the flight deck view. I do look outside when the a/p is on, but I've never flew or landed the plane while in spot view. Reminds me of those old Nintendo combat sims, the ones where there is no cockpit, just a F-15 and some crosshairs on the screen. ;)

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I tend to only go "outside" during cruise when things are either under George's control or the airplane is trimmed for straight and level flight. It also depends a great deal on where I am flying. Up in the flight levels over middle American, I tend to stay inside. If I'm bush flying in Alaska, I end up outside more often. And, as an old friend and now retired B747 captain says, cruise is the best time to snooze. :)Bob

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>For me, the view itself, without flying the plane isn't very >exciting, neither is stairing at a panel full of gauges that >take up 7/8th of the screen. For me, the best thing is >looking at the scenery from the cockpit. So I guess I'm >somewhere in the middle. Jimmi,I think I'm with you, and I certainly didn't want or intend to start a thread where we all talk about our favorite view (although it is interesting -- for me I tend to fly with only the gauges on the screen (using W) so I can enjoy the most of the scenery, flipping to the 2D cockpit only when I need to look at the GPS). But I really wanted to understand the mindset and actual conditions of those who do like flying on the outside, on the off chance I might be missing something.And on this subject (although just slightly to the left of it) I have to say that I just got back from Disney's California adventure and experienced the hang gliding simulation, "Soaring", about as many times as my wife would tolerate. While filmed from a helicopter (no doubt), the experience of flying was about as wonderful as I could ever imagine. I only wish I could come closer to it in FS2K2 --- however, I have yet to check out the ultra-lites so perhaps I will try that soonest.

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> How do >they figure altitude, rate of climb... these are all just >"guessed" at, right? No................. I use shift Z for my airspeed & altitude. I can also maintain smooth climbouts or descents due to A: radio control experience, & B: real piloting experience.My preference is usually the VC cockpits for takeoffs & landings. I like the sensation of speed that corner views in a VC provide for takeoff. Also, nothing is better than a good VC for landing with pattern proceedures. I usually also keep the digital readouts of shift Z when using the VC cockpits. I want the information fast & available without doing any hat switch tricks to bring the intsruments back into view! Fact is, I can scan a real aircrafts panel far faster than panning an FS VC panel or scrolling a FLY panel while still viewing the outside for scenery or other aircraft. Once in cruise, with or without autopilot, I spend much of the time panning around the aircraft exterior with the background sky or ground below. I like to see aircraft detail as well as panaramic views of the ground, that a PC screen in panel view just doesn't allow! If the sky is exceptional as with the original FLY/SKY & the TerraScene2 landforms below............... then looking out the side cockpit windows in flight was also a very realistic looking experience.L.Adamson

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>And on this subject (although just slightly to the left of >it) I have to say that I just got back from Disney's >California adventure and experienced the hang gliding >simulation, "Soaring", about as many times as my wife would >tolerate. While filmed from a helicopter (no doubt), the >experience of flying was about as wonderful as I could ever >imagine. I certainly agree on that one! That particular ride has a huge screen with a good clear panaramic view combined with hydraulic seats that provide a sence of acceleration, deceleration, as well as climbs & dives! Very effective & every home should have one!!!! :)L.Adamson

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If everyone was to spend all of their time flying from inside the cockpit, what would be the point of visual artists like Jan Visser and Bill Lyons creating such beautiful visual models. Those of us who have experienced Bill's Waco's (the first aircraft in FS to feature specular lighting) will appreciate what I mean. For those who don't know, with specular lighting effects, the suns reflection on the fuselage changes position as the aircraft turns. Something as beautiful as Bill's Waco's just have to be viewed from the outside while flying them.For me thats the beauty of FS! If you want just the heavy jet flying experience you might as well use PS1. Each to his own I guess!Tim

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Hey, that's the fun part of FS, everyone can fly the way he/she likes! Whether it's inside the cockpit, or outside the plane (come to think of it, staring at a monitor with a number of gauges and some scenery outside the 'plane' and mumbling: "wow, I'm flying" is kind of odd too :-)). Before FS2002, the static cockpit views gave me a bit of a claustrofobic feeling, just a limited number of views when looking around. So for me, flying outside the plane gave me a bit more the feeling that I was 'flying'. Fortunately, the VC in FS2002 gives more freedom to look around the cockpit. So at the moment I fly more and more 'inside' the plane, in VC-mode.And look at what some 'heavy' pilots do: take off at KLAX, put the plane on AP, go eat/sleep/whatever, only to return to their computer when the plane approaches EHAM. Errrm, yes, that's realistic :-) But everyone should do what he or she likes. Isn't that one of the great things of FS? The flexibility... So if one wants to fly outside the plane, well, what's really wrong with that?

360

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>flexibility... So if one wants to fly outside the plane, >well, what's really wrong with that? Absolutely nothing, and I appreciate all of the above replies. I just wanted to understand the mechanics (and Mr. Adamson has filled me in on those now) so I might try it myself to see if I like it.While I always fly "inside" I also consistenly replay my landings and various outside sections, so I do indeed get to appreciate the beauty of the plane and the scenery (and the plane amidst the scenery). That's how I combine the two, and it's wonderful that this piece of software allows so many people to enjoy so many things in so many different ways.Thanks, guys, for all the insights.

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>I certainly agree on that one! That particular ride has a >huge screen with a good clear panaramic view combined with >hydraulic seats that provide a sence of acceleration, >deceleration, as well as climbs & dives! Very effective & >every home should have one!!!! :) I actually told my wife that was all I wanted for Christmas . On a (slightly) more serious note, I did think that perhaps hooking up a fan next to my computer aimed at me whose own speed was rigged to the planes airspeed would enhance my ultralight experience. Truly, it sounds kinda loony, but the air effects in Soaring also helped, I think, and this is something that is at least affordable (although I have the programming chops to handle it with the new MS SDKs released, I'm not sure where I'd find a USB controllable fan :>)

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