Sign in to follow this  
Guest

Flight Sim Models Flightstar... consumer feedback

Recommended Posts

I'm considering buying this package and thought I would check here for opinions first.Thanks in advance to all who respond,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

I wrote a review of the product for them but they haven't made it available on their website - well not yet, that is.So here it is - with an additional comment by me. This is my opinion only, for what it is worth, and just in case there is anyone who disagrees with me and wants to flame me I have absoultely no intention of making any replies to this thread. Sad that one should have to think like this but such is the state of things these days............................In a flight simulation world dominated by Boeing and Airbus it is not very often that you come across new, single engine, general aviation aircraft. Almost completely neglected are the babies of them all - the microlights and ultalights. That is, until Flight Sim Models arrived on the scene offering three of the most popular microlights in the real world - the Breese, Aerolite 103 and Flitestar. The Flitestar is the latest model to be offered for sale by them and the SL version is the subject of this review.Installation of the product is simplicity itself. Once you have made your purchase you are directed to a site where you can download the aircraft which comes in the form of a self-extracting executable file with the necessary password to complete the installation. Much has been said in the flight simulation world about this type of installation but for those who do not feel comfortable about working with zip files and placing all the components in their correct places within FS2002 this is an excellent way to get up and running quickly and safely. Once installed you will find that you have four different aircraft to fly - the basic SL model on wheels and floats as well as the slightly more powerful SL model, which has an enclosed cockpit, on wheels and skis.You may be surprised when you load up the aircraft for the first time at how little you seem to get for your money, but do not be fooled by this. In the real world these aircraft are easy and cheap to build and offer an affordable means for the average person to go flying. They do not have the usual compliment of bells and whistles that you will find on the sophisticated club aircraft and you won't find them on the simulated model either!The aircraft comes with the usual 2D cockpit and an excellent virtual cockpit with working instruments which are sharp and clear to see. A walk around the outside of the Flitestar reveals a faithful reproduction of the original with moving ailerons, elevator and rudder and working navigation lights. Once your are settled in the cockpit and ready to go flying you will notice an absence of certain instruments like an AI, VSI, ADF and VOR. This is not an oversight on the part of the designer - they are just not present on the real aircraft, although there is no reason, of course, why you should not add them yourself if you fancy some optional extras! You must remember that these aircraft represent real seat of the pants flying and to fly them realistically you have to acquire the necessary skills.Before you start up the engine make sure that you have the parking brake set as there is a tendency to jump forward when the engine fires - again, just like the real thing. Steering on the ground is very positive and the view from the cockpit is excellent. Opening up the throttle to maximum gives crisp acceleration which is not only accentuated by your closeness to the ground but also shows the power to weight ratio of the aircraft. Pull back on the stick at about 40 kts and you are quickly climbing away at around 500 feet per minute without any effort. The elevator trim is a joy to use and maintaining level flight at around 65 knots cruise presents no difficulty. Microlights are very sensitive aircraft and you will notice this when moving the stick or rudder. Entering anything other than a very shallow bank will cause the aircraft to realistically lose height so you need to be prepared to compensate for this.Because of its relatively slow cruising speed compared to other, more powerful aircraft you have much more opportunity to enjoy the scenery you are flying over - especially if you like to fly in mountainous areas such as Switzerland, Norway, Alaska or Canada. In fact the only real way to fly the Flitestar is by VFR which can be a very rewarding experience if you have a good map beside you.Eventually, you have to land somewhere and this is, in my opinion, one of the most enjoyable aspects of microlight flying. With a touchdown speed or around 35 to 40 knots short finals really are the order of the day! The lack of any artificial aids such as ILS instrumentation means that you really do have to practice landing to get it right every time. But that is very much part of the fun.It seems to be an almost absolute requirement of any review nowadays that the reviewer provides a list of what he or she liked and disliked about the product. I am not going to do this because I am not a real pilot and neither do I have any experience of designing an aircraft for flight simulation purposes. All I will say is that since the introducion of FS98 I have been an enthusiast of microlight flying but it was not until Flight Sim Models came on the scene that I was fully able to enjoy this particular aspect of the hobby. For $12.95 you get four aircraft to fly - less than $3.50 for each aircraft. You can't get much better value for money than that!My thanks to Kyle Prestwood, the designer, for providing me with a copy of the Flitestar for the purposes of this review.David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David,Enjoyed reading your review. I must agree. I've been waiting for a good Flitestar model for some time. I had the opertunity to take a ride in one last year down in Florida. On a side note, if anyone has an opportunity to visit Fantasy of Flight while on a trip to Disney or the like, I highly recommend it. On my visit I took a half hour flight in a Flitestar. Upon lifting off the ground I believe I yelled a quote from the movie Independance Day. "I have got to get me one of these!"Still waiting on that one for now. Since I purchased the sim version, I have spent most of my sim-time buzzing around Oshkosh. The combo is great. From what I remember, the model appears to be very close, based on the fact that I was not controlling the plane.Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What exactly is "Fantasy of Flight"? We are moving to the Orlando area (well, it's still a few years off but I'm sure we'll be down there before we actually move) and I'd love to know about this. We just came back from Disneyland and while overall we much prefer Disney World (hence our choice for retirement) we *loved* "Soaring", the Disney hang glider sim ride in the California Adventure. My biggest regret in moving is there isn't a similar ride available in Florida.I love flying the freeware ultralite posted on this site, so I think I'll go ahead and buy one from Flight Sim. But if I pick only one, which should it be?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this