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For me it's the experience of being in control of such a complex machine. I love taking 10 minutes flicking through swithches to get the engines started...not in FS2K2 but in FLY!2. In FS2K it's easy to start the engines..on the default ones. For me it's also a bigger challenge to 'drive the busses' shooting a CATIII approach or lnading on a short runway and trying to not over run it. Off-course I also love the small planes, I love just flying around doing circuits with a Cessna in VC mode. With the heavies I do not do long haul flights becasue they are a bit booring for me..the longest flight i made was SFO to SEA in an A320.You can still keep busy even on long haul flights. Make a flight plan in a mountanous area, add low visibility, turbulence, cross-winds and try fly VOR to VOR and doing CATIII approach at your destination. That should keep you on your toes. :-)I guess it comes down to personal preference.Take careMike

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Hi Tonni,In my case it depends......I've installed lots of ALASKA VFR scenery (that's what I call them) those scneries are really great fun!!!With all those boats and animals, burning campfires etc... It's great fun to fly with those GA aircraft.And I do have some nice onces in my collection such as the Fleet Cannuck and a beautiful Beaver.But as you said most of the new released aircrafts are mostly big!I thinks it's because the people want to fly "As real as it gets". When I make a flight it's really more than just go to the runway and fly the bird.I have almost all high-altitude charts of Europe. And I have a copy of Jeppensens SimCharts.So when I plan my trip, if first think of the destination...will it be 1/2/3/4 hour flight, usually I pick a flight which is about 1 to 2,5 hours. Then I pick my aircraft type, therefor I have a several Airliners Timetables so I can see what aircraft they operate on the route.Then I'll start to make my flight plan, choose the best route, print or get the correct arrival/approach charts. And calculating the fuel :D. And then prepare in the cockpit and flySo I think that GA aircraft wil be chosen when you want to fly a short distance or just enjoy the scenic wonders.And that you'll choose a big aircraft for a "as real as it gets" flight.Regards,(8-| Evert (8-|

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In a LOT of cases, we're already HEAVILLY involved in a Virtual Airline, so most of our time is spent with those types.Also, from cases I knw of, quite a few people are involved with the types of planes you mentioned (light planes, turboprops), in REAL life, so they "upgrade" when they sit in front of the computer! :) I fly in Cessnas quite a lot, so it's no "big deal" to do the same in FS. Besides, the other day, I flew one of our (Meridian's) 777's from Santiago, Chile to Miami. I went from the middle of the winter to the middle of the summer, in just 8 hours! Now that's what I call fun! :)

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Hmmmm, do the simmers who prefer the larger commercial aircraft outnumber the GA flyers by that large a degree, and the developers are just responding to demand? Or do the developers themselves prefer the heavies over GA aircraft? Might make an interesting opinion survey.From the developers standpoint, I can definately attest to the fact that GA aircraft are harder to develop. Because they are that much smaller, small imperfections are that much more noticable. And the GA crowd here is definately more picky about such things. The flight model is also much more difficult to tune, which I also know from personal experience. If flight parameters are a little off on a jumbo, its probably not even noticable to most folks. But even a slight error can have a major impact on the performance of a GA aircraft. And again GA simmers are pickier in this regard. I've also found that GA simmers tend to be more demanding in their desire for things like virtual cockpits. All of these things combine to make GA aircraft much tougher to build than their larger brethren. Point in case, I was ripped to shreds and crucified over my Malibu design, by more than a few people. I received more complaints over that plane than all my other designs put together. As a result I vowed then that I would never do another GA design. I've since backed off that a bit and started to test the water, but I'm still very gun shy when it comes to thinking about doing a small aircraft. Only Heather's very pleasant and undemanding appeals got me to even consider doing the Grumman Goose. Mike Stone

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Hi Mike,Here's one simmer who's a big fan of your Malibu....I have at least one flying AI out of every "tower'ed" airport in Texas. Dig. :)Serb

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I enjoy flying both GA planes and heavies. The thing I enjoy the most about flying heavies though, is landing them. Flying at FL330 with the auto pilot on is pretty boring for me, so I usually will keep my flights somewhat short flying only domestic flights, usually between 1 and 2 1/2 hours. Sometimes I won't even fly from one airport to another, instead I will just takeoff, fly the pattern and then land at the same airport while hand flying the aircraft the whole time. When I do decide to take a long haul flight I usually try to plan a route that will have me flying over some mountainous terrain or over the Grand Canyon so I have something interesting to look at while the auto pilot is doing all of the work. Like I said above, the part I enjoy most about flying the heavies is landing them. I think it's mainly because they are more challenging to land than most other aircraft and it's just fun being in control of something that is so large. After I land I like to go into the replay mode and watch my landings from the spot plane and tower views. Watching a large airliner landing in both the simulated and real world is far more impressive to watch than a smaller aircraft. I think this is when my fascination with heavies got started is when I was a little kid and remembering the times when we would drive by the airport and watching those huge planes coming in for a landing. Even now I still am impressed and fascinated everytime I drive by the airport and watch those huge airliners landing. It's fascinating how something so large and heavy can fly.Rob

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Boy, you got me thinking with your post, about watching with wonder the big planes landing.I used to work at Boeing's Everett, Washington plant, way back in the 70s. The 747 was the airplane that we built there. That was when the 757/767 were still in the concept stage, and the 777 was just a twinkle in Alan Mulaly's eye. The softball fields in those days were located right north of the Casino Freeway, and Paine Field's big runway 36 is just south of that road. Imagine the view we got during a ball game when the 747s would come in to land. It reminded me of the feeling I got during Close Encounters when the big "mother ship" cruised overhead. No amount of physics classes, pilot's licenses, or engineering degrees I might have can overrule my intuition that 850000 pounds of stuff simply cannot be floating over my head!Bob Bernstein

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If it makes you feel any better, how many business jets are designed compared to any other type of aircraft. I just don't see why there aren't any out there. Especially with default Lear not being updated for FS2002.

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I fly the smaller GA planes about 75% of the time. It's just more "fun", at least in my opinion. Cruising at 5500ft, making small turns to see all the scenery and the Autogen is great.But sometimes I want to cover greater distances.I really don't know why I do this, but usually when I go from one place in the world to another, I want to actually travel the entire distance. For example, if I'm flying in the Swiss Alps in the Baron, and I want to go back home to Sweden >:-) , I don't just click "Go to Airport" and teleport myself to an airport. No, that would be too easy...instead, I land my Baron at the nearest major airport, switch to a jet and fly the entire distance. The exception is when I want to go from one continent to another because flights longer than a couple of hours are too boring for me.So, that's one reason why I like the heavies. There's also something special about sitting inside a huge metal tube with wings on it, flying through the air at 80% of the speed of sound at 38 000 feet...That doesn't mean you can't travel great distances in GA planes. After reading an article in an aviation magazine where someone traveled around Europe in a Mooney, I did that in FS2002, using the Baron (I really like the Baron :) ). I stayed below 5000 feet most of the time. It was great fun to see all the detail of the scenery.I'd guess GA planes are harder to design. I'd guess most of you who almsot only fly the big jets don't use the VC? I don't. But when I'm flying a GA, I use almost only the VC and only switch to the 2D panel when I need to adjust something that can't be selected from the VC. I'm looking forward to the VC for the Deb. :)Some aircraft deserve more attention than they get. There's an excellent Arrow III in the library, with an update over at Flightsim.com to make it flyable :) It comes with a stunning exterior model, OK panel and a VC, yet I have not seen one single repaint of it. :( I mean, there are like 500 BA repaints of the 737 :(I'd better stop now :-bla :-bla :-bla

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For me i too like flying the GA aircraft. No offence, but the airliners fly like very fast bricks with big donks (engines for those who may not understand what donk means) attached to each wing.I also love that warbird/vintage aircraft, for example the GMAX Fw190D (www.avhistory.org), Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire/Seafire.Roger Dial's P-51D is an absolute beauty of an aircraft that has been superbly modelled for Fs2002 and i think its the best add-on so far. I cannot ignore the Project OpenSky' 767 and A330, and the Project Airbus A320 very good too. To Mike Stone: I have enjoyed each and every one of your aircraft, please keep up the good work. My opinion only though, your best aircraft is the DHC-4 Caribou - i absolutely love that thing. Particularly doing the old Wheelbarrow trick the real things do here in Australian Airshows --> spectacular.

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Mike, I'm so sorry to hear that you got such negative feedback from the Malibu. Personally, it is one of my favorite planes in my hangar. I like it so much, I made a custom paintjob for myself in a "fictional" Iberia Corporate library.Now, I will confess that I have my own custom flight dynamics and panel installed... but that does not take anything away from your superb model. I just love the way the Malibu looks. My custom flight dynamics and panel would never have seen the light of day, IF I didn't have such a wonderful free plane to attach them to.I'm very glad that you will consider future GA projects... and if people 8itch, just know that there are a lot of us who enjoy anything you release. If only one of us (and that will always be me, at least), enjoy your plane and find enjoyment with it, it was worth it, no?Keep it up Mike, I love your work.

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Thanks for the respons guys.....You havies pilots do have some good valid points. Some of which I had'nt really thought about.....I'm still basically a small plane man, but I think I'll broaden my horizon a bit and try taking up one of the big birds more often....I do hope that some of you aircraft designers will favour us 'light' pilots a bit more in future though, as I still think this area is a bit neglected as far as new add-ons go.....Take care up there.....Cheers//Tonni

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Unlike Mike in the first reply, I love flying heavies either trans-contintental or overseas on Vatsim. I love getting up to cruise, going to bed and waking up when the sun is just rising through the cockpit windows and getting all set up to land at say Gatwick, Narita, Hong Kong and the like. That is what simming is all about to me.EDIT-- I am also one of those fanatical loones that do all flying including the 8-12 hour non-stops in real-time! Thank God my girlfriend understands.

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I have to agree with you 110% Tonni. I personally fly GA 99.9% of the time. For me its the thril of that take-off out of places like KTEX and having to hand fly until you're high enough to avoid the terrain. For some reason seeing mountains from FL320 isn't nearly as fun as dodging them and then landing at a tiny strip surrounded by trees. Unfortunately this seems ot be a thril many are closed minded to, as they need to be fast, high, and carry passengers.All I can hope is that more and more people will experience GA within FS2002. Only then will they find out how much of a change it can be from the automated tedium of the heavy irons, and maybe then we will see some more high quality general aviation aircraft, rather than multiple versions of the same heavy iron.A great example is that I'm sure quite a few non-real life pilots who enjoy heavies don't have a complete understanding of VOR, despite that high and low alt. airways are just "beefed up" VOR. Another neglected wonder for a lot of them are joys like the RealityXP Flight Line Avionics. It has taken me months to learn to use this to half of its potentional, but the sad thing is all those heavy flyers are missing out.Scott

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