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What's the best payware IFR training platform for FS200

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This is a quick question/poll. I want to do some IFR work and need a good single or twin to do it. I already have Commander by FSD which theoretically fits the bill, but I am looking for other options out there. My major expected features would be excellent airfile and all systems simulated as real as possible (including powerplant operations). It would be normally aspirated powerplant/s (no turboprop) with decent airspeed. I appreciate your experiences with available products.Happy flyingDonN4865GKDWH

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For true IFR training, I would recommend the Dreamfleet Archer. It has the basic IFR equipment and flies realistically. I don't know if it fits your need for "decent" airspeed but for serious IFR training, anything too fast is going to complicate things.David

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David took my answer. I will tell you that I did my IFR training in a Piper Seminole down at Flight Safety years ago. If your wanting more speed and your hands full try the Cessna 421 payware from Flight One. I personally like to practice IFR in FS2k2 with something that is reasonably similar to what I'll be flying in real life. Also whether you have HSI or not is very important.

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Hi Don,the Dreamfleet aircraft fly well, are decently equipped with avionics, and are a joy to fly in VC/VFR.I however think that the Flight1 421C is more versatile for both VFR and IFR. Altough all the aircrafts cited above also provide GPS and Navigation Gauges, they can't beat dedicated avionics companies like Coyote Avionics, Simsystem and Reality XP. I would recommend you take a closer look at Coyote Avionics Design EHSI ( www.reality-xp.com/Coyote ), Simsystems FSFlightMax ( http://www.fsflightmax.com ) and Reality XP Flight Line Avionics ( www.reality-xp.com )Also, you can't miss the upcoming Meridian from Flight1. Although Turboprop and not aspirated power plant, it will perfectly fit your request. There has been a press release at avsim main page:"F1

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Hi Bryan,I'm doing my instrument as well (in a C172SP, but you don't get with them!).Your comment regarding the HSI: I recall that the C421 has one, and I assume (I don't have it) that the Archer does not? I know the HSI has a lot more information than the standard OBS. Do you regard learning an HSI operation a negative when the actual aircraft one will fly only has an OBS? (I realize the problem in the other way around).Thanks (I see you are a CFI),Bruce.

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I agree with the other respondents re: the 115TC and the 421C. I don't have the Archer, so I can't comment on that.Here's another recommendation, that might be a little surprising: the recent Marchetti SF.260 payware airplane... I think it's a decent hi-perf/complex airplane to practice approaches in. Its default panel is almost full-screen, like the 172/182 IFR panels. (The SF has a shorter "VFR" panel as well, accessed via "w".) Almost all of the switches and controls you care about in IFR work are displayed - although the radio stack is not (I have a hardware stack so this is not an issue for me). It has an HSI which may or may not be a good thing, depending on what you're training in IRL.http://www.realairsimulations.com/aircraft/sf260/panel.htmlThe flight dynamics seem "real" enough, although I have not flown a 260... It's very slippery and hard to get slowed down, much like other high performance aircraft - and no speed brake to help out either. (And, as you may have read, it's the only FS2002 that can do a decent spin - not that you'd want to in IMC!)Other things I like about this airplane: the VC is great (better than the 115TC's IMO), it's fast, The sounds are well done, the externals and moving parts are nice, etc. I find myself flying it a lot lately just due to the excellent viz when in VC mode.It's also quite difficult to land well. I seem to bounce once on every landing - still need to work on that. (The landing "feel" in this plane is the best I've seen though.)Anyway, I thought I'd toss this idea out... I was surprised that the Sf.260 works as well as it does for approach practice, given that its primary emphasis is as an aerobatic airplane.Dave BlevinsKRHV

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>Hi Don, >>the Dreamfleet aircraft fly well, are decently equipped with >avionics, and are a joy to fly in VC/VFR. >I also found the Archer to be very realistic with it's basic IFR instrumentation, which is near exact to the Archer I took IFR training in. For instrument work without all the extra's, the Archer is just fine. In fact it's probably closer to what most students would end up renting for training.L.Adamson

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DaveI have had a short flight in the SF260 just before we released and I can assure you that the Real SF260 makes just as good a tourer as an aerobatic aircraft.I would have been happy to have flown her instruments too.Peter

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>I have had a short flight in the SF260 just before we >released and I can assure you that the Real SF260 makes just >as good a tourer as an aerobatic aircraft. >I reviewed my tape from my Air Combat Marchetti 260 flight and remembered just how well the plane flew for about 15 minutes to get to the "dogfight" flight area, as well as the return. It actually is smooth and comfortable which is un-like a Pitt's which is primarily for aerobatics. Havn't tried IFR in the RealAir SF260 yet, but I'm sure I will, as it's the plane I seem to sim fly most often at the moment.L.Adamson

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Larry :-)My old sparring friend! maybe just friend now :-)I could just see us two in a dog fight in SF260s ;-)now that would be something.Best Peter

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As a current instrument student, I can say that learning how to use a HSI will greatly help with all the HSI questions on the written. I was taking an instrument ground course and about 1/2 the class had never messed around with MSFS and knew next to nothing about how to read a HSI. It took a while for the instructors to teach them to separate the DG functions from the VOR functions in order to figure out their position relative to a VOR. My opinion is some time spent in the default Baron will suffice to teach a person how to use/read a HSI.It is not likely you'd see many HSI's in training aircraft. In fact, most pilots won't see a HSI period. That may be changing as they are getting cheaper, especially the ones with a slaved compass. However, most GA planes you'll see these days will have separate DG and VOR. For that reason, I am practicing with the DF Archer and Cardinal. I like the ability to quickly switch to partial panel by clicking on the gauge I want to fail and having a gauge cover come up. The Archer is especially nice for my training as I'm training in a Warrior and Cherokee 140. While the performance may not be as good as an Archer, the panels look almost identical.

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Hi Dave,Thanks for the info you gave on the SF260. If I may emphasise a few points: The large IFR panel loads first in order to initialise all our custom gauges into memory in one go. Thereafter you can fly IFR with that panel or still IFR with the "normal" sized one which gives excellent views. The IFR panel only needs to be accessed for one extra (optional) instrument and the light switches, which are in any case doubled by the quick reference "strip" available with any panel, but this was specifically designed for the Virtual Cockpit.We also provided a mini panel (press "W") which unlike the default bare gauges, is a hi res fully rendered bitmap of the top portion of the main panel, affording even better views. Almost all flying can be done without ever leaving the Virtual Cockpit however, even IFR, since there are quick popups plus the strip panel to access all IFR functions.Best Regards,Rob YoungRealAir Simulations

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