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USB / Joystick / Yoke Sensitivites in FS 9 ( FS 9 Team

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I would like to see Microsoft build the sensitivites into the flight model. Or the third party Payware or Freeware aircraft developers will develop all aircraft for the Defaults (PSS does this as a standard). Or at a minimum, be able to save the sensitivity settings with the aircraft or have some parameter [Aileron Sensitivity = (Setting on the current scale)] in the aircraft cfg file. And then the "Reset to Default" will be the one that is provided by the Payware or Freeware aircraft developers. I understand that the user will need to adjust these settings to compensate for system performance. But some kind of standard of handling sensitivities needs to be addressed...Would like to hear other comments on this issue of sensitivities.Thanks!Barry

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I don't know much about the sensitivites but it would be nice if they allowed a "jolt" on touch down for forceback joysticks. Kilstorm

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Kilstorm,Some people adjust the sensitivities to compensate for system performance issues and / or problems in flight dynamics (hopefully this is not the case). I will often tweek the sensitivities to make the aircraft fly the way I think it should fly. Some Payware and Freeware aircraft fly great (FSD International RealAirSumulations, Flight 1, (just to name a few)) with no adjustments...PSS recommends that you to set the sensitivities to the defaults for their A/C. If this is the case, why have a sensitivity adjustment panel? Why not due away with it altogether, and make the Aircraft designers use the defaults? If you look at the Joystick tab in FSUIPC, you can see the issues with spiking, etc, or needing more control over the null zone. Is this a Device Driver issue or an FS 2002 / FS 9 issue?I hope the Microsoft FS 9 Development Team is looking into the issues with controls and sensitivities..Barry

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For the record, I use default sensitivity for everything, as well as realism set to high----- for everything.The sensitivity slider is for simmers who will tend to over-control certain models. The same applies in real aircraft. If one jumps from a mild behaving airplane such as a 172 into an aerobatic or high performance experimental----------it's really easy to over-control. I also know of commercial pilots with ten's of thousands of hours who completely over-controlled radio control aircraft their first time out. I myself, learned a light touch with R/C and then full size aerobatic aircraft. It has translated to flight simulation also. As you can see, I don't care at all, if designers use default settings. I probably even prefer it. But I still keep realism settings high, regardless of what the designer recommends.L.Adamson

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Like Larry I set my sensitivity to default and realism to high. I have better control over sensitivities in my flight controller profiles, so I make any tweaks there.The one exception in my hanger is the RealAir Siai Marchetti SF 260. Rob recommends that the "General Realism" slider be set to max for spins (of course "Auto Rudder" must be disabled for spins).If I'm not mistaken I believe Steve Small recommends that the "General Realism" slider be set to midpoint for his airfiles.

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>I would like to see Microsoft build the sensitivites into >the flight model. Properly designed Flight Dynamics (which does not include some MS AC) have the appropriate 'sensitivities'. AC should be able to roll, pitch, and yaw about the same as the AC modeled. One should be able to stall most AC with elevator control, also have appropriate trim ranges. Jet airliners should be able to pitch up for rotation at least 4.5 degrees per second. A bit higher is common. However, 'real' control moment limits may make an FS AC too sensitive, there is poor or no Force on the JS and the range is limited. In particular, I reduce elevator moment a bit from the real value in many of my AIR files. While I check that I can get about 15 degrees of sideslip with crossed ailerons and rudders. > Or the third party Payware or Freeware >aircraft developers will develop all aircraft for the >Defaults (PSS does this as a standard). Or at a minimum, be >able to save the sensitivity settings with the aircraft or >have some parameter [Aileron Sensitivity = (Setting on the >current scale)] in the aircraft cfg file. And then the >"Reset to Default" will be the one that is provided by the >Payware or Freeware aircraft developers. The "Sensitivity" sliders in FS do not change the range of control effect, they only slow it down when set low. I set mid range, which is plenty fast for non-acrobatic AC -- making it 'high' has little effect. AC dynamics should limit the attitude rates, not the JS filtering.>I understand that the user will need to adjust these >settings to compensate for system performance. But some >kind of standard of handling sensitivities needs to be >addressed... There has has been since FS2K. In FS98 users set varying sensitivities. That amounted to changing the built in control settings. Which is no more appropriate than changing the steering ratio of a sports car to that of a big truck. --- Except, FD people also had their own settings, so everone was different. >Would like to hear other comments on this issue of >sensitivities. >Barry I found a Wingman FFB JS to be very poor and too sensitive for my AC. My Sidewinder 3D is much better. The fault is with the JS, not the flight models. Ron

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Ron,Thanks for your reply... Good points, well taken...When I think of the Flight Model, I think of how the simulated aircraft responds to control inputs as well. (It has to fall in to the other flight dynamics as well V speeds etc).It is frustrating when doing an approach and the plane careens a bit because as you noted, there is no physical force. Something must be done to compensate for this. Try different designs of Potentiameters (hope I spelled that correctly). The landing phase is where you need pin-point accuracy. It is frustrating to move my Yoke a tiny bit and not be able to put the A/C on the numbers or at least on the center line consistantly (even in totally calm weather) which I used to do fairly consistantly in my real world flying. The gap between MS and reality is closing, but this is a Cement Wall in my opinion.I would like Microsoft to put some development effort into this core component. It should be a priority in my view. If the Product Development Manager who is a CFI accepts this fundamental flaw, I will be very disappointed. Unless they are using hardware that doesn't respond erratically? Then they should publish a Hardware Application Layer like they do for the Windows Operating System (really out there on this one.)Of course ATC and Weather need to be addressed as well, as well as the gaps in scenery.But, again the issue of JS sensitivities needs to be a high priority.Or will it take another generation of Joystick / Control Hardware development to get even close or narrow this major gap.Would like to hear from the Electronics Engineers regarding the flight dynamics and getting them in "sync" with the drivers and FS 9 Or finally, are my expectations just too high?Barry

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>It is frustrating when doing an approach and the plane >careens a bit because as you noted, there is no physical >force. Something must be done to compensate for this. Try >different designs of Potentiameters (hope I spelled that >correctly). The landing phase is where you need pin-point >accuracy. It is frustrating to move my Yoke a tiny bit and >not be able to put the A/C on the numbers or at least on the >center line consistantly (even in totally calm weather) >which I used to do fairly consistantly in my real world >flying. The gap between MS and reality is closing, but this >is a Cement Wall in my opinion. >From using different joysticks & yokes over a period of years, I've seen obvious differences in the hardware myself. I don't use the cheaper yokes anymore, & probably wouldn't be content unless I had one of those $400+ models. My Saitek joysticks have been quite consistant in giving fairly accurate control ----- for hitting the centerline. In other words, I don't find a large gap in control movement versus simulated aircraft movement. And as I've previously mentioned, rudder pedals are also essential for getting the perfect last second alignment with the center line -------unless it's perfectly calm with a straight lined up approach. But then I like to impersonate some of the better aerobatic pilot.. landings who think of landing at the last second when they're 90 degrees sideways to the runway, & near over the threshold! :)Note: Never used the newest CH yoke & can't really comment on it. But have tried the expensive metal yokes which immitate an aircraft rather well.L.Adamson

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Saving sensitivity would be nice. Would also be great if we are able to save graphics setting with an aircraft.

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L. Adamson,Thanks for the reply...Maybe it is just a CH thing?Barry

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>Ron, >>Thanks for your reply... Good points, well taken... >>When I think of the Flight Model, I think of how the >simulated aircraft responds to control inputs as well. (It >has to fall in to the other flight dynamics as well V speeds >etc). >>It is frustrating when doing an approach and the plane >careens a bit because as you noted, there is no physical >force. Something must be done to compensate for this. Try >different designs of Potentiameters (hope I spelled that >correctly). The landing phase is where you need pin-point >accuracy. It is frustrating to move my Yoke a tiny bit and >not be able to put the A/C on the numbers or at least on the >center line consistantly (even in totally calm weather) Some of that is likely related to 'static pitch stability', also 'lateral stability'. And the dynamics associated with each. The Elevator Moment needs to be consistent with the Pitching Moment vs AoA curve, and the pitch MoI affects the dynamics over shorter term variations. I set up one FS twin with a pitching moment from a list of real stability derivatives. I took very little change in elevator or trim to climb or descend. I finally decided there was a decimal point error in the data and increased the pitching moment vs AoA by 10X. Making it similar to other twins. This fixed the imbalance between short and long term elevator and trim effects.>I would like Microsoft to put some development effort into >this core component. It should be a priority in my view. >If the Product Development Manager who is a CFI accepts this >fundamental flaw, I will be very disappointed. I have decided the 'flight model' people at MS are incompentent and mess up more than they fix in the flight model code. Which I think was originally purchased from BAC, then improved by contractor(s). Many things in the FM code were screwed up in FS2K2 relative to FS2K. I have heard that nothing will be done in the next version of FS on the flight dynamics. I don't know; eye candy, clouds, and ATC appear to be where MS is putting its effort. I don't think 'Big Woff' knows enough about AC in general to know what's right and what is wrong. One thing MS mentioned for FSCoF is 'good perfornamce on lower level machines so more people can be introduced to the world of flight'. MS goes after the big market, not the people who care how their AC fly. They pretend to care but don't/can't come through. > Unless they >are using hardware that doesn't respond erratically? Then >they should publish a Hardware Application Layer like they >do for the Windows Operating System (really out there on >this one.) My new Wingman FFB is nearly useless (fortunately only cost me $30 with rebate) in any of the recent MS simulators, also in X-Plane. Forces are weak, or when stronger, not smooth. This makes control very sensitive. If I could reduce the control I wouldn't get realistic roll and pitch rates. I guess as long as gaming reviewers give high marks to FFB sticks realistic FFB will be neglected.>Would like to hear from the Electronics Engineers regarding >the flight dynamics and getting them in "sync" with the >drivers and FS 9 >Barry I am an Electronics Engineer. At least when I still was employed. In fact, I worked at NASA Ames decades ago on really big motion simulators, control systems, and Wind Tunnel components.Ron

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Hey Ron,Thanks again for your reply.I hope Microsoft is reading this thread! Thanks again for your input!Barry

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>> One thing MS mentioned for FSCoF is 'good perfornamce on >lower level machines so more people can be introduced to the >world of flight'. MS goes after the big market, not the >people who care how their AC fly. They pretend to care but >don't/can't come through. >>I suppose they could care & most likely can't come through, unlike you 3rd party people who have developed an expertise over the years..... seriously! Which is exactly why I prefer 3rd party modifications for the defaults, and additional 3rd party aircraft.Lately, I'm even back to the default 172 & 182 with your (Ron Friemuth) file, and the RealAir file for the 182. I was checking out the Boston scenery by Aerosoft Australia which uses the 182 as default. I had forgotten just how smooth the fps is with this plane.But on to another point....................... While MS obviously goes after the BIG market, and has not produced flight characteristics as well as add-ons (a few more thousand hours); there is MUCH more to care/worry about than just the airplane side. I contend they have "cared" quite a bit about real pilots & simmers interested in increasing realism. This is reflected by the fact that they go all out to provide a large airport, Jeppeson navigation, and a reasonable topography data-base. And this year will also include taxiway signs as well as a much improved real-time weather system. The items I've mentioned, arn't just for the "run of the mill" arcade crowd, who wouldn't know any different. L.Adamson

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>>people who care how their AC fly. They pretend to care but >>don't/can't come through. >>>I suppose they could care & most likely can't come through, >unlike you 3rd party people who have developed an expertise >over the years..... seriously! Which is exactly why I >prefer 3rd party modifications for the defaults, and >additional 3rd party aircraft. I figure it's this way: Millions of copies of MSFS are sold around the world. Of those millions, a few dozen users have investigated the Flight Model parameters and eventually gotten it 99% figured out. Though, that still doesn't tell one how to use what's available. OTOH, there are only a limited source of people available to MS to chose from and hire to do this work. Certainly not the whole world of people who get into MSFS flight models is availabe to them. Further, without expertise in the first place, I figure they don't really know who is qualified and who isn't. Recent college graduates may have the theory, but can't apply it well. They tend to learn from the large number of engineers at airframe manufactures such as Boing. Most only work on a few details of AC. Or, go into marketing. ;) Similar things apply to FS gauges, .mdls, etc. People who may already have expertise in grapics apps, etc. are the ones especially attracted to MSFS elements. Though, some learn from scratch. -------------------------->But on to another point....................... While MS >obviously goes after the BIG market, and has not produced >flight characteristics as well as add-ons (a few more >thousand hours); there is MUCH more to care/worry about than >just the airplane side. I contend they have "cared" quite a >bit about real pilots & simmers interested in increasing >realism. This is reflected by the fact that they go all out >to provide a large airport, Jeppeson navigation, and a >reasonable topography data-base...................>L.Adamson Yes, I think the MSFS managment would like to see the 'flight model' taken care of once and for all. Done correctly, it wouldn't need significant changes with new versions of FS/CFS. They do have two or three Aerodynamics Engineers on the staff. Unfortunately, you can't take just anyone with an Aerodynamics degree and get him to produce what's needed. Word is that MS contracted out the improvements of the flight model code. And, that company no longer exists. So, they are stuck trying to improve it and fix a few limitations and bugs in house. What have we seen produced by these MS engineers? Virtually nothing of value. As FS2K2 was in beta they were wasting their time trying to make a good FSEdit that would automatically set up the AIR file. Maybe time ran out, but everyone knows FSEdit does more harm than good. It does have some potential. If one knows what to fix in the parameters and tables it creates. That doesn't help the people who would use it very much. As I keep mentioning, many problems in FS2K were brought to their attention during the beta test. In the end, more was broken than got fixed. Then, in an attempt to 'make more of the aerodynamics parameters available' they have been moving stuff out of the AIR file and into aircraft.cfg. The end result is a cludge that is even more difficut to set up and work with. The tables that affect powerplants, props, stalls, etc. are still in the AIR file. Those are the ones I spend a lot of time on -- they are capable of considerable improvement. Further, generic tables will hardy cover more than a few types of AC. Not the range people want to see modeled. Turboprop AIR files may contain 14,000 bytes. Imagine how large aircraft.cfg would be if all that data were contained in ASCII, rather than binary data. Actually, one approach would be to have one set of powerplant models outside the specific AC. Another set of props. Then, flight models could be built up from common data files which would only need to be set up once. And, electrical, hydraulic, force FFB, etc. could each be in their own files. Something like the .fx and some sound files currently are. Note MS commented that they had enlisted the aid of aviation experts to help make FS2K2 better than ever. However, I know one of those experts was rather P.O.ed with what transpired in the FS2K2 beta test. He got into the FS2K4 beta, but was soon ejected (I don't know the details). From what I've heard, the MSFS beta tests are some of the most unprofessionaly run beta tests around. One normally has an 'open problems' list so everone knows what is fixed, what can't be, etc. But, not in the MS FS beta tests. ;)Ron

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I wouldn't be surprised, given (i) my experience with the stock FS2K2 flight models (ii) what I 've heard about the CFS3 flight models and (iii) this "mass market" push for FS9, that the new FS9 flight models will display all the realism of a toy plane on the end of a stick that you buy from the local fun fair.I'd actually rather MS just leave the FM code alone in case they wreck it even more. At least there are two FM designers out there who know how to make flight models. One has posted here, the other works for RealAir Simulations. Unfortunately, neither work for Microsoft.

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>I would like to see Microsoft build the sensitivites into >the flight model..... Barry, we already have this in effect. Look at the flight_tuning section of aircraft.cfg for a default aircraft and you'll see a set of effectiveness settings for all the axes. Reducing the effectiveness setting can give a much smoother control. Best regards, Chris

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Chris,Why should I need to tune the aircraft? I want to get the same results as the next person. And if people are tweaking the A/C flight dynamics, are they themselves jeapardizing the flight model?The point is that the Aircraft Designer / Producer needs to take responsibility to ensure that the Flight Model is correct. MS needs to provide the detailed documention so number settings are based on aerodynamic models, etc. They need to establish the method and standards in which Aircraft are to be delveloped. Hacking numbers and doing re-iterative tuning just doesn't cut it. It needs to represent the flight model of the aircraft as closely as possible.Is it the flight model? Or the joystick hardware? Or the software drivers? Or a combination of all three? Does Microsoft need to establish a HAL standard for Flight Simulator? Give the hardware maufacturers the necessary tools so they can design their hardware responsiveness correctly. I have read and discovered that there is not too much support for harware manufaturers from Microsoft (Hardware Vs Software). MSFS will not transistion from being a "Game" until this HUGE HUGE issue is addressed.Make it a contest with a $10,000 first prize! This is pennies in the overal spectrim of development. Although, kind of late now for a summer release. There are some many dedicated people that have driven this simulator in the realism perspective, that I believe the problem could and would get solved.Open Systems concept please!Barry

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>Chris, >>Why should I need to tune the aircraft? I want to get the >same results as the next person. And if people are tweaking >the A/C flight dynamics, are they themselves jeapardizing >the flight model? >Barry,With all the differences in hardware, there will always be differences in results. It's no different than shortening or adding to a real aircraft's joystick. Or adding a few hundred pounds of instruments & leather seats to the same plane. The flight characteristics become quite different.Being around homebuilt experimental aircraft, as I am, it's easy to see what small changes can do to the same basic airframe. IMO---- your'e over doing it! Maybe I'm overstsating your issue, but I percieve you calling MSFS just a game until it becomes a full motion simulator! :) While in reality, it can be either a game or a very useful (for real life) simulation, but never take the place of a real one.edit...... not only that, but I often see reports of tweaking flight models around here, when the model was doing something correctly to begin with! So yes, they are jeapardizing................but I wouldn't worry too much, as the results won't be too painful! :) Just seperating real life & the PC desktop here!L.Adamson

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L Adamson,I guess you are totally satisfied with your FS environment. Maybe I need to purchase more expensive hardware, who knows? Although I think I am using pretty standardized hardware. (CH Products USB Yoke and Pedals). I wonder what the FS 9 development team tests with? Probably Sidewinder Joysticks and that is probably the extent of it.I worked for a company at one time in my life and their Credo was "Do the Right Things, Right." With all the flight data, experts used during the development, why do these problems still exist?I realize I am pushing the point here. Only because the situation can improve... Do you agree with this statement? And it is up to the FS community to voice their opinion. I have read many posts regarding problems with the Flight Models (most of which stem from lack of or incorrect FM engine) and basic flight characteristics.I realize Flight Simulation will never be perfect like the real thing, but why not strive toward satifying the fundamental requirements?You are correct, there are many aspects of FS 2Kx that are increadibly accurate. So accuracy is obtainable, why not strive to get these other issues resolved? Do you feel this is unrealistic?It is a problem with lack of standardization. That I feel can be rectified... So, we are all going down the same path. When I hear Steve Small say there is no way to fix a certain flight characteristic, than there is an opportunity for improvement.Ron, a poster in this thread has pointed out some solutions, but the question is are they feasible? I don't have access to the FS 2Kx code so I can't comment. I can't imagine why it wouldn't be.Unless computers can't do mathmatics and physics??? The key is to have people who understand Flight Dynamics do the programming. But obtaining people is purely market driven. Maybe AVSIM needs to hold a Wish List Survey. I wonder if I am a minority on this issue? Computers (even PCs) are used to design complex aircraft in real life. Accurate Simulated flight models are required during design, all performed on computers. We're just talking about effort here!This will be my last comment on this issue until FS 9 is released.Thanks again to all (especially Ron and L Adamson) for great discussion.) I can only hope somebody on the FS Development team is reading this thread! Barry

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>L Adamson, >>I guess you are totally satisfied with your FS environment. It helps to have a real plane in the garage! :)>When I hear Steve Small say there is no way to fix a certain >flight characteristic, than there is an opportunity for >improvement.Was also... once impossible to do spins in FS2002. With a lot of additional thought, creativeness & programming, Rob Young (RealAir Simulations) succeeded. But he did spend 100's of hours programming spins alone. This is why I find no problems with 3rd parties and an expertise developed over years. Therefore, "no way" is....... no longer in effect :) >Thanks again to all (especially Ron and L Adamson) for great >discussion.) I can only hope somebody on the FS Development >team is reading this thread! >they always do.. L.Adamson

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>L Adamson, >.........> Although I think I am using pretty standardized hardware. >(CH Products USB Yoke and Pedals). I wonder what the FS 9 >development team tests with? Probably Sidewinder Joysticks >and that is probably the extent of it. >I worked for a company at one time in my life and their >Credo was "Do the Right Things, Right." With all the flight >data, experts used during the development, why do these >problems still exist? 3D graphics is in a state of development, and users find the bugs. Similar for FFB JS'. While FS people don't like the current FFB results, the Reviews I've seen say they rate 'five stars'. >I realize I am pushing the point here. Only because the >situation can improve... Do you agree with this statement? >And it is up to the FS community to voice their opinion. I >have read many posts regarding problems with the Flight >Models (most of which stem from lack of or incorrect FM >engine) and basic flight characteristics. At least MS sorta 'documents' MSFS now. But, the SDK's are full of errors and usually don't cover the stuff thats need to get desired results. Thus, gauge programmers have worked for a year at a time just trying to get what they need to write and compile good gauges. Similar for Scenery and .mdl design. One might think the flight dynamics would be the heart of a Flight Simulator, most important to be able to model different AC for it. But, MS has been of nearly zero help and there would be nothing but old converted AC done originally with one of those FS 5 level Design Apps. now without a lot of independent effort.>I realize Flight Simulation will never be perfect like the >real thing, but why not strive toward satifying the >fundamental requirements? Tell MS. >When I hear Steve Small say there is no way to fix a certain >flight characteristic, than there is an opportunity for >improvement. >>Ron, a poster in this thread has pointed out some solutions, >but the question is are they feasible? I don't have access >to the FS 2Kx code so I can't comment. I can't imagine why >it wouldn't be. Steve tried to get MS to fix problems with the turboprop and twins in the FS2K2 beta test. He didn't get much cooperation. MS explains very LITTLE, not even what's been fixed in many cases. Of course, they probabley don't even know what they broke. Get it out on TIME! That's their main objective. However, a lot of the problem of designing accurate Flight Dyanmics is in understanding aerodynamics and powerplants in the first place. What I and some others have been doing for years. >Computers (even PCs) are used to design complex aircraft in >real life. Accurate Simulated flight models are required >during design, all performed on computers. We're just >talking about effort here! >Barry One pay $2500 for MathCad and some aerodynamics addon and model AC and autopilots. Then, interface the output to FS or Flight Gear. Clearly only for professionals. And, this is mainly for development, not flying a simulator.Ron

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>I don't know much about the sensitivites but it would be >nice if they allowed a "jolt" on touch down for forceback >joysticks. >>Kilstorm A jolt...? Heck, Kilstorm! My landings (when I do make it back down to Earth), are so lousy, my monitor vibrates off the desk! lolI have a MS/Sidewinder Force-feedback2, and that thing can really kill your arm! I have every force set to maxium (including those in the joystick/calibration properties). Whenever I do attempt a landing, I usually have to turn off "Realism/Collision", or else I would never make it to the parking gates! The forces are realy jerky, when going from the pavement to the grass... yes -- I said grass! lol

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>Steve tried to get MS to fix problems with the turboprop >and twins in the FS2K2 beta test. He didn't get much >cooperation. MS explains very LITTLE, not even what's been >fixed in many cases. Of course, they probabley don't even >know what they broke. >>Ron But it is *not* the role of beta testers to suggest improvements to program code. A beta tester is there to test the program code for stability and to report outright bugs (as in the program aborting, blue screening, producing hex dumps, hardware compatibility etc). As far as overall program design, features, level of realism and sophistication of flight modelling, that has nothing to do with a beta tester and that is the responsibility of the MS project team and any third party consultants they have contracted (as opposed to beta testers).

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>>Steve tried to get MS to fix problems with the turboprop >>and twins in the FS2K2 beta test. He didn't get much >>cooperation. MS explains very LITTLE, not even what's been >>fixed in many cases. Of course, they probabley don't even >>know what they broke. >>>>Ron >>But it is *not* the role of beta testers to suggest >improvements to program code. A beta tester is there to test >the program code for stability and to report outright bugs >(as in the program aborting, blue screening, producing hex >dumps, hardware compatibility etc). Then why did MS make such a big issue of 'Working with Aviation Experts' on FS2K2? To use them to test it for 'stability'?Ron

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