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Recommendations for a good VFR plane?

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I've been browsing through the file libraries looking for a new GA plane, but haven't really found what I am looking for. Basically, I want something that combines good visibility from the cockpit (i.e. the default trainer) with some speed. The trainer is nice to fly, but it hasn't really got the get-up-and-go that I am looking for.I like flying the default Baron with Steve Small's flight model, but it's a terrible sight-seeing plane.I'd prefer something modeled in GMAX (with a VC, of course). I have the FSD-Commander, which is great, but I have found that the gauges don't move smoothly in the VC. I know that they are coming out with a GMAX version of the commander, but I'm impatient.I'd prefer something that is either freeware or one that I can try before I buy. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!

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You might enjoy the SF260 Marchetti.. fast and with a bubble canopy.The VC is unequalled in its quality. Great visibility!Payware, but worth every penny.This is the VFR plane I enjoy flying the most! Did I mention that it can do aerobatics as well?

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The sf260 is great as mentioned. Also, the Dreamfleet Cessna 177 is a great vfr plane. No demo version, but if you like ga planes, I don't think the 177 will disappoint. EDIT: forgot about the air files from RealAirSimulations. They have a great flight model for the default Cessna 182 and one coming soon for the 172. Http://www.realairsimulations.com/ It is free!

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I was just looking at the Dreamfleet 177, and it looks like a great plane. It's an over-wing, so visiblity should be good, and it looks like it is nice and authentic.I read a review that mentioned something about "jerky" instruments in the VC view of the Cardinal. Has anyone noticed this? This was the problem I had with the FSD commander. In general, is the cardinal going to reduce performance in FS2k2? At this point, I have the sim pretty finally tuned, and would prefer not to take a performance hit.I think I will purchase the sf260 - it looks amazing - but I want to find a new GA plane that it a little more down-to-earth and can serve as my default.

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..funny you should mention it.. the Cardinal is my default plane.You get two planes for the price of one (a fixed gear and an RG model).If you end up buying this plane, send me an email, and I'll send you anupdated bitmap for the RG with the correct call-sign.. mind you, that is the 2d cockpit (have not figured out how to fix the VC..)

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I purchased the Dreamfleet cardinal today and have been buzzing around a bit. I'm pretty impressed. I did notice an impact in fps ... around 5fps versus the default C172 if I set the fps to unlimited (30fps for the Cardinal and 35 fps for the C172 flying over KSEA at dusk). However, the impact isn't really felt because both planes fit within my 23fps threshold during normal flying.Visiblity from the cockpit is good, and of course -- at first blush -- it looks and flies great. THe detail in the virtual cockpit (complete with the tacky wood grain) really make you feel like you're in the real thing.Instrument movement in the VC is good -- comparable to the default planes -- which is impressive because of the level of detail in the Cardinal's VC.Anyway, thanks much for the recommendations.I also purchased Emma Field today to serve as a home base for my new plane ;)

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Considering the far higher complexity of the model of the Cardinal I don't see why you should even mention a small drop in performance...If you don't expect a model like that to cause a performance hit (and seeing the jerky gauge movement you experience in the Commander I think you should expect that from every complex model, as the Commander is easier on your CPU than most) you should stick to the default aircraft...

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I really don't think I was complaining. I only mentiond it as context for anyone else who might be wondering the same thing.FS2k2, no matter how powerful your computer, involves a bit of a balancing act. I worked quite a bit to get all of the settings within and without the sim adjusted to give me the best level of quality with a consistent level of performance. I don't want to buy a commercial plane that is going to cut my finely tuned performance in half - no matter what the level of detail. This is why I asked for opinions from people who already owned the plane. Perhaps I should "simply stick to the default aircraft", but it seems to me that there are others who have to weigh the same factors and decide at what point a performance hit is going to have an impact on their enjoyment of a product they paid for.As for jerky VC gauge movement, since the Commander was the first payware plane I purchased, and I ended up not flying it because the VC instruments weren't smooth enough for hand-flying, I was of course concerned when I read a review that identified this as a problem with the Cardinal.Luckily, the Cardinal looks great and flies great, the instruments are as smooth as the default, and there is only a very minor (as I noted) hit on performance.So, I'm not sure what you read into my post, but I was trying to be complimentary. I took the time to run some benchmarks to determine the impact of the Cardinal on my system, and thought I would share the results in case it was helpful to anyone else.

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