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Charlie Chew

Using Real-world Tools With Fsx

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Hi all,I'd love to hear from FSX users (especially GA VFR flyers) who incorporate real-world flight tools in FSX , and would be interested to know which tools you use regularly.I started ground school classes at my local airport a couple of months ago (which I'm enjoying greatly), and I've started to incorporate some of the items in our ground school kit in my FSX flights. I've started to make use of my Toronto VFR sectional, ASA CX-2 flight computer and NAV Canada flight plan checklist in the sim. Can anyone recommend any other real-world tools I should consider adding to my virtual VFR flights?

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I'm old school having acquired a CPL waaaaaay back in 1969 (Calgary) when 8 mile to the inch charts were priced at 50 cents each. What's an "ASA CX2" flight computer? I regularly use my old (plastic) Jeppesen "Slide Graphic" computer, a modernized E6b quite a bit....mainly for Time/Speed/Distance calculations and TAS computations.For VFR, probably what you're doing is nearly all you can do within the limitations of Flight Sim. I found being able to figure out the upper wind is helpful on flights of 100 miles or more, provided you use real world weather and don't cheat by hitting Shift+Z to see what it actually is.Sounds like you're enjoying the whole process just as I did.Cal - VE7ZZZCYXX

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For VFR, probably what you're doing is nearly all you can do within the limitations of Flight Sim. I found being able to figure out the upper wind is helpful on flights of 100 miles or more, provided you use real world weather and don't cheat by hitting Shift+Z to see what it actually is.Sounds like you're enjoying the whole process just as I did.
Using Shift Z isn't exactly cheating these days. :) I use a Garmin 696 "handheld" along with XM Satellite weather for real world flying. Since the technology is there, for instant weather updates in the cockpit, including destinations that are hundreds of miles away..................then why not use it! It's great to have an up-linked weather screen that allows for deviations from the original plan........in plenty of time. L.Adamson

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Hi all,I'd love to hear from FSX users (especially GA VFR flyers) who incorporate real-world flight tools in FSX , and would be interested to know which tools you use regularly.I started ground school classes at my local airport a couple of months ago (which I'm enjoying greatly), and I've started to incorporate some of the items in our ground school kit in my FSX flights. I've started to make use of my Toronto VFR sectional, ASA CX-2 flight computer and NAV Canada flight plan checklist in the sim. Can anyone recommend any other real-world tools I should consider adding to my virtual VFR flights?
I use Golden Eagle Flight Prep, a flight planning tool for real world pilots, and sectional and terminals.I also fly in real world/real time weather as supplied by ASX all the time. I use Radar Contact for IRF flights (which provides a bit more realistic ATC communications that the default).Based on my knowledge, I always fly per the rules and regulations of the airways and airspace. I also won't fly VFR in non-VFR conditions, and when flying VFR stay out of the clouds, use the proper flight altitude, etc.When possible, I try to get my hands on actual documentation and check-lists of the aircraft I fly.Basically, I try to simulate real world flying as much as possible....without the real world turbulence ;)

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I fly VFR out of Toronto Buttonville in the real world. If I ever plan to fly to an airport in real life which I have never been to before I always fly it in FSX beforehand. I plan the flight as I would normally using the same flight plan I have prepared for the real thing (of course weather would be different but obtained for real from the Nav Canada site) with tools like the CX2 and appropriate maps and CFS. I use the COPA (Canadian Owners and Pilots Association) 'Places to Fly' web-page for the airport I'm going to, and will also check things out in Google Earth. When I fly I use the VNC, VTA and CFS as appropriate with my map and flight plan on my kneeboard as it would also be. I update the flight plan as I go along and use my E6B to do my calculations enroute. Basically I use all the same things as I would whether real or sim.Now, of course I also use Ultimate Terrain X for Canada to greatly enhance the scenery within FSX so that I can use the same visual checkpoints e.g. roads, railroads, water features, etc..Jeff

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I've used every version for every rating I've ever done and I find my needs change with time, ratings, and experience.With Fs4 it was S turns, turns about a point-changing the winds, xwind landings, and general coordination. All my xcross countries I did first on the sim.With Fs95/fs for windows it was instrument work-holds,ils/vor approaches, power settings, especially ndb approaches with different wind conditions.In Pro Pilot in the late 90's it was flying my plane of the time with great reality (fs didn't have anything like that then)With fs2000 I was doing Chandelles, Lazy eights, engine out spot landings, now with a 98% reproduction of the plane I flew.With fs2002 it was engine cuts and single engine ifr approaches, and multi training.Then for a long time it was preflying any rw flight with rw world weather (learning the typical weather patterns), terrain recognition, and familiarity with approaches. Especially useful in areas of the country I had never been to. I have also used my gps setup with gps out with the sim just to get used to it.Now it is sometimes re living these flights with historical weather from Asx, single engine drills and approaches, and instrument refreshing, and comparing places I have been to the sim-which is always quite amazing.I always use charts, approach plates, and as much real hardware to try to get as much realism. My rw flight planner will import directly into FS (Voyager) so that is nice. If I haven't flown for a while I'll go thru what I think I might be rusty on-and the sim really helps.With the Flight One Mustang I am now re living icing! It is nice to get that sometimes unexpected and always uncomfortable feeling...One thing I truly believe in-is get as close to what you fly in the sim-instrumentation, instrument placement, looks, and hardware. It then becomes not only an incredibly useful tool but a real money saver. :(

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How do you export a flightplan from Voyager to FSX? I use the free version of Voyager and exporting to FSX would be a VERY helpful feature.Thanks

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How do you export a flightplan from Voyager to FSX? I use the free version of Voyager and exporting to FSX would be a VERY helpful feature.Thanks
It is might only be in the pay version....but it is under "file" -"send to application or device"....

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Thanks everybody,Calb, the CX2 looks like a glorified calculator.. It's handy for calculating headwind/x-wind (and lots of other stuff I'm sure, but we're not that far into our classes yet).Geof, thanks for sharing your experiences with FS. The stuff I'm learning in ground school has certainly given me a new appreciation for the richness and complexity of FSX.Another bonus of striving to make your sim setup as "real" as possible is never running out of ideas when your wife asks what you want for Christmas: As I'll eventually be taking lessons on a C-172, here's what's on my list for Santa this year:

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How do you export a flightplan from Voyager to FSX? I use the free version of Voyager and exporting to FSX would be a VERY helpful feature.Thanks
.....mmmmm....Voyager looks like an interesting tool....I'm going to download the freeware version and compare it to FlightPrep. Looks similar, but would love to find out how these two compare.

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.....mmmmm....Voyager looks like an interesting tool....I'm going to download the freeware version and compare it to FlightPrep. Looks similar, but would love to find out how these two compare.
Voyager is great but almost a little too complicated and a little on the slow side so I am migrating back to Flightprep.It does have a lot of neat features though.

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Yes, the export to MSFS option is only available in the pay version of Voyager.Voyager 4 is a bit faster than the previous 3 version, and has some nice features, but still not quick if you have a slower dual core. I bought it on a special offer last Christmas but have grown increasingly frustrated with it and the business/data model. As I fly primarily in Canada they have not delivered on providing accurate and up-to-date database updates for it as they were taking the cheap route and using the previously free DAFIF data. Topographical data in Canada is also very poor with large lakes and islands completely missing even though smaller ones are included in the US data. To try and get me to maintain my updates subscription with them they promised that as they had new Canadian topographic data inhouse that it would make it into the product within 3 months. Never did. They also do not provide bug fixes to the main program unless you have a valid aeronautical data subscription - which as it is limited in my case does not make much sense. If you have a subscription with them and it is about to expire they will bug you like crazy to renew. They even phoned me on Canadian Thanksgiving with a hard sell call.Jeff

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Wow! I'm really happy to read that some of you have tried FlightPrep software. I think it's the best, of course I'm a little biased, I work for FlightPrep.From this conversation it sounds like the one feature we are missing that would really make the software better for FSX users is the ability to export a flight plan from FlightPrep to FSX. I'll make a note for the engineers and see if they can get that scheduled in. No guarantees on delivery date. Also, sounds like some of you are in Canada. Sadly we don't have Canadian coverage. We've been working with NavCanada for a long time to get their data digital and be able to sell it, but they're still a ways from making that possible.On the plus side, we regularly use FSX to feed our software simulated GPS information to test new features, using FSUIPC and WideFS. Makes it a lot easier to safely test new features when you can simply pause FSX while you find the bugs ;-)Lastly, if you would like a FREE electronic sectional chart to try out in our software, just send an email to sales at flightprep.com I'll give one away to the first 10 that email.Thanks! Happy Flying!

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Wow! I'm really happy to read that some of you have tried FlightPrep software. I think it's the best, of course I'm a little biased, I work for FlightPrep.From this conversation it sounds like the one feature we are missing that would really make the software better for FSX users is the ability to export a flight plan from FlightPrep to FSX. I'll make a note for the engineers and see if they can get that scheduled in. No guarantees on delivery date. Also, sounds like some of you are in Canada. Sadly we don't have Canadian coverage. We've been working with NavCanada for a long time to get their data digital and be able to sell it, but they're still a ways from making that possible.On the plus side, we regularly use FSX to feed our software simulated GPS information to test new features, using FSUIPC and WideFS. Makes it a lot easier to safely test new features when you can simply pause FSX while you find the bugs ;-)Lastly, if you would like a FREE electronic sectional chart to try out in our software, just send an email to sales at flightprep.com I'll give one away to the first 10 that email.Thanks! Happy Flying!
I've been using Fliteprep for 4 years and love it. An export for fsx would be great, as would gas prices displayed on the charts-the only thing that made me try a competitor-but I still stayed loyal... :( As for Canada I understand the problems-I had a trip to New England and then on to Nova Scotia this summer but was unable to get approach plates (. I even called the airports themselves to have them faxed and they even didn't have them). Seems quite difficult and now with the new elt requirements and border crossing requirements I bet a lot of business will be lost. I know they lost mine.

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Geof,If you ever do change your mind and fly into Canada again and need charts and approach plates, just let me know and I'll point you where to get them from or even pick them up for you myself (my local pilot supply shop usually has a supply for all of Canada).Jeff

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