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JRMurray

Never Thought I'd Get Serious About Fsx, But ...

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... believe it or not, after buying DCS Black Shark and successfully flying around (and blowing up stuff!), I started thinking about FSX and flying helicopters.I bought and installed FSX as soon as it came out, but I've not really used it much since then because of its somewhat lackluster performance on my system (AMD Athlon X2 3800+/2 Gigs RAM/NVidia 8800GT): I could run FS2004 with Ultimate Terrain, lots of autogen, AI airliners, etc. etc. etc. at high detail with no stuttering, but I couldn't run a vanilla install of FSX at low levels of everything without slowdowns.Anyway, within the past week, Black Shark has piqued my interest in helicopters, and since I've read that choppers were modelled better in FSX than in FS2004, I decided to try FSX once again. However, I discovered that it had been so long since I had abandoned FSX that I needed to upgrade to SP1 and SP2 (don't have Acceleration yet).Once I had done so, I started learning how to fly the R22, and I was surprised that I could actually control it well enough to take off, fly around, and land where I wanted to! I had tried helicopters in FS2004, but I had never been successful. Wow! All of sudden, helicopters had become fun rather than an exercise in frustration.Also ... I was shocked: I actually started liking FSX! It isn't actually so bad after all--for sightseeing with helicopters, anyway. Scenery seems to be modelled much better than in FS2004, and the service packs combined with a bit of tweaking using nHancer has yielded acceptable frame rates for slow moving aircraft such as helicopter.Although I won't be abandoning FS2004 any time soon (I will continue to use it for all other types of flying), I'll be doing all of my helicopter flying in FSX--and liking it. :(

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As some would say, welcome to the dark side, :( Do you have any rudder pedals? If not get some, or at least use some gas/brake pedals from a racing game setup if you have some. You can configure them for rudder pedals if you can't buy some in the mean time. Before I invested in a set of rudder pedals flying choppers was really difficult, even using one of those twist grip joysticks for rudder. Now with pedals, flying choppers is a joy with the controlability I have. You may want to check out some of the choppers by Nemeth Designs http://www.nemethdesigns.com/ also. I have the CH-53 and it is pretty complex. You will have to read the manual for that one. In terms of complexity it would be like flying the Level-D 767, but in a chopper. I don't know about your AMD specs, but now that hardware is catching up to FSX, when you upgrade in the future and can fly anything you want from heavies to GA to choppers, you will probably have no reason to go back to FS9. I got the system in my sig in April and haven't even fired up FS9 on my old system, not once. Good luck.

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However helos in FSX have been dumbed down so they are easier to fly. The default ones I'm talking about. You'll notice they are not as sensitive on the axes.But yeah, they are pretty fun, I like the Acceleration EH101 personally.

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Do you have any rudder pedals?
Yes, I do. I've been simming since the Timex Sinclair ZX (!), so nowadays, for flying airplanes, I have a CH Pro yoke and CH Pro rudder pedals setup, and for helicopters, I have a MS Sidewinder 2 Force Feedback joystick plus the rudder pedals. I also have a Saitek X36 setup that I don't use very often.
You may want to check out some of the choppers by Nemeth Designs
I already have, and I've already thought about buying the CH-53 you mentioned. I'm tempted, and tomorrow is my birthday, so ... :-)Good point about hardware now catching up to FSX. I'll probably buy a new system next year (can't believe how inexpensive computers are getting), so I look forward to running FSX at least as well as I do FS2004.
But yeah, they are pretty fun, I like the Acceleration EH101 personally.
It's my birthday tomorrow, so maybe I'll give myself Acceleration today--an early birthday present! :-)

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You may also find it better to fly helicopters if you reduce your Realism settings to Medium. Some rotor characteristics are enhanced with that setting that are lost when you boost Realism to High. Things like autorotation are improved a bit when you do that. Jeff ShylukAssistant Managing EditorSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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However helos in FSX have been dumbed down so they are easier to fly. The default ones I'm talking about. You'll notice they are not as sensitive on the axes.But yeah, they are pretty fun, I like the Acceleration EH101 personally.
Sensitivity is a function of the controller and can be adjusted. I use different sensitivity adjustments for fix wing and rotor wing. I do this by moving the sliders in FSX for maximum sensitivity, then use my controller functions to change sensitivity on the fly. If your controller does not have this feature, you will need to change FSX settings before flight. With this feature at my fingertips, I can change the feel of any aircraft from slow and sluggish to light an nimble.Gunner

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You may also find it better to fly helicopters if you reduce your Realism settings to Medium.
Thanks for the tip, Jeff. I've made the adjustment, and I do notice a difference.Gotta say, I'm still impressed with FSX for low and slow flying. Even without any enhancements such as the FSX versions of UT or AS, FSX looks great. The only thing that I miss is a lot of traffic--which I have turned down due to my system.

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