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Guest RSmith

What got you in to flight simulation?

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This is a question that I've wanted to ask some of you. Elaborate as much or as little as you please. Thanks in advance for your responses!My story: I was in Minnesota at the Mall of America, and a long time ago they used to have a store that was strictly aviation (probably my favorite store in the entire world, but alas I was too young to remember the name). And in one corner, they had a computer. And right under the monitor was this huge setup- they had a yoke and pedals and a throttle (oh my). In the computer must have been FS95. So I headed up the throttle and took off! It was very nice to say the least, and from that moment on I was hooked on flight simulation.

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A nice topic! Actually I had to think about it a bit, but I believe the first time I saw flightsim it was the original sublogic version on my uncles commodore 128 like 10 or 15 years ago. Although then I was more interested in Boulder Dash (does anyone remember that marvellous game?!) I found the flightsimthing really fascinating with all the big maps and stuff you got in those days. A couple of years later when I got my first real pc (an IBM 486SX 20, those where the days!) I got Flightsim 5.0, and have been stuck pretty much since then!/fredrik

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FS4.0 on my AppleIIE, my first computer. Got it the same day as the computer, December 23, 1985. Merry Christmas to Me!!JimActiveSky Support

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I was always fond of flight, and from the mid 60's onward flew often, but how I got interested?I was flying to Europe in 1984, and was browsing a copy of Newsweek (at least I believe it was NW), and it was reporting on the most popular software title at that time--Flight Simulator. When I returned to the States a month later, first thing I did--went out and bought a C64 and Sublogic's FS. About the same time, I started taking flying lessons, and even that version of FS gave me some solid skills on the NAV equipment. My flight instructor, who was also a buddy, would allow me to handle the NAV chores when he went up on his own cross country flights.Sorry to say, I ran out of money before I could log much time (we shared the costs of renting aircraft, thus I learned the basics on a 182--HIS favorite rental), and 1985 proved to be the last year my hands ever touched a yoke. I'm still relatively young, and I'm hoping the Sport Pilot class will make aviation fairly affordable so I can again have the best of both. There's some Sport Pilot class aircraft I can already afford.... I suspect should it become reality, Sport Pilot will keep my weekends spent simming to a minimum...

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Have always loved to fly. When I was 13, I was in Civil Air Patrol and a friend's dad was in charge of F-4 Phantom simulators at the local Air Force base. Our squadron had the opportunity to fly the simulator (of course, we all crashed horribly!). In later years, I had friends who had their private ticket and would take me up in their Cessnas. I also flew on helicopters in Southeast Asia. When I worked in broadcasting, I did traffic reports from the backseat of a Cessna 172 over our town. I also piloted hot air balloons. When FS came out, I had to get it. Started with FS98 and then got a new computer and got FS2K2. HarryKey West, FL

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I always had a longing to be around aviation having a Father that worked for Aerospace Engineering and being stationed at the local airport (Easterwood, College Station, TX) where I grew up, but never ventured into the actual flying part of it. Had a flight in a friend's plane (Archer I believe) 3 years ago and got to take the yoke for a bit, WHAT A FEELING!!!It was all I could talk about afterwards. I had just bought my first PC for Rainbow Six and my sister, for Xmas got me CFS2 and I have been addicte.., um, hooked on simming ever since!! Regards, Michaelhttp://mysite.verizon.net/res052cd/mybannercva1.jpgCalVirAir International VAwww.calvirair.comCougar Mountain Helicopters & Aviationwww.cgrmtnhelos.com

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What got me into flight simulation was a picture of the globe at the back of the box of MSFSim 5.1., claiming if I bought the thing, I could fly round the world. And I thought to myself, "And a computer game can do THAT?!"So I was still sceptical of how they can put the world into a CDRom and after a few months learning about vors and the basics, I decided to test it by flying from Singapore to Thailand to see how accurate the whole thing was. All I had was an atlas, a protractor and a long ruler. I somehow manage to get Bangkok's airport's ATIS (think it was on the cdrom), and used the protractor to measure the angle between the 2 countries. I took off from Singapore's Changi not knowing whether I would reach anywhere since I had only a bearing and an ATIC freq. The sudden faint crackle of Thailand's atis was the most incredible thing in the world. 5.1's claims were right, this thing really works!And when I was in the army, they charted a 747-400 to take us to Taiwan for exercises, and I had the fortune to sit in first class for free. Not satisfied with playing around with the huge reclining seat, I walked up the stairs and wanted to look around the cockpit. A young pilot came out and we started talking...waypoints, navigation,....and I just couldn't believe it, I was holding a fasinating conversation with a pilot all because I had been playing this interesting little computer game...:)I haven't played for quite a while since FS2000, forgotten most of the stuff... will be getting COF though.

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My interest in flight simming started in a whole other galaxy (so to speak). Back in 1991 or 92 I picked up a copy of Microsoft Space Simulator (the reason I purchased that sim is a whole other story) and I became infatuated with it. I could explore what seemed like the entire universe in that sim, and yet the representation of planet Earth was incredibly bland--the surface was basically a giant blurry texture (sound familiar? :-lol). Anyways, this game kept me very occupied for several years until I saw FS5.1 in the stores. I was amazed at how it claimed that you could explore the entire world, and noticing that it was made by the same company as the wonderful space sim I ended up buying it. It turned out to be the perfect complement to Space Simulator (which is now gathering dust on my shelf, ironically enough).And the rest, as they say, is history :-).

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I must have been like 5 at the time.. my parrents bought a comadore 64.My dad loaded up the flight sim for it.. I think it was either fs1 or fs2.. Landing on the carrier and ####. Even real early like fs4 my dad tought me navigation on the thing. How to enter vor's and follow them. It even came with huge mapsSo thats how I got hooked. Ive had all microsoft flight sims, both combat and regular.

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I was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1988 and had delusions of being a United Airline pilot. So it was a natural!Cheers,Noel

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back in 1981 or so, I had an apple 2. A friend of mine told me about afs2 by sublogic. You could actually fly a plane on your pc. The idea blew my mind. And COOL...you bet. I played it for hours. and I've never stopped.I was just remembering how I'd be SO excited if a scenery disk was released, even thou the world was just green and the airports consisted of just white lines that designated the airport!flightsim ver 3...perhaps. Another memory, when Hawaii for fs ver 4 came out...the detail was something I'd never seen before. And there were awesome mountains. That was amazing.Bob Bernstein

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Started with Pilot training back in the early 80s, so I thought it would help to get subLOGIC's Flight Simulator for the Commodore 64. Today I have a pilot's certificate, but I'm still flying FS, and I'm sure I'll be for as long as I can do it.Dave Vega

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I think I was about six when I got my glimpse of an airplaneon the ground,a curtiss robin that a barnstormer had flown into a Husking Bee, in Nebraska,that was the early 30,s,been hooked ever since,from FS4 to FS2k2,ain't life just great.....asd2002

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It all started for me on the Commodore 64, I think the name of the "sim" was Fighter Pilot. Basically green at the bottom, blue in the top half of the screen.. Hours of fun, from then on I was hooked and now the names are coming back to me. ACE, Spitfire Ace, Ace of Aces, Ace2, Soloflight, then I got the Commodre Amiga and it came with F/A18 Interceptor.. My first "vector" graphics sim was truely remarkable, I couldn't believe you could actually see the plane from EVERY ANGLE, and it had carrier landings/launches, and if you had the half megabyte upgrade in your Amiga you got improved sounds (and so far its the only sim where the Sonic boom is heard when breaking the sound barrier). Then I got a PC and bought FS5.1, then FS95, FS98, FS2K, FS2K2 and no doubt FS2k4 and beyond. (not to mention Flight Unlimited 1, 2 & 3, Pro Pilot (lord have mercy on my soul))..Great topic..PS... Almost forgot all the military Sims as well, TFX, EF2000, ADF (then the add-on which was a full prodct) Total Air War, CFS, CFS2. WWII Fighters, F15...Arrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggghhm the list is huge, better hide this thread in case my girlfriend realises how much I have spent on this damn hobby..)

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Back in 1988 I got a C64 and it came with FS-II. The only thing I could really do with it was read the manual, because with the 2 f/s, flying was virtually impossible. Somehow that game was different because it simulated a reallife system, something very strange to me in that times of sprites and 16 colors. When I got a 286, I got a flightsim game. I don't really know what it was called, but it was something with chuck yeager. It featured CGA graphics, and some "landscapes" that had large pyramids and cubes. It had cessna's and jet aircraft, and also the SR-71. It was so smooth, I had never seen anything like it before. I flew that everyday. I always tried to fly from one point to the other. Later came FS3 and I got a real world, and I bought the Europe scenery disc. I was obsessed by it then and started programming software for FS. In 1997 I combined my obsession with networking (packets from point A to :( and Flightsimming (aircraft from point A to :( and I wrote the Squawkbox servers. I now have a full TRC/Goflight cockpit and I still fly regularly.Marty

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I also was given the SubLogic version as a christmas gift when I was in 5th grade. I remember it only covered certain areas of the US and came with some charts. I flew on an Atari 520 ST PC. I self taught myself everything. I also had to use the default keyboard controls. No internet either. I was eventually flying around the country using scenery disks, the first payware addons. I would be flying, then get a window telling me to insert the scenery disk to continue. I used the Sublogic version until 1993 when I went to college. I didn't have a computer in college, so the next version I got was FS98 when I graduated and could afford my own computer. Of course that was a huge eye opener for me. What progress in those years. The rest is as they say... "history."

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I never bothered with a home PC until 1999 (I figured 10 hours a day on the work PCs was enough). In April 1999 I bought my first home PC - a very simple and slow Compaq. It was also at this time that Microsoft brought out the Windows 98 Second Edition upgrade CD. On that CD was a demo of Monster Truck Madness. This was the first graphically-based game I played on a PC and of course it opened up a whole new world for me. Over the next few months I scoured the internet for game demos that were able to run on my slow PC (a big ask). Probably around August 1998 I stumbled across Red Baron 3D. This was one of the very few games that could run on the Compaq. That was the beginning of the flight sim addiction. Soon after I bought FS98 at a heavily discounted price. Snce 1999 I have bought the following flight sims: Red Baron 3D, FS98, Janes WWII Fighters, CFS1, CFS2, FS2000, FS2002, IL2 and IL2 Forgotten Battles. Needless to say, FS2004 will be added to the list hopefully within the next two months.

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Kinda embarassing but at least its the truth. I was about 14 or 15, and I shoplifted a Flight Simulator 98 CD, and I've been hooked on FS since, lol.

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I've been fascinated with flight for about 9-10 years now. Here's how I got into simming...I started out RC model flying and that was too hard and too scary :-lol. I mean I spent about $900.00 CAD on a trainer, worked likely 80 hours diligently building it then just about crapped myself on its first flight. I ended up cartwheeling it into the shrubs some flights later :-8 :-lol . I had an instructor/trainer of course who was extremely helpful although he no doubt found me a bit gung-ho. One day he asked me if I'd tried Flight Unlimited. Maybe my trainer was dropping a hint ;-) . He picked up his copy and brought it over to the house. I've been hooked on flight simming ever since. I also took ultralight lessons and fly 172's every summer with my friend so I still love, no crave, flight simming. I still have my old RC trainer on the shelf and when I look up at it and feel inadequate, :( I load up FS and go for a flight in some relatively complex aircraft. :D Nice thread!Adam

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hehe - good thread!What got me started was "Solo Flight" on the C64. It was basic, but impressive considering this was about 1984. I also got FS2.0 for the C64, I recall KOAK 27L being a favourite approach on it.Then I saw F/A 18 Interceptor for the Amiga in a magazine. I had to have it so I bought (well Christmas pressie) an Amiga 500 in 1988 just for Interceptor. A quality game.Then FS5.0 (with that taunting picture of a photo-textured Meigs runway on the box) forced me to buy a 486sx25 with 4 Meg ram and 1 Meg SVGA card, bybye student loan in 1993. I bought the PC from a very dodgy geezer upstairs in Tottenham Court Road (you Londoners will know what I`m talking about) and it never worked stably. However it did teach me how to use a VOR and an ILS, and how to grease the Lear into Champaign/Urbana Airport.It goes on! FS2000 - new PC 1999, FS2002 - continuous upgrading of PC`s since 2001!!FS2004, new PC (no doubt!)I wouldn`t change a thing. If I had known in 1984 what Fs2002 would look like now I would have gone nuts waiting!!

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Hmmm... That's easy. I got FS98 totally unexpected on X-mas '97. I was around ten (?) (I'll turn 16 tomorrow). Well, I never was too much into aviation before, and did hell not know there was something out there like FS. Well... Then, I somewhat fiddled around with it. There were some initial problems, it wouldn't run on our home 74MHz PC, so I only could "fly" at a friend's 133MHz machine. I always 'overlooked' that message telling something about, hmmm, scenery cache and a CD... Huh, one day I finally discovered I had to insert the CD to see any scenery, yee haa! Before I just chose one airport, no matter which one it was, of course there showed up exactly nuffin. After a while I got a great book about FS98, about 500+ pages (I still use it today sometimes), and that's when the real fun started, 'cause I learned almost everything just from that book, for example landing, navigation... Yipee. I really got fun with it and well... Yeah, that's it, then the obsession woke up. :-hah Quite glad about it! :DThanks for this idea, :-)Etienne :-wave

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Flight sims always fascinated me, although I was unable to 'indulge' until the first affordable home computers became available. My first computer was a Sinclair ZX81, for which I bought a Flight Simulator program (probably running in 16k!). My clearest memory of the program was the jagged horizon when you banked - like a staircase! I later progressed on to the Sublogic Flight Simulators, starting about FS2 (I remember getting very excited about the scenery enhancements with FS3), and the rest is history...Boogie.

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For me it was 1984. Along for the ride on my Radio Shack(TRS-80) Color Computer with Tom Mix Software's Worlds of Flight! I still have advertisements from that time period. It was a 32kilobyte machine language program. :( "The program is available on DISK but was specifically designed to bring unprecedented detail and power to CASSETTE systems." hehehe Still not sure what that means.Keep in mind all graphics were in B&W Wireframe.Ahhh, those were the days! :-roll

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In my case I was fascinated with aviation since I was a little kid. Once I got a decent PC (a 486) I bought FS4.0. I, too, was amazed by the fact I could fly anywhere in the world, including Brazil, where I'm from.I didn't have a joystick at that time, so I used to fly heavies with the keyboard.I didn't have money to start flying lessons so I decided to try skydiving, which is a lot of fun, by the way (for 1 minute YOU are the aircraft, for another 3 or so minutes you are a kind of glider...)Anyway, I progressed from FS4.0 to FS5.1 to FS95 (got a joystick at this time, no rudder though), FS98. At that time, I decided to change and I tried Fly! and FU. Those got me hooked up pretty bad... I invested in a decent yoke and rudders and the whole experience enhanced quite a lot.Now I'm in FS2K2 and I like to fly the aircraft I jump from, usually (especially because I have the opportunity to actually see the pilot flying the plane, except for the landing phase... ;-)The interesting thing is that I learned how to speak and the procedures with ATC in English and I have a hard time trying to do that in Portuguese... what a shame...RgdsMarcelo

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I was amazed to see a PC in a store window with a green lined version of a flight simulator (FS2?)and I thought that some day we'll be able to have a full motion sim in a spare room. That was 20 years ago. I was always facinated with flight and soloed in 1991 at Brookhaven in Long Island. To compliment my flight training, I got a 286 PC and FS 4 and had to design all of my own airports and scenery to match my real flying experiences. Later, when I went for Instrument training, I started shooting approaches with FS 5.0 and I think I must have saved at least 20 hours in the air for my ticket. Now the U.S. Navy uses MSFS for their cadets... 500 flight hours later, I thought that $100 hamburgers were a bit much and gave up real flight. However, I never stopped simming as the skills and fun are still with me in my own homebuilt sim. Since jets had to be more fun than C 172's, I decided to build my own A320 cockpit and really have some fun with the available technology which as you guys know, is getting pretty awesome. A pic is attached.

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