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michal

Where to start...?

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I know, it's a maddeningly general topic, but any feedback would be appreciated. I'm a (relative) newcomer to the organized Fight Simulator community. I've owned (and been happy with) both FS2000 and FS2002, but always hit a brick wall. I completed the basic pilot's training in both (long hiatus caused me to get out of practice) and then discovered Avsim, but was utterly unable to sort out the vast number of files, add ons, and options for the sim. I also lacked any sort of a 'structure' for which to practice my first love, general aviation, past the set lessons on the sim. Flying patterns quickly got tiresome all by themselves, and there were simply too many choices to do what I did a long time ago with my Commodore 64 -- generate random flights on my own.I'm about to receive my copy of FS2004, and begin the whole cycle all over again. While I have some interest in virtual airlines in the long term, for now I have a limited budget in both time and money and want to practice general aviation. I get good in Cessnas and Pipers, then I'll start learning the commercial jets.Where should I begin sorting out the vast numbers of add-ons? How do people outside of the VAs generate flights to practice? As said before, any suggestions as to how I should proceed are greatly appreciated.

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The very first thing would be to decide what you really want, what are your expectations, tastes as to realism of flight, panels, graphics, etc. Some use the aircraft that come with the FS and they feel they don't need anything better. Other pick and chose and find some excellent freeware aircraft or yet pay $$ to get top realism. As far as general aviation I would have to say you would be hard pressed to find anything better than Flight1's Piper Meridian (will cost you around $30) but this product comes with complexities not everyone wants or appreciates (and may need faster computer too). But besides the Meridian which is really at the end of the scale you have great Pipers or Cessnas that you can purchase - vastly better than what's in the box.But I applaud your choice of GA for start. I think people who have no prior aviation experience (real world) and who move straight to jets definitely loose something (and their flying skills may suffer).Michael J.http://www.reality-xp.com/community/nr/rsc/rxp-higher.jpg

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If you have the computer to run FS2004 adequately, then you should find this new addition of flightsim a big improvement. The new GPS and built-in flight planner are excellent and really speed up flight preperation time. I have found no need for all the addons I used in 2002. The clouds, downloaded weather and weather themes, clickable virtual cockpits and airport scenery, really have enhanced my simming experience. I will be spending much less time downloading and installing, and more time flying. In the past I have spent way too much time acquiring addons of which most are now obsolete. Now I am basically flying only the Learjet, atleast until something really good comes along. Steve

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The only addons I've installed are mesh products: Lago mesh in European countries and FSGenesis mesh in Canada and USA. I'm happy with all the rest of the sim at default; I'm even happier to have two fantastic COF default planes for bush flying, the Cub and the DC-3.However, I'm looking forward to seeing replacement land textures that hopefully would be compatible with autogen, and maybe replacement for the trees because they flicker a bit.

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>How do people outside of the VAs generate flights to practice?

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Well, that's easy; what I am looking for is as much realism I can get. I'm going to have a very powerful computer shortly (2.8 GHz, ATI 9600 Pro, 1 gig system ram -- and it's a laptop!) and as soon as I can raise the money, a decent yoke and set of rudder pedals. Ultimately (after I graduate) I'm looking to do RL flight training, and FS seems a good place to start.I've gotten some good suggestions as to civil aviation planes to look at. Carenado and Dreamfleet are both high on my list. But what about the rest of the Avsim library? The files available are absolutely dizzying, and I don't even know where to begin looking through them to find what I might need for this goal.The one problem I have with GA is that it limits my options for viable trips, since I don't have too many hours in the day to spare for flying in virtual worlds. Small jets would be better for cross-country practice. But for now, I'm sticking to the prop burners. :)Thanks for the suggestions, BTW!

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>Well, that's easy; what I am looking for is as much realism I>can get. I'm going to have a very powerful computer shortlyIf realism is important for you - look at the Meridian (www.flight1.com) eventually.>The one problem I have with GA is that it limits my options>for viable trips, since I don't have too many hours in the day>to spare for flying in virtual worlds. Not sure I follow this point. You can make cross crountry trips in GA as well. What's so important in flying say 200 miles rather than 1000 miles ? What should really be important for you is practicing approaches (the most challenging aspect of flying) and those can be done flying within the 50-mile radius !Yes, Avsim library is very huge. But many of the planes there are simply exterior shells or repaints. If you want to count the genuine full-panel efforts that serious pilot is looking for - those are very few.Michael J.http://www.reality-xp.com/community/nr/rsc/rxp-higher.jpg

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