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Robi77

Realism Settings

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In FSX there are 3 options for the Aircraft Realism Settings,easy,medium and hard.I have a question for a real world pilot who also flies using FSX :which setting is the closest to the real world ? Ex: Piper,Cessna and other small air crafts Does it depend on the type of aircraft ?I purchased the A2A Piper Cub and tried all three settings with the following results:Easy: Problem is that is almost impossible to fly a a curve as the bank angle is limited. With the FSX default Piper Cub that is no problem.Medium : sameHard : Difficult to fly,especially take off and landings.I appreciate your opinionsHubert Werni

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I'm not a real world pilot, but Hard will give the most realism. As a matter of fact, there are addons out there that will not even work properly on anything less than hard because their flight dynamics were programmed for that setting.

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Guest bstolle

Especially planes with very high quality flight dynamics always need full realism!! (except the planes readme specifically states something different).E.g. the Milviz Cessna 310 gets actually more difficult to fly the more you reduce the realism settings

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In FSX there are 3 options for the Aircraft Realism Settings,easy,medium and hard.I have a question for a real world pilot who also flies using FSX :which setting is the closest to the real world ? Ex: Piper,Cessna and other small air crafts Does it depend on the type of aircraft ?I purchased the A2A Piper Cub and tried all three settings with the following results:Easy: Problem is that is almost impossible to fly a a curve as the bank angle is limited. With the FSX default Piper Cub that is no problem.Medium : sameHard : Difficult to fly,especially take off and landings.I appreciate your opinionsHubert Werni
Hi Hubert,1. Re: your Piper Cub purchase, are you banking with the autopilot on, or is the bank angle limited when manually controlling the a/c? If on autopilot, then check the a/c cfg file under autopilot and see what the max. bank angle is - it may need increasing.2. Re: 'Difficult to fly,especially take off and landings.' Some time ago, I checked with a RW pilot (he has a CPL on the Cessna 172), about the quite pronounced bank of that a/c on takeoff in FSX (ie. the P-factor and torque references under Realism settings). He said that he has never experienced such a phenomenon when RW flying. So if that is one of your problems, then maybe take those sliders to the far left and gradually bring them to the right as you feel more realism is needed.Sorry that is only my 2 cents worth, since I don't normally fly light a/c in FSX, but hope it helps.Chris David

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I saw this same issue asked about in their forum, and the problem was just what Thraini said - the A2A Cub's flight dynamics were designed around the Hard setting. When the guy over there switched to Hard, the issue went away.Interestingly, the book about FSX for real world training claims that medium is the most realistic in terms of difficulty, because in a real aircraft you have the advantages of a real feel for the plane as your weight shifts around and peripheral vision. I don't know if that's accurate or not, but for this particular plane at least, you're going to have to get used to Hard.

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A real prop aircraft develops torque (turning force opposite to the propeller rotation, which will make it roll), props also create gyroscopic precession (which alters the forces the rotating prop generates somewhat from what you would expect, pulling the nose in the vertical plane). Additionally, the propwash spirals back down the fuselage and pushes on the side of the aircraft and vertical fin (which can also make the aircraft turn). All of this requires you to use control inputs other than the obvious ones in order to control the aircraft properly, and of course a real Cessna or Piper also requires you to manually coordinate these inputs between rudder and aileron. If you want to do all that as realistically as you can (or at least as realistically as FS will allow), then only the 'full realism' setting will let you have a decent stab at that (but see the final paragraph of this post for a caveat). Other realism settings such as gyro drift etc are also factors that one has to deal with on a real aeroplane, so that's another important feature if you are attempting to emulate real world operations.Generally speaking, in order to get the best out of all those settings, particularly where control inputs are concerned, you need a decent yoke/joystick and a decent set of rudder pedals, although the fact is that even with an expensive joystick or pedals, it will not completely emulate the real controls, for example, the throw distances on PC joysticks are much smaller than on the real aircraft in most cases, so that makes things more 'twitchy' in a sim. FS does not emulate the aerodynamic load on a control column very well (force feedback can do that to some extent, but it never really feels like the real thing).This last point is one of the real downsides of FS for me, since I use the aerodynamic buffet felt through the seat and through the elevators transmitting that buffet to the control column as a guide to how near I am to the stall speed/angle in a steep bank when I fly real aircraft through a steep turn, and I cannot do that in FS at all, so the fact is that turning on all the 'realism settings' does not make FS completely realistic, just a lot more realistic than it would otherwise be without them.You are right that it does depend on the aircraft in many cases, but for the most part, it is the joystick input dead zones and sensitivities which are the best things to mess around with to emulate realistic control. For example, turning 'autorudder' on in FS would not really make a great deal of difference for flying airliners most of the time, since unless you are crabbing a landing in a crosswind, there is really very little need to touch the rudder pedals in many airliners, although with their long wingspans, like gliders, airliners can sometimes suffer from adverse yaw (where the aircraft will actually yaw in the opposite direction to a roll because of increased drag on the upgoing wing), but this is not something which FS emulates very well although if you make the rudder a bit less sensitive, you can sort of blag it a bit, since on a glider in real life, you really have to hoof the rudder down a lot (almost all the way) to kick it into a steep turn and then back the rudder pedal off once it is turning, this is because there is no propeller to help pull it into the turn. Similarly if you flew an old helicopter in FS, such as a Westland Sycamore or a Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw or whatever, those old choppers were notorious for control lag on the mechanical linkages, meaning pilots had to anticipate control input movements early when compared to something like a Bell 206 JetRanger, where the response on the controls is a lot more immediate, so messing around with control sensitivities for those helicopters could potentially make each one of them feel more realistic so long as you had some idea of how the real thing reacted. So you can see from this, that there are indeed a lot of things you can mess around with in the control options which will make matters more realistic beyond simply the realism settings alone.The point of all this is that FS can help teach you the concepts of control inputs for various aeroplanes, but it is a bit like a Playstation car racing game in some ways, in that knowing how far to move the little thumb controllers on a Playstation controller will let you drive that racing car around the track, and the more you do it, the better you'd get at it, but the 'muscle memory' that you get from playing it a lot will not translate into the same 'muscle memory' you need in order to be familiar with how and when to move the controls in a real aircraft. The only way you can learn that, is to fly the real aircraft, in just the same way as the only way to learn how to drive a real racing car, is to drive a real racing car. So FS is always going to be a compromise on how realistic the controls are, because whatever the settings are like, you would get used to them.Knowing that can make the notion of flying a real aircraft seem like it would be rather difficult if you only fly in FS, but the truth is that when you are sat in the real thing, it is a very visceral experience, so if you feel the nose going the wrong way or whatever, it does become rather natural to make the correct control input to sort things out. That is not something which happens quite so easily on a PC-based sim, which is why most pilots will tell you that it is tougher to fly a sim than it is to fly the real thing, largely because of that feeling of being disconnected from the real aircraft and the reliance on visual aspects alone to gain feedback about what the aeroplane is doing.Nevertheless, the fact that you do get used to the control inputs necessary to fly your FS aeroplane, is kind of similar to how you also get used to what the control inputs are for flying a real aeroplane, so whatever settings you are comfortable with in order to control the aeroplane in FS are realistic in that sense, since that emulates the familiarity a pilot has with his/her aircraft. After all, this is supposed to be fun.Al

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Guest bstolle
This last point is one of the real downsides of FS for me, since I use the aerodynamic buffet felt through the seat and through the elevators transmitting that buffet to the control column as a guide to how near I am to the stall speed/angle in a steep bank when I fly real aircraft through a steep turn, and I cannot do that in FS at all
Note that there are already quite a few high quality add-ons that feature very realistic visible (panel shake and audible) buffeting as a warning of an impending stall.E.g. RealAir planes since FS9

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That's certainly true, but again it's a visual (and occasionally audio) thing, as opposed to actually feeling it, and so it isn't quite the same as the aircraft giving it some gip when you get it up on the edge of the alpha. I guess that Buttkicker peripheral might do the trick, but I've never tried it.Al

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A real prop aircraft develops torque (turning force opposite to the propeller rotation, which will make it roll), props also create gyroscopic precession (which alters the forces the rotating prop generates somewhat from what you would expect, pulling the nose in the vertical plane). Additionally, the propwash spirals back down the fuselage and pushes on the side of the aircraft and vertical fin (which can also make the aircraft turn). All of this requires you to use control inputs other than the obvious ones in order to control the aircraft properly, and of course a real Cessna or Piper also requires you to manually coordinate these inputs between rudder and aileron. If you want to do all that as realistically as you can (or at least as realistically as FS will allow), then only the 'full realism' setting will let you have a decent stab at that (but see the final paragraph of this post for a caveat). Other realism settings such as gyro drift etc are also factors that one has to deal with on a real aeroplane, so that's another important feature if you are attempting to emulate real world operations.Generally speaking, in order to get the best out of all those settings, particularly where control inputs are concerned, you need a decent yoke/joystick and a decent set of rudder pedals, although the fact is that even with an expensive joystick or pedals, it will not completely emulate the real controls, for example, the throw distances on PC joysticks are much smaller than on the real aircraft in most cases, so that makes things more 'twitchy' in a sim. FS does not emulate the aerodynamic load on a control column very well (force feedback can do that to some extent, but it never really feels like the real thing).This last point is one of the real downsides of FS for me, since I use the aerodynamic buffet felt through the seat and through the elevators transmitting that buffet to the control column as a guide to how near I am to the stall speed/angle in a steep bank when I fly real aircraft through a steep turn, and I cannot do that in FS at all, so the fact is that turning on all the 'realism settings' does not make FS completely realistic, just a lot more realistic than it would otherwise be without them.You are right that it does depend on the aircraft in many cases, but for the most part, it is the joystick input dead zones and sensitivities which are the best things to mess around with to emulate realistic control. For example, turning 'autorudder' on in FS would not really make a great deal of difference for flying airliners most of the time, since unless you are crabbing a landing in a crosswind, there is really very little need to touch the rudder pedals in many airliners, although with their long wingspans, like gliders, airliners can sometimes suffer from adverse yaw (where the aircraft will actually yaw in the opposite direction to a roll because of increased drag on the upgoing wing), but this is not something which FS emulates very well although if you make the rudder a bit less sensitive, you can sort of blag it a bit, since on a glider in real life, you really have to hoof the rudder down a lot (almost all the way) to kick it into a steep turn and then back the rudder pedal off once it is turning, this is because there is no propeller to help pull it into the turn. Similarly if you flew an old helicopter in FS, such as a Westland Sycamore or a Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw or whatever, those old choppers were notorious for control lag on the mechanical linkages, meaning pilots had to anticipate control input movements early when compared to something like a Bell 206 JetRanger, where the response on the controls is a lot more immediate, so messing around with control sensitivities for those helicopters could potentially make each one of them feel more realistic so long as you had some idea of how the real thing reacted. So you can see from this, that there are indeed a lot of things you can mess around with in the control options which will make matters more realistic beyond simply the realism settings alone.The point of all this is that FS can help teach you the concepts of control inputs for various aeroplanes, but it is a bit like a Playstation car racing game in some ways, in that knowing how far to move the little thumb controllers on a Playstation controller will let you drive that racing car around the track, and the more you do it, the better you'd get at it, but the 'muscle memory' that you get from playing it a lot will not translate into the same 'muscle memory' you need in order to be familiar with how and when to move the controls in a real aircraft. The only way you can learn that, is to fly the real aircraft, in just the same way as the only way to learn how to drive a real racing car, is to drive a real racing car. So FS is always going to be a compromise on how realistic the controls are, because whatever the settings are like, you would get used to them.Knowing that can make the notion of flying a real aircraft seem like it would be rather difficult if you only fly in FS, but the truth is that when you are sat in the real thing, it is a very visceral experience, so if you feel the nose going the wrong way or whatever, it does become rather natural to make the correct control input to sort things out. That is not something which happens quite so easily on a PC-based sim, which is why most pilots will tell you that it is tougher to fly a sim than it is to fly the real thing, largely because of that feeling of being disconnected from the real aircraft and the reliance on visual aspects alone to gain feedback about what the aeroplane is doing.Nevertheless, the fact that you do get used to the control inputs necessary to fly your FS aeroplane, is kind of similar to how you also get used to what the control inputs are for flying a real aeroplane, so whatever settings you are comfortable with in order to control the aeroplane in FS are realistic in that sense, since that emulates the familiarity a pilot has with his/her aircraft. After all, this is supposed to be fun.Al
Thanks.A lot of information and it will take me a while to digest and study all that.I am happy that you confirm that flying on FSX can be more difficult than the real thing.30 years ago I got a license to fly aPiper Cub and I remember that it was a piece of cake to align the run way and land.Not so with the Piper A2A.Hubert

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If you're getting frustrated with landing, you could bump down the crash tolerance a notch. The A2A manual mentions that this is an exception to the realism recommendations. I don't think they mean it's more realistic, but rather that you could back off and still get the flight dynamics while giving you some leeway on landing. I would prefer to leave it all the way up though, to be sure I learn to do it right.Also, if you have Acceleration, uncheck "engine stress causes damage." This is also recommended in the manual. I guess this setting is only present if you have Acceleration, and they wanted to design it for SP2 without Acc. Don't confuse it with "aircraft stress damages engine," which should be checked. Look at your manual and make sure all the settings are what they recommend.

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