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Bobu

This is an expensive hobby

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Over the last week I finally setup an area of the house to enjoy FSX properly. In the past any time I wanted to do some flying I had to do it from a racing seat, and it just didn't work well at all. So now that I have started getting things setup (Yoke, Pedals, TrackIR, etc.) I started looking around to see what I really wanted to do, and needed to buy.

 

I have decided that I want to GA with smaller, less complicated a/c mainly because I don't have the time to learn something like the MD-11. At best, I have a few hours per week. RL always gets in the way! So I am going to be sticking with the Carenado Mooney for a while. My next plane might be the RealAir Duke or the Citation Mustang, but that is down the road.

 

One comment about the smaller a/c. I really want to focus on navigation, waypoints, radio communication, airport procedures, etc., and not combine all of that with an overly complex a/c. Does that sound like a good idea?

 

I figure I will concentrate on the USA for now, and do shorter trips. And that led me to the Fly Tampa and FSDT websites. That was an expensive visit! But the airports I want to fly to need to be nice, and these guys deliver. KLAX is awesome. I spent a couple of hours over the weekend just watching AI traffic go in an out. lol

 

Unfortunately it looks like I also need to get the Orbx stuff for the west coast, since I will be flying in that region pretty often. I am not going to get it yet, because I have plenty of places to fly to already. But this stuff adds up.

 

BTW, here are the add-ons I have now:

 

Sim Savvy Photo Scenery (very nice)

Ultimate Traffic 2

GEX

REX

Active Sky Evolution

Carenado Mooney

FSDT Airports

FlyTampa Airports

 

For what I want to do, are there any other must have add-ons? And does anyone recommend an FSX performance booster product.

 

Expensive hobby!

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I suggest you get some sectionals from your local pilot supply store. They really add to the immersion and come in very handy for the type of flying you want to do.

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I suggest you get some sectionals from your local pilot supply store. They really add to the immersion and come in very handy for the type of flying you want to do.

 

Or if you have a 2nd monitor, cheap laptop, or tablet device you can use www.skyvector.com - does the same thing and adds METAR to the airports on the map.

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The Carenado Mooney is a nice airplane.

 

I would get the Reality XP GNS 530 and install it in the panel.

 

Later, if you decide to get a bigger airplane like the RealAir Turbine Duke,

or the very nice Carenado C337, you can use the same GNS530 there.

 

Send me a PM, if you need help getting the GNS unit installed.

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If you have an iPad, I recommend you get FS Kneeboard 2. It has sectionals, IFR charts, weather, airports maps, etc. I use it all the time and the iPad sits beside my computer as I fly. Paper maps can get out of date quickly. FS Kneeboard 2 is updated regularly at no charge after you buy it.

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Not nearly as expensive as getting a pilots license and renting an aircraft :-)

 

Haha that's my excuse, too.

 

Def. get the Orbx stuff. It's fantastic and covers a such a large area that you won't run out of places to discover.

You might also like Air Hauler and FSPassengers as they add some sense of having a goal and progression to get through. Air Hauler especially. Used the Mooney myself as a starter plane until I could afford the Duke.

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Two things. One, thanks for the replies! Second, you guys are a BAD influence on my spending habits. :P

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Rob,

Here a cheap one : Plan-G, a freeware flight planner and moving map, fantastic software and even better if you have a spare computer to run it on (i.e. a laptop) over a network

Cheap as well, try the PNW demo, plenty of stuff to explore for free and it will give you an idea of what you can expect of Orbx scenery.

 

As for payware, i'd add (sorry about that :wink: )

- the RealAir Lancair Legacy and/or the Baytower RV7, probably the two best GA aircraft available for FSX

- Ideal Flight, a front-end for FSX with too many features to mention :-)

- as you already have Track-IR, EZCA as it will allow you to precisely adjust your viewpoint, add cameras and effects

- A2A Accu-feel - customizable addon effects for all aircraft.

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Ha Rob, my prob as well! I did a video on my site, after trying fsx when Flight imploded. In one weekend, bought the A2A (accusim) cub, Aerosoft LOWI, Alabeo Pitts, cupla bargain Iris planes.

 

That Cub is incredible, buy it.

 

Best addon?

 

Easy, a Core i7 3770k and GTX 670 or better! Cheap as...

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As hobbies go .. flight simming is actually rather inexpensive. I also golf, four wheel and shot photography ... flight simming is the least expensive.

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hi,

 

For navigation use the skyvector website , you can even draw your route on the map (watch the video tutorial). If you don't know where to fly visit the fourfligths website, it gives you a lot of destinations depending on the weather conditions you want to fly in. it is free!!!

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Not nearly as expensive as getting a pilots license and renting an aircraft :-)

 

Yes, but there's no comparison.

 

Sadly.....

 

 

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Consider the real air duke, either turbine or piston as both are great, then add reality xp Garmin 530 to it then you'll have a great machine. The Garmin integrates into the panel seamlessly.

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I dont see any mesh in your list, I would suggest either FSGlobal or FSGenesis, mesh makes a world of difference (pun intended:-)

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Yes, but there's no comparison.

 

Sadly.....

 

For those of us who never got our PPL, it is the next best thing!

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For those of us who never got our PPL, it is the next best thing!

 

Yah! :lol: but Bert - it's $5000 for a ppl plus an hour in a 172 - or $2500 in hardware plus $2500 in software! - and our hobby lasts and lasts and lasts!

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In Ireland the PPL is over €10,000. Mine is on hold at the moment because of the VERY high cost. It works out at approx €200 per hour plus landing fees. My school is based at a commercial airport so you could easily waste €50-€60 on the ground waiting for clearance or in a holding pattern while commercial traffic gets preference. You could buy a lot of add-ons for the cost of a single lesson.

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Yes, but there's no comparison.

 

Sadly.....

 

I wouldn't say that... obviously real flying is much more satisfying. It will give you a real sense of accomplishment. However flight simming has its benefits too (mostly for IFR procedures) but it can be nice to pre fly routes for VFR trips, do all your trip/W+B planning before, plus E6B calculations while flying in FSX. Most importantly, it costs much much less than flying for real.

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I just started last week working on my PPL. Spent $600 in two day for books and headset plus rental and instruction. Personally it was worth every penny so far. Katana DA-20 is a blast in real life; use Aerosoft 4X for home practice.

 

I found out quickly how FSX really cannot simulate the joy and feel of real flying. Still love my FSX but something now when I fly on it is missing; wish I would have never started on my PPL :).

 

Only 38 more hours to go until my solo!

 

Sean

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I wouldn't say that... obviously real flying is much more satisfying. It will give you a real sense of accomplishment. However flight simming has its benefits too (mostly for IFR procedures) but it can be nice to pre fly routes for VFR trips, do all your trip/W+B planning before, plus E6B calculations while flying in FSX. Most importantly, it costs much much less than flying for real.

 

Oh, you're right Ryan. But of course it's the visceral, scary experience of real flight that can't be captured by a computer simulation. At least not an amateur desktop one. I had a go in a Level-D 747-200 at LHR, including a night landing at KSFO, and that WAS an incredible experience, because the illusion of flight was almost complete - something I personally can't hope to feel sitting at a desk in a bedroom.

 

Like Sean, my real GA flying made FS seem very, very tame. Maybe that's why I tend to stick to airliner sims these days. The more 'computerised' the plane, the better!

 

And for what it's worth I never finished my PPL either as I just couldn't afford to continue - not at £160 an hour.

 

I get my kicks on the bike these days... :ph34r:

 

Ian

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I started this "hobby" less than a year ago. Yes, it can be expensive. But it does not have to be. The base default game from Microsoft gives you a pretty good start. The yoke and pedals probably are the most important, and most expensive add ons. But you already have those.

 

Since it seems you are doing mostly VFR flying with GA aircraft at the moment, GEX and UTX will probably add the most to your game. Since you are confining yourself to the U.S., you really only need the North American versions.

 

You really don't need any of the major airport sceneries until you start flying the commercial jets. The big airports are for the bigger stuff. For smaller GA aircraft, smaller airports are where you will spend your time. There are a lot of pretty nice freeware addons for these airports, so it need not cost an arm and a leg.

 

As far as aircraft, the default aircraft are not all that bad. Some are better than others. As far as addons, I really like the Aerosoft Beaver, which is more fun than the default Beaver. But then, when I am not doing the big jets, I tend to prefer bush pilot flying in Alaska. I have a bias here because I lived in Alaska for a decade, and most of the places have real meaning to me. Alaska itself has two basic types of terrain: mountains and swamps. This is due to heavy glaciacian. Still, flying over numerous mountains, braided rivers, and fjords makes for an interesting flying experience.

 

But I actually practiced my flight basics outside of Indianapolis.

 

If you decide to start playing with jets, I would suggest you start small. I started with the default Learjet. and it worked just fine. You really don't need a lot of the fancy stuff one gets with the addons. For example, the default 737 works just fine, has hundreds of free liveries, and it can be gussied up with things like the Friendly Panels FMC. It still tends to my jetliner of choice, especially when I don't want to futz around with something more complicated.

 

The one mistake I made was spending too much on add ons. It's quite tempting to purchase the latest and greatest new scenery, or download the latest aircraft model. You can really have a good time and a great experience without spending thousands of dollars however.

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Another couple suggestions. You really should have a good computer. I got and HP with and I7 processor for under $800. A fast processor will probably do more for you than many of the acceleration products, including an expensive graphics card. Plus, a good computer can be used for many other purposes. For twice the price of an X-Box you get something with ten times the functionality.

 

Another nice piece of hardware is a big screen television. I can plug my HP computer right into my 46 inch bigscreen. Again the big screen television is another great multi-tasker, and it makes flight simulation look so much more real.

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Wow, thanks for all the suggestions guys. I really appreciate the help! I have everything setup the way I want it to start this journey. Here is what I have done to start:

 

Hardware:

 

CH Pro Pedals

CH Yoke

TrackIR

i7 875K 4.0 GHz

ASUS 5850

24" 1920x1200 Display

 

Software:

 

Windows 7 x64

RealAir Duke Turbine

Active Sky Evolution

Ultimate Terrain X

FSGenesis

Sim Savvy Scenery

GEX

REX

Fly Tampa and FSDT Airports

Plan-G

VATSIM (for later)

 

So for shorter flights around the USA I think I have everything. I am playing around with the photo scenery vs. UTX/FSGenesis, so I will see how things look and run.

 

But overall FSX is a fantastic simulation platform, and I am looking forward to learning a lot about flying.

 

Thanks guys for all the help!

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