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jcomm

If FSX wasn't the most sophisticated PC-based flightsim...

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it certainly was close to be....

 

Yesterday on a thread at the ED forums (DCS World), I was delighted reading the description of some of the features modeled for instance in their P51d, but I acknowledge also the quality of models like the A2A P51d!  I was thinking about the level of detail put into MSFS's FDM, and particularly at the myriad of parameters someone dedicated to aircraft AIR file design can use, provided access to the required aerodata is available, and THAT really makes the difference!

 

There are very talented aircraft designers for this sim, and we know them very well. Some might have had access to very detailed flight data, anda that can really make a difference!

 

Just to give you an idea, just in case you aren't already aware of it, and looking at a document such as this one it is simply amazing to see the level of detail an aircraft designed for MSFS / P3D can get provided the required data for the following tables that make part of the AIR file is available.

 

Here's the data available for the variation due to MACH of many of the aero variables / parameters used in MSFS's / P3D FDM. I also "love" the way FSX allows for the modeling of hinge forces based on g-load / speed such as those described for the elasticity of the elevator, aileron and rudders elasticity due to dynamic pressure, which if well programmed can give users an almost perfect feel of "stick forces" and efficiency at higher speeds and g loads!

 

Pardon me, but FSX was close to the most perfect flight simulator ever developed for the PC... Does it have limitations - of course it has, and the worst thing that could have happened to those who use / used it was being closed by MS, but who knows LM can bring some shining Sun light into our hobby with V2???  We can, at least dream of it, and enjoy what we have, specially now that so many good add-ons continue to be made available covering all areas of the sim!

 

Long Lives MSFS!

 

P.S.: and DCS World, if you don't mind.... well... and X-Plane... and of course LM P3D!!!

 

 

 

 

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Maybe you can sum up what you are stating in a simple sentence!  For me there are two major issues with FSX, the main one being the complete lack of feeling like your flying through a moving air mass!  The second is ground physics during taxi, takeoff and landing.  

 

The poor representation of turbulence is a major issue.  Having flow plenty glider and Katana hours in real life, FSX doesn´t come close, DCS comes a little closer.

 

Ground handling, FSX is very poor, DCS is excellent. I still love to take the SU25 up full loaded and do some landing at short strips without bursting the tyres.  The immersion is fantastic.

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Iain, my point is that MSFS FSX fdm is full of details that, if used based on good data from RL flight tests can certainly provide a very close to real replica of the flight characteristics of the modeled aircraft.

 

As I have pointed out on many threads, DCS is for me the ultimate flightsim. In all of my long (in terms of  time at least...) simmer life, I have never enjoyed so much out of a sim I do not even use for what it is meant to - air combat... This being said, I sometimes admire the quality of some FSX add-ons, and feel that others can, just as with any sim, contribute to sometimes create a bad reputation to the base flight dynamics. It's GIGO, but sometimes people forget about it...

 

Yes, of course we can't compare DCS's ground physics to that of FSX, but I really prefer FSX's ground physics for instance to the experience I presently get with X-Plane10, specially under the mildest x-winds... I would say that DCS is a little bit benevolent with strong winds while on ground. The turbulence effects have also been tuned down, so, even with head-shake enabled, it is not up to the level I would expect it to be when I set it for 6m/s (whatever that means...).

 

The weather in FSX, if produced by a good external weather injector, and even using some of the default themes, can give you much better results than the default. The FDM can also help, and I have a few models where a ride in turbulent weather has nothing to do with others, like the A2A P51d, Flight1's PC-12, all RealAir aircraft I own (less the Citabria), etc... I've been reading about the FSGW program, but I own AS2012 and wouldn't like to spend my money on yet another weather injector, but I feel that it can be a good weather injector to invest in.

 

MS FLIGHT did a great job at creating a very credible weather effects modeling, specially when it comes to turbulence and up/down air-mass flow (not including thermals which aren't enabled by default, but are there in the conf files...).

 

So, if you leave out the ground handling limitations, and the default weather effects, my point is that MSFS's flight dynamics model was designed to render an aircraft up to the level of detail that access to RW aero data allows you to reach. Of course there will still be limitations, and some aspects that a simulator like DCS World models so well aren't that good in FSX, but heck, it is still an excellent fligh simulation platform, and given a well designed aircraft, where the authors have had access to flight data, I am sure the end result will allow for a very realistic experience, up to the level of the best that can be achieved on any civil flight simulator I have used.

 

Add to it the fact that it models the whole World in a very plausible way, a lot of navigation and FM systems / instruments, plus the navaids with World coverage and updatable, and you get what is also an excellent training platform for IFR, an even airline-like procedures training!

 

That was the meaning of my OP, and exclamation :-)

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FSX physics feel more "rigid" because of the heavy reliance on lookup tables. Physics engines used in many shooter games etc. feel more fluid, though the physics is not realistic - it's exaggerated in order to create big explosions and dramatic effects. I think physics engines like PhysX, Havok etc. could be adapted to flight simulators and the dramatic effects toned down. It would create amazingly realistic ground effect, turbulence, crosswinds, downdrafts etc.

It's amazing what some developers have managed to create using the airfile that dates back to the mid 90's (originally adapted to the performance of 80386 and 80486 processors at ~33 to 66 MHz), no doubt, but it's a very archaic file format that requires a lot of guessing and some experience with the arts of black magic. A more modern physics engine would also make life easier for developers.

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A more modern physics engine would also make life easier for developers.

 

True, but the SDK gives easy access to all of the parameters ( almost all...) you may need to configure your aircraft model. In the example I was giving in the OP it occurred to me when I was reading that thread at ED about the effects of speed and g-load on stall, and it was shown that DCS takes into consideration MACH and g-load for it... The fact is that so does FSX, probably in a more limited way ( I can't say ) , but at least those MACH tables are there and can be used to fine tune the aerodynamic characteristics of an aircraft provided authors have acces to good aero data...

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FSX's jet engine performance modeling sucks. If you want to display proper numbers, you basically have to fake 'em in the gauges.

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FSX's jet engine performance modeling sucks. If you want to display proper numbers, you basically have to fake 'em in the gauges

 

Yes, very true :-/, I know

 

Also the simple reciprocating model sucks (it should since... MP sucks...) but it doesn't suck enough because otherwise we should see a clear variation of MP when making prop RPM changes under most circumstances on CS prop equipped aircraft. MP should clearly rise when Prop RPM is reduced, and the way around provided it was not at full throttle, just to give a few examples... These bugs were also ported to MS FLIGHT btw...

 

The leaning bug is yet another sucking feature, with the FF increasing as you lean, as if it was the EGT... This is more pronounced the higher you fly. Above 6000' is completely ridiculous... eventually the FF starts decreasing, but it can rise for quite a while above that alt...

 

But, there are other positive aspects, just as with the other simulator nothing is absolutely perfect :-/

 

Well, honestly for me DCS World is ABSOLUTELY PERFECT, but that's another story :-)

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