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Wightleal

New Sim - Best Flight Dynamics?

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I've been using/modifying/adding to/contributing to FS9 for many years, and it looks and feels much better now than when I started. But I am enthused by videos of P3D and XP10, which seem to be the front-runners for anyone wishing to improve their flight simulator experience.

However, when looking for help in deciding which way to go myself, the bulk of the discussion I can find concerns the visual appearance of the sim. There is almost no in depth discussion about which provides the most realistic flight dynamics; indeed, there is often an off-the-cuff remark to the effect that "the FD is not perfect but is better than.....".

I have (very limited) real world pilot experience, including solo, in gliders and Austers, and having tried several iterations of FSX (demo) and Flightgear (demo) in addition to my own setup, I am inclined to think that Flightgear feels more realistic than either of the others, despite the fact that its visuals are nowhere near as sophisticated, (and it's buggy!).

I would be interested to know if anyone shares my opinion.

I will probably invest in an eye-candy rich replacement for FS9, because the visuals are important for immersion, but I think there will remain a slight disappointment that the sensation of flight could be improved.

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I've been using/modifying/adding to/contributing to FS9 for many years, and it looks and feels much better now than when I started. But I am enthused by videos of P3D and XP10, which seem to be the front-runners for anyone wishing to improve their flight simulator experience.

However, when looking for help in deciding which way to go myself, the bulk of the discussion I can find concerns the visual appearance of the sim. There is almost no in depth discussion about which provides the most realistic flight dynamics; indeed, there is often an off-the-cuff remark to the effect that "the FD is not perfect but is better than.....".

 

You have to consider both the sim and the aircraft.  Put a great sim out there with a junk FDE and you've got junk.  I do see discussions on comparing the FD in different sims but it usually devolves pretty quickly so folks avoid it.  Maybe if the discussion was limited to only folks that had both it would be a decent discussion.

 

Gregg

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Keep in mind, part of the FDE has been off loaded on many higher end aircraft within P3D. PMDG (Coming soon to P3D) has a lot of their dynamics outside of the sim, Majestic has the ENTIRE engine outside of the sim which both adds to the performance of the sim and to the fidelity. Now with that said, LR with XPX has a nicer FDE for all aircraft which leads to freeware 3rd party to fly as if it were designed by a sim giant such as Majestic or PMDG.

 

I have both sims, P3D is the go to when I want to simulate an airline flight. XPX is still very new to me but I spend a lot of time low and slow within the sim. Both have their merits and disadvantages, but both have a trial of some sort. LM allow for a 60 day refund and LR has a trial which is limited to the KSEA area.

 

Try both sims and you'll definitely see which one works for you. You mentioned that you have a lot invested into FS9, much of that probably can be ported into P3D which may sway you over to the good side :ph34r: .

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Well,

 

I was forced into the combat flightsim arena, where unfortunately lay the best flight dynamics, damage models, and even systems modeling available for the flight simulation for the PC market.

 

Started 2 yrs ago with DCS 's p51d, then a friend offered me IL2 BOS, and a couple of days ago I found what I am beginning to consider the best among those I have used - Cliffs of Dover ( just €9,90 in Steam ), with the Team Fusion patches.

 

I still use X-Plane 10 though, at this sim is really becoming the reference among civil flight simulators, and of course Aerowinx PSX, but this one although PERFECT, "only" models the 744, but since flight dynamics accuracy, plausibility, etc... is what really matters to me, I'm satying with CoD, and awaiting EDGE in DCS and whatever comes of good in the future for IL2 BOS...

 

I'm sorry I could never find the immersion, quality and smoothness in Civil flight simulators like I am finding it in the Combat flightsims, because I really do not like air combat :-/, but I do like to feel "like being there"...

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I would say, that given a current, fast system, FSX and the a2a Cherokee are a good example of a great, and totally convincing flight model.

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You could try Rise of Flight if you fancy flying something a little older. The flight dynamics seem pretty good to me, although, of course I've never flown a First World War aircraft in real life. I think you can still get the trial version, limited to two aircraft. I like to just fly the aircraft around the scenery and avoid the combat. Some aircraft like the RE8 can be a real challenge, thee's a fine line between flying and stalling.

 

 

Ian

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Ian, yes, forgot to mention that one too!!! A great ww1 sim for sure! and again, some flight dynamics, scenery, weather and living World we can't simply find on ANY civil flightsim :-/

 

MS FLIGHT looked SO GREAT :-(  It reminded me of yet another great tittle that went through the sink - FU3 way head of the competition when it was released, but not backed by powerful giants of the software market :-/, just like PROPILOT 99

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Till I was on MSFS I thought this is how an aircraft feels and fly and having no RW flight experience.  You will get all different opinions on this one is better than that.  

 

Hmm as many experienced RW pilots on this forum have said NO SIM CAN GIVE YOU THAT. And I tend to agree. 

 

In my opinion its the aircraft systems and the visuals make it look and feel Vreal. There maybe certain Dynamics that can be replicated in a Sim , who knows. 

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I'd argue that without force feedback controls it is almost impossible to implement convincing flight dynamics.

 

I say "almost" because I understand some aircraft (A330?) don't provide physical feedback through stick & pedals. 

 

I'm an INexperienced PPL-holder and I haven't "flown" Flightgear but I don't find any of the usual suspects to behave like the few real world GA aircraft I have flown. Doesn't mean they don't have entertainment value but (as they might say on Airplane) it's a different kind of flying altogether.

 

Z

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A lot of the dynamics can be replicated. A good mix of parametric (FS/P3D) and computationak/generative (XP) is usually the way to go to simulate an existing aircraft type. This is what A2A/PMDG do, and what IXEG will do with their 737-300. The plain-vanilla BET model by default in XP was intended to predict flight characteristics that were unknown -- it takes a set of physical descriptors of the airframe to model the pressure distribution dynamics in an estimative fashion -- correct trend & magnitude, or "thereabouts". Therefore the hybrid BET/parametric approach makes sense, with the BET compensating for the weak spots of the traditional approach, when the airframe to be simulated is well known, as it usually is for our purposes -- we're not building experimentals after all.

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Don't know about the BET/parametric stuff, at least they should give you one properly modelled aircraft don't want something which is flying on a string. 

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@Zul - I'm not sure what "properly" means in the context of recreational flight simulation. As far as I can establish, ALL the flight dynamics engines are flawed/inconsistent in at least some regimes and the aircraft parameters required to "feed" them are often proprietary - i.e. not in the public domain. There appear to be a few wizards out there who tune parameters to produce pretty good models but it appears to be predominantly black art. I agree with your "should" sentiment though.

 

@XPDEVS: I'm quite new to all this; please could you explain BET? Is it FEA? :)

 

Z

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@Zul - I'm not sure what "properly" means in the context of recreational flight simulation. As far as I can establish, ALL the flight dynamics engines are flawed/inconsistent in at least some regimes and the aircraft parameters required to "feed" them are often proprietary - i.e. not in the public domain. There appear to be a few wizards out there who tune parameters to produce pretty good models but it appears to be predominantly black art. I agree with your "should" sentiment though.

 

@XPDEVS: I'm quite new to all this; please could you explain BET? Is it FEA? :)

 

Z

 

I would say give me an aircraft which is flyable when I purchase a sim,  

 

 

BET = Blade Element Theory 

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IMO, the closest we've got in a civil flight simulator is AeroflyFS. Anyone who hasn't yet tried it, I'd recommend it highly, and shortly we should be seeing v2 which should enable global scenery and also more complicated systems in the aircraft.

 

Although v1 didn't model many things, e.g. There was no mixture or radios. Add a little weather into the sim, with great scenery and a decent controller, and it can almost make you motion sick.

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I'm with "Z".

 

My experience IRL comes only from gliders, and there being no wash from the prop in your tail surfaces, and wings / flaps too, certainly makes a difference, but I talk a LOT ( too much I guess, most of them aren't simmers, and they ... ) with other fellow pilots, and even get the chance to fly different aircraft types from time to time :-)

 

I'm with Z because indeed the absence of proper force feedback simulation in our simmer controllers is probably one of the worst limitations the use of a flight sim presents when it comes to realistic reproduction of flight.

 

Some sims use alternative, very wise IMO, ways of trying to translate that into things like amount of control deflection required, etc... but it is not always the same.

 

X-Plane 10 and previous versions use an approach which is interesting as a concept, but not always translates to success when we test the various aircraft models, starting with the default that come with the sim, but it surely has a LOT of potential, and talented developers can create really good replicas of the real counterparts, specially using the new datarefs recently made available by Austin.

 

As far as I am concerned, by far the best experience in terms of flight dynamics and overall physics, but also scenery, simulated living World, even weather effects, immersion, comes from Combat Flight Simulators. That's why I seldom start XP10 these days, mostly to use it as a visual generator for PSX, and spend most of my time playing IL2 CoD ( since 4 days ), IL2 BOS and DCS World, with Rise of Flight installed but awaiting time to study the weird systems on those amazing ww1 birds :-)

 

Aerofly is good and has potential, but from a glider pilot perspective the flight model of the default gliders is far from plausible on such simple things as turning flight. If we stalled and spinned so easily IRL, I wouldn't certainly be here writing this.... Yet, I do look fwd for v2, that's for sure! Anyway, I must say that I find turbulence modeled very well in this sim!

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