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jcomm

The "Sophisticated" simmer tales....

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It has come to my mind several times how some of us really take simming seriously, in any of it's platforms, vs the use of flight simulation for rw training.

 

It's many times discussed that, appart from some specific cases, PC based flight simulators do not provide us with the necessary skills to fly a real aircraft. Many opinions are usually expressed when such threads that start like - "could I fly a real aircraft..." are developed. 

 

I myself have my opinion of course, I myself have been using flight simulators for years for the purpose of, just like most of you, playing / pretending what I am making is what I would like to be doing in real life ( in my case being an airline pilot ), but sometimes I also consider how I could really use the flight simulators to contribute to my proficiency as a pilot, and... as a glider pilot which is all I am IRL, flying VFR all of the time mostly over restricted areas, scenery detail, good flight and weather dynamics would be my choice. Unfortunately none of the sims I have used can give me all at the same time when it comes to soaring, with probably Condorsoaring coming closer to what I can say is actually benefitial, while playing a game, to my real life flying experience.

 

But I have also used the flight simulators for IFR, or simulating flying an airliner. I had the PMDGs, ending with the Jewel of the Crown ( their 777, while the 744 / 8 isn't ereleased... ), Majestic Q400, and some years ago ( many already... ) LevelD 767. I tried to vly those aircraft as close to what I believe are the real procedures as possible, and this brings my first point - accuracy of navdata, navaids and runway data. 

 

The PMDG 777 has a great option to make some "Magic"and align it's nadvata with what we have in the sim, FXS or P3D, being it the original, long time outdated nav and mag var database. This is probably one of the features I particularly liked in that add-on, specially because I never had the gut's to start buying navdata updates for my FMCs, because they're expensive, and I have considerably reduced, along the years, this sort of vlying... Unfortunately updating those FMC/S databases, while precious, and useful because real navigation beacons are seldom used these days, and RNAV / GPS   is by far the reference, problems arrise when you're performing a CAT III and the runway you're approaching is totally out of sync with reality, being it because of the magnetic variation on the sim not matching the current one, or even because the runway is no longer there.... or doesn't exist in the original version of the sim scenery ( EDDF 25R / 04L come to my mind quite often because I landed there, in the jumpseat on an Air Portugal A320 a year ago, and as a FSX user I didn't even know about that rw ... Ooops... ).

 

So we can use the precious contributions of Hervé Sors, and fetch his magvar updates, or even his navaids updates, but these come with some restrictions when applied to our simulators.

 

In the alternative world of x-plane, it is a lot easier to maintain the airport and beacon data up to date, but the magnetic declination isn't being updated, I believe ?

 

The only times I could forget about these problems were when using ELITE or PSX. They both have all of this data perfectly synchronnzed to the date to which their databases are effective, and users wanting to fly with precise and up-to-date data can, in the case of ELITE, get regular nav and airfield database update cycles, with PSX offering I believe one per year ( ? )... Airlinetools Flightdeck A32X is yet another sim where CAT III operations are perfectly possible under complex scenarios, and it's LIDO databases are also maintained in perfect sync with reality, at a price for the users....

 

The opposite area is VFR flying, and again, my RL experience is that of never having found a scenery for the zones I fly around in my gliders here in Portugal that perfectly matches what I see from my soaring sessions... A VFR pilot looking forward to use a flightsim to train his own navigation skills, specially when trying not to relly only on fancy GPS stuff ( Larry will come to this one, of that I am 99% sure... :-) ) like a map and an E6B calculator, making wind and speed calculations as she / he conducts his flight, and using terrain references to match the precision of his route. In this particular area, again, maintaining a general purpose flight simulator is complex and sometimes very expensive ( good sceneries cost a LOT of $$$ )...

 

Finally ATC, specially if a simmer want's to take it seriously... I know you're going to point me the VATSIM, IVAO, ... doors, but say I do not want to get online in order to get an ATC simulation that can really put my skills to practise ? I've been trying a few alternatives, just as I did in the past, and, as much as I really liked VoxATC, it is still way limited compared to what an environment to replicate real world scenarios could go...

 

So, I think to myself, when yesterday I was watching a great youtube of a recently released and much expected add-on coming in for a CAT III approach, and starting to drift to the point of the virtual +pilot being forced to take control ( which IRL he couldn't under the IMC conditions he was flying under ) and land the aircraft by hand, because the updated and sophisticated FMC database was probably up-to-date, but the scenery wasn't... :-/   What a waste of time ..... 

 

Even in my latest occupation as a simmer, now practically 100% of my simmer time - Combat Flight simulation - I end up finding this sort of stuff and interesting discussions on the details with which this or that fighter or bomber, or their ammunition, are implemented, the top speeds and engine characteristics are matched ... Well - the curse of the "Sophisticated" simmer is everywhere around us :-)

 

(*) vlying - a word a  famous PSX user used to designate  "virtual flying".

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Drifting from the Magenta kids thread.. is FMC flying sophisticated ?

Technically it is, but is it fun ? (And I am talking PURE flightsim here, not real life!)

I think  not. For me its boring.

 

Why the need for updated stuff ? You will if you are using real world charts and life atc.

Otherwise its not needed, the priniciples stay the same.

 

Playing and pretending, thats what I do.

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Playing and pretending, thats what I do.

 

Me too Johan,

 

and indeed that's why most of the time I pick the PMDG 777 or Aerowinx PSX, it is mostly for circuts around an airfield under IMC, significant weather, thunderstorms and turbulence, just to test my "manual" skills ... 

 

When I tried VoxATC, I finally completed some medium range flights between European airports, and, apart from having to pay attention to the ATC, which was new to me in the sim, and very rewarding ( I never liked the default ATC in FSX, X-Plane no better, and when some years ago I tried VATSIM, it lasted one day... ), the whole experience of flying a full route, from gate to gate, looked extremely boring :-/ 

 

After switching off the engines and opening the cabin doors, I turned P3D off, started IL2-Battle of Stalingrad, and spent 2 hrs of immersive dogfights :-)

 

Ah, and of course you're right about no updates being really mandatory, unless we want to do it "professionally"....

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Well, I grew out of the FMC and modern stuff.. seen it, been there done that et al.

The old days give me more fun.

 

However, a good dogfight makes the difference of good men to brave men!

Amen!

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To a degree, all flight including the basic trike has a level of sophistication, but I think many flight simmers long for a new sophisticated world in which to fly to make them circuits or long hauls feel much more real. Well hopefully the flight sim experience will be much improved for all styles of flight; from the Wright flyer to the A350, helicopters, floats, gliders, fighters, its all great. 

 

Dovetail is saying that info about their new flight sim will be revealed in January. http://www.dovetailgames.com/ ----maybe a full world.

 

Aerofly 2 for the PC is said to be released pretty soon. https://www.aerofly.com/aerofly_fs_2/index.html ---- full earth but small detailed area.

 

NGiS intends to begin development in January for a brand new flight sim http://nexgenflightsim.com/ ---full earth and all detailed.

 

So here is hoping for some added sophistication in the virtual world we fly in, not to mention the likely much smoother performance with more current technology. 

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When I tried VoxATC, I finally completed some medium range flights between European airports, and, apart from having to pay attention to the ATC, which was new to me in the sim, and very rewarding ( I never liked the default ATC in FSX, X-Plane no better, and when some years ago I tried VATSIM, it lasted one day... ), the whole experience of flying a full route, from gate to gate, looked extremely boring :-/ 

 

Well, if full on seriousness is what you want, PilotEdge has no peers.  Yes it's a paid service, yes it only covers SoCal and Nevada as far east as KGCN, yes the service hours mean that for Europe it's only available from later afternoon onwards (so no cheeky Sunday morning sessions) but the controllers really know their stuff and (here's where it shines), through a bit of frequency trickery, every position, from Clearance to Centre, is staffed for every civilian field in the coverage area.  None of this logging on to find that the route you want to fly is either a) unstaffed or b) you have a ground controller, a centre controller, and nothing in between so you spend half your time on Unicom.

 

The big difference (and why I'm suggesting it) is that with every field staffed, rather than just major hubs, it opens up a whole lot more possibilities.  Short C172 /A IFR flight from a non-towered strip, picking up clearance on the ground, to a remote towered field with a challenging DME arc approach that's virtually never controlled on VATSIM?  No problem.  They are fairly flexible with the conditions you use (providing the winds are near real and you put it in the flight plan notes), so there is a whole world of "serious fun", without ever having to go "Gate to Gate".  

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Well, if full on seriousness is what you want, PilotEdge has no peers.  Yes it's a paid service, yes it only covers SoCal and Nevada as far east as KGCN, yes the service hours mean that for Europe it's only available from later afternoon onwards (so no cheeky Sunday morning sessions) but the controllers really know their stuff and (here's where it shines), through a bit of frequency trickery, every position, from Clearance to Centre, is staffed for every civilian field in the coverage area.  None of this logging on to find that the route you want to fly is either a) unstaffed or B) you have a ground controller, a centre controller, and nothing in between so you spend half your time on Unicom.

 

The big difference (and why I'm suggesting it) is that with every field staffed, rather than just major hubs, it opens up a whole lot more possibilities.  Short C172 /A IFR flight from a non-towered strip, picking up clearance on the ground, to a remote towered field with a challenging DME arc approach that's virtually never controlled on VATSIM?  No problem.  They are fairly flexible with the conditions you use (providing the winds are near real and you put it in the flight plan notes), so there is a whole world of "serious fun", without ever having to go "Gate to Gate".  

 

Yep, but I'm in Portugal, so, having their coverage would be complex....

To a degree, all flight including the basic trike has a level of sophistication, but I think many flight simmers long for a new sophisticated world in which to fly to make them circuits or long hauls feel much more real. Well hopefully the flight sim experience will be much improved for all styles of flight; from the Wright flyer to the A350, helicopters, floats, gliders, fighters, its all great. 

 

Dovetail is saying that info about their new flight sim will be revealed in January. http://www.dovetailgames.com/ ----maybe a full world.

 

Aerofly 2 for the PC is said to be released pretty soon. https://www.aerofly.com/aerofly_fs_2/index.html ---- full earth but small detailed area.

 

NGiS intends to begin development in January for a brand new flight sim http://nexgenflightsim.com/ ---full earth and all detailed.

 

So here is hoping for some added sophistication in the virtual world we fly in, not to mention the likely much smoother performance with more current technology. 

 

Yes, all in my mind everyday :-)

 

Well, I grew out of the FMC and modern stuff.. seen it, been there done that et al.

The old days give me more fun.

 

However, a good dogfight makes the difference of good men to brave men!

Amen!

 

Yep!

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Yep, but I'm in Portugal, so, having their coverage would be complex....

 

I'm in the UK, it's not that much of a problem  :smile:   Plus most of the XP scenery is free and there is nice Orbx Freeware...

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Jose,

 

I've extensively studied the US Navy flight training program and found their curriculum to be quite challenging even though weapons are not involved. Except for the FCLP (field carrier landing practice), all the maneuvers can be done with any aircraft by changing the airspeeds and other, aircraft specific, performance criteria. Also, it is not simulator dependent.

 

I've created a training syllabus that corresponds very closely to their real world training "hops". It consists, just like in real world, of a series of 1-2 hours flights that are jam packed full of action. For example, the first check rides the nuggets fly are hood down, simulated IFR rides that include multiple and various approaches. Here is a link if you would like to explore it:

 

https://uchisworld.wordpress.com/2015/07/17/the-idle-mind-is-the-devils-workshop/

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Henry,

 

thx for the link - I'll for sure give it a good read!

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