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jcomm

The Pipers....

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I have completed the first series of LAPL lessons with success. My checkride requires a total of 3hrs flight which I haven't yet completed...

 

Would like to coment regarding the flight dynamics.

 

It's obvious that the engine running it is still good old MSFS version 10, but that doesn't mean it is bad. As a matter of fact overall I am really enjoying the flight characteristics, specially power / pitch and trim / speed relations which pretty much reflect what I read about the real counterparts of both aircraft already in the DTG Flight School hangar.

 

An instrument has captured my attention, and I would like to have some confirmation from the debs team regarding it having been fine tuned from the original Turn Coordinator in MSFS...

 

In fact, the way the ball works in both aircraft, and although it's depiction in the instrument can be misleading, suggests possible changes and efforts to fix the "ball physics" which are know to have problems in MSFS / ESP... I like the way both aircraft "call for" rudder with higher power settings and higher AoA, although I believe the PA28 should be pretty much "feet on floor" during turns ( up to standard rate ) and I am finding myself having to use a lot of rudder ( whow, reminds me of one of the gliders I've been flying more lately IRL - pw6... ) ?

 

But overall my impression is rather positive with the flight modeling of both trainners :-)

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I think its almost the same physics fsx has nothing new or special here. Compared to MS Flight a big step back imho.

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The flight dynamics, I agree are exactly those of MSFS X, but I mean the implementation of the "ball physics" in the TC.

 

It looks and reacts differently, and even made me re-install FSX : SE just to check....

 

I agree that there were some nice features modeled into the RV-6 and the Maule in MS FLIGHT... There was in MS FLIGHT some feature I couldn't yet find in any other sim, including DCS World and IL-2 Battle of Stalingrad - control feedback from airstream, wind gusts and turbulence.  I still remember flying my Maule accross a windy scenario, and starting to see my yoke moving left / right, Up / Down and from the outside being able to observe the corresponding movements of it's associated control surfaces, "pushed" by the turbulent airflow... Unique! I miss MS FLIGHT SO MUCH :-(

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The UNINSTALLER -

I still remember flying my Maule accross a windy scenario, and starting to see my yoke moving left / right, Up / Down and from the outside being able to observe the corresponding movements of it's associated control surfaces, "pushed" by the turbulent airflow... Unique! I miss MS FLIGHT SO MUCH :-(

 

That would be nice to see in the full sim.

I have a feedback joystick caked in dust ready for such an experience.

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I've seen several videos of Flight school and the cub, and the flight model is not realistic at all. MS flight was worlds ahead in the aircraft's behavior, and was a joy to fly. 

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 I still remember flying my Maule accross a windy scenario, and starting to see my yoke moving left / right, Up / Down and from the outside being able to observe the corresponding movements of it's associated control surfaces, "pushed" by the turbulent airflow... Unique! I miss MS FLIGHT SO MUCH :-(

 

X-Plane 10 does this. A good example is the way the ailerons operate in the Rotate MD80 - the yoke moves the aileron tab, which in turn aerodynamically moves the whole aileron in the opposite direction.

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I believe you didn't understand my point... the wind / turbulence / shear, the turbulent airflow can move the control surfaces, and that reflects on the control column / yoke / rudder in your cockpit, just like IRL...

 

This is not possible in modern airliners with any sort of FBW or stability augmentation.

 

It's also sometimes misinterpreted by X-Plane users when they forget to set the Artificial Stability sliders all the way down ( full left ). Otherwise it's the SAS that moves the controls trying to achieve it's goals, not the airstream :-)

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Reminds of my flights were i opened window/door and the aircraft reacted accordingly including the change of the sound  due to the airstream/turbulences. Not to forget the realistic stall behaviour of the Super CUB SS and especially the Maule.

I can not resist to always compare flight physics/feeling and graphics between MS Flight and DTGFS. To me it looks that DTG will have a longer way to go to achieve their (or our) goals than MS would have needed with MS Flight.

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I never tried MS Flight, but I have noted quite a few comments which seem to suggest that it would have been a better foundation for an improved flight simulation experience than FSX. I wonder why DTG decided to use the older technology? Was MS Flight set up to be a global simulator, or would it have required significant work to achieve this? I can't help thinking that a more detailed regional area would have been a much better framework for DTG Flight School than the entire world (which would seem to be rather wasted in a simulator that is not intended to be upgraded). That being the case, wouldn't MS Flight Hawaii have been a better option? I mean, how many airfields do you need for flight lessons?

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MS Flight was a very advanced version of  the new ESP² engine afaik and had a lot great improvements. Even under the hood there was more to come said the developers.

But to achieve this they also needed get rid of the stuff that was preventing those improvements, like ATC and all other things all hardcore simmers were bashing MSFligth for.

To get those features back, they would have to build them new. That takes time.

 

And here is what i think is DTG was/is doing.

They don`t want to invest too much resources and/or don`t have the knowlegde to build those missing features from scratch.

So they decided to take FSX and optimise as good as they can. No need to build something from scratch.

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No need to build something from scratch......

 

....unless you want to create a next generation flight simulation experience. That is the crux of the problem (for me) as far as the full fat flight simulator is concerned.

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I never tried MS Flight, but I have noted quite a few comments which seem to suggest that it would have been a better foundation for an improved flight simulation experience than FSX. I wonder why DTG decided to use the older technology? Was MS Flight set up to be a global simulator, or would it have required significant work to achieve this? I can't help thinking that a more detailed regional area would have been a much better framework for DTG Flight School than the entire world (which would seem to be rather wasted in a simulator that is not intended to be upgraded). That being the case, wouldn't MS Flight Hawaii have been a better option? I mean, how many airfields do you need for flight lessons?

 

I watched a video by Froogle, when he was flying the Super Cub and on the approach he was doing 2,000 FPM descent, which is absurd in that aircraft. I see something like that, and I wouldn't waste 5 minutes installing that program on my hard drive. The lessons that come with Flight School are ridiculous and show the new pilot basically nothing about flying an aircraft. Total waste of time, other than to just fly something around. Better off to invest the $15 in a copy of Stick and Rudder and read it. 

MS Flight was a very advanced version of  the new ESP² engine afaik and had a lot great improvements. Even under the hood there was more to come said the developers.

But to achieve this they also needed get rid of the stuff that was preventing those improvements, like ATC and all other things all hardcore simmers were bashing MSFligth for.

To get those features back, they would have to build them new. That takes time.

 

And here is what i think is DTG was/is doing.

They don`t want to invest too much resources and/or don`t have the knowlegde to build those missing features from scratch.

So they decided to take FSX and optimise as good as they can. No need to build something from scratch.

 

Yes it was a shame that MS Flight was treated by the simming community the way it was. I have two professional ( one a CFII) pilot neighbors and they both tried MS Flight  on my PC, and were really impressed by the features and handling of the aircraft. The simming community was much more interested in eye candy, than an excellent flight model, and dissed it every chance they got. MS finally said, "the hell with this" and pulled the plug. Now here it is, years later, and another company comes out with a sim, that is woefully lacking in any good flight physics, but it has some eye candy along with FSX bells and whistles, and some pretty worthless "lessons" and some people are raving about how good it is.   Go figure. 

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....unless you want to create a next generation flight simulation experience. That is the crux of the problem (for me) as far as the full fat flight simulator is concerned.

 

The problem is, I think they watched and studied very carefully how the community reacted to FLIGHT, and drew the appropriate lessons, one of which is we have very little collective patience.

 

Starting with a much less featured sim, and then building back the old functionality in a new, more efficient way.......

 

Nobody gave FLIGHT the time to do that. Well, almost nobody.

 

The problem before DTG I suspect, was between taking the time and money to do something truly new, or wash the familiar pacifier (Then coat it with a dusting of sugar) and pop it right back into our mouths.

 

Many are responding accordingly. "Its just like my lovely old binky!!! Just tastes a bit better! Mmmmmmmmmmmm.....!!"

 

The fact that technically the binky they rejected (Flight) was in many ways more technically advanced, and in the end will have the exact same amount of planes with cockpits (and that flights were actually more full featured, makes no difference to the knee-jerk reaction.

 

This binky tastes familiar.

 

Also DTG Martin deserves a raise. (A big fat one!) His presence and the open dialogue with the community has created a well of goodwill that just might carry Flightschool over the finish line whatever its objective technical merits.

 

Joshua Howard, on the other hand.......

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The problem before DTG I suspect, was between taking the time and money to do something truly new, or wash the familiar pacifier (Then coat it with a dusting of sugar) and pop it right back into our mouths.

 

 

Right, and I think the buy-in from 3rd party developers was critical here. One of the issues with Flight was the limited number of planes (with full cockpits anyway), and Microsoft's insistence on being a closed shop for further plane development. That crippled the sim from the start.

 

DTG's decision to license FSX as the base code probably makes it very easy for 3rd party developers to port their products to the new DTG sim. When X-Plane went from 32 to 64-bits, it caused zero impact on existing scenery add-ons, and only required re-compiling any special plugins for aircraft, not the aircraft models themselves.

 

If DTG had licensed the code from Flight, or written a brand new program from scratch, all the 3rd party developers would truly be starting from scratch as well. The buy-in is a lot easier this way. The downside is.... well, 10 year old code that looks like it, at least for now.

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Right, and I think the buy-in from 3rd party developers was critical here. One of the issues with Flight was the limited number of planes (with full cockpits anyway), and Microsoft's insistence on being a closed shop for further plane development. That crippled the sim from the start.

 

DTG's decision to license FSX as the base code probably makes it very easy for 3rd party developers to port their products to the new DTG sim. When X-Plane went from 32 to 64-bits, it caused zero impact on existing scenery add-ons, and only required re-compiling any special plugins for aircraft, not the aircraft models themselves.

 

If DTG had licensed the code from Flight, or written a brand new program from scratch, all the 3rd party developers would truly be starting from scratch as well. The buy-in is a lot easier this way. The downside is.... well, 10 year old code that looks like it, at least for now.

 

Egg-zactly.

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There was in MS FLIGHT some feature I couldn't yet find in any other sim, including DCS World and IL-2 Battle of Stalingrad - control feedback from airstream, wind gusts and turbulence.

 

Just a technical clarification: the choice of making flight controls react to airstream, is not per-se a more realistic approach, but it's just a possible choice/compromise made necessary by the limitation of pc flight controls (namely, the lack of capable force feedback).

 

Making them react to airstream, does simulate the so called "stick-free" condition. The final effect is to have an aircraft that is less stable, but more "compliant" during turbulence.

 

The other possible choice is the one adopted by most other flight simulators, in which the so called "stick-fixed" condition is simulated instead. In this case, the airstream does not affect flight control positions, except for the possible reduction in control travel at high dynamic pressures.

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Just a technical clarification: the choice of making flight controls react to airstream, is not per-se a more realistic approach, but it's just a possible choice/compromise made necessary by the limitation of pc flight controls (namely, the lack of capable force feedback).

 

Making them react to airstream, does simulate the so called "stick-free" condition. The final effect is to have an aircraft that is less stable, but more "compliant" during turbulence.

 

The other possible choice is the one adopted by most other flight simulators, in which the so called "stick-fixed" condition is simulated instead. In this case, the airstream does not affect flight control positions, except for the possible reduction in control travel at high dynamic pressures.

 

True, although the stick-free state is modeled in MS FLIGHT, when controllers are disabled and mouse is used as yoke - that was an option confirmed to me by one the team members :-)

 

It was particularly noticeable in the Maule, under one of the weather themes which had severe turbulence and gusts...

 

It could easily be modeled in any sim, for selected aircraft where it made sense to be modeled, by setting a simple button toswitch between stick-free and stick-fixed mode. Whenever we wanted to simulate being very light or even letting go of the controls, we would switch into "stick-free" mode. even if our controllers didn't move, their virtual counterparts would, and that might look interesting....

 

The first time I noticed it in X-plane 10 I was very enthusiastic, and was just about to post when I decided to check how my control settings regarding Art Stab were :-(

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Right, and I think the buy-in from 3rd party developers was critical here. One of the issues with Flight was the limited number of planes (with full cockpits anyway), and Microsoft's insistence on being a closed shop for further plane development. That crippled the sim from the start.

 

I was gonna say that. It's easy to bag on the community for not accepting FLIGHT, but had MS opened it up to 3rd parties immediately, released the SDK, and said "we are going to build a base simulator, focusing on the flight modeling and envorninmental effects and want other developers to create regions of high quality content (aka what Orbx does) instead of simply handing you a drab world," I have no doubt it would of succeeded in the long run. 

 

MS would of had to charge for that base product, but most everyone would of been ok with that if they knew what was coming. But you couldn't even get the developers to commit to adding basic features down the road. And when they started pumping out surface level stuff right away (planes with no cockpits for example) instead of focusing on engine features, you couldn't blame people for quickly losing confidence. 

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Why did VHS win over Betamax?

 

I think DTG picked FSX over Flight (assuming they had this choice to make), because FSX was a proven winner in the marketplace, and Flight was a proven loser. You can talk all you want about technical merits but ultimately someone has to make a business case and convince investors to fund the project. Which would you pick if it was your money on the line?

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Which would you pick if it was your money on the line?

 

MS FLIGHT, for sure!  The only one that did not see the future in it was MS....

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MS would of had to charge for that base product, but most everyone would of been ok with that if they knew what was coming. But you couldn't even get the developers to commit to adding basic features down the road. And when they started pumping out surface level stuff right away (planes with no cockpits for example) instead of focusing on engine features, you couldn't blame people for quickly losing confidence. 

 

 

And that's why I specifically gave the nod to the job Dovetail, via DTG Martin, did in communicating with the community, whereas seemingly as a matter of corporate culture, Microsoft has the communication skills of a brick. (and a rather secretive brick, at that!)

 

They never gave the program full support, and it seems very likely now as I look back that the failure of MS FLIGHT was much more a political failure than it ever was a technical one. After all, the Aces team had decades of experience in flight simulation and also knew the code inside and out.

 

Who better to move it forward?

 

Dovetail will take quite some time to gather a similar level of experience. Years, probably, if ever.

 

I don't think Flight School is a bad program per se; It just seems such a shame that such a nice opportunity was lost years ago, and things that got Flight yelled at are being MUCH more calmly received now.

 

Paths not taken.

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I was gonna say that. It's easy to bag on the community for not accepting FLIGHT, but had MS opened it up to 3rd parties immediately, released the SDK, and said "we are going to build a base simulator, focusing on the flight modeling and envorninmental effects and want other developers to create regions of high quality content (aka what Orbx does) instead of simply handing you a drab world," I have no doubt it would of succeeded in the long run. 

 

I agree completely. I also think if you presented this strategy to a VP at Microsoft and asked for funding they would have said 'no'.

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I agree completely. I also think if you presented this strategy to a VP at Microsoft and asked for funding they would have said 'no'.

 

I don't think anyone would oppose the argument that Microsoft is no longer the company to produce a Flight Sim. On the other hand, they did green-light Flight (A startling and kind of inexplicable decision in its own right) and then spent millions developing it, only to drop the whole thing after 6 months.

 

Few other companies (except ones with bottomless pockets like Microsoft) could have sanely walked away from such a financial commitment.

 

One of the reasons I do have some faith in DTG in the end is that I don't believe they have any such capability. Once having started down the path, they are in this for the long run.

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MS FLIGHT, for sure!  The only one that did not see the future in it was MS

 

Probably because by then they had purged from the company most people who were clueful about flight sim.

 

The Aces team knew that most people into flight simming like to fly where they live, so Flight ships with ... Hawaii? Followed by Alaska.  :blink:. Not knocking either place, but that's not where most flight simmers live. Seems like the people making the product decisions did not understand the market at that point.


 

 


I don't think anyone would oppose the argument that Microsoft is no longer the company to produce a Flight Sim. On the other hand, they did green-light Flight (A startling and kind of inexplicable decision in its own right) and then spent millions developing it, only to drop the whole thing after 6 months.

 

That sort of thing is not unusual at all, and millions is peanuts to MS and many other companies too, look at all the crap Google develops and then throws away. Flight was dropped because the dev team couldn't make the business case to keep the project funded.

 

I agree DTG probably doesn't have such deep pockets so they have to be a lot more frugal and conservative, and also is less likely to throw away their investment. I'm actually pretty impressed with the velocity at which they are improving FSX, they seem like a pretty nimble team to me.

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Flight was dropped because the dev team couldn't make the business case to keep the project funded.

 

And I believe that it would have been a bit easier to make that case if this community had brought into it with the very forgiving attitude now being shown to Flight School. Once again hats off to DTG marketing.

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