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mantan

First FS Flight in 12+ years.....

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OK, so it's not like riding a bike?!?>

 

Long story short, I was a life time flight simmer since the day my dad bought me FS2 for our IBM PC.   I grew up through all the versions in HS, college and my early 20s.  Heck, I was even a reviewer for AVSIM back in the day.   I think my last review was Bill Grabowski's ERJ-145 panel in 2002.

 

But when our second child got around two, other things took priority and I stopped flying.   There was just no time in the whirlwind of practices, games, birthday parties, vacations, school projects and life.  Then I blink and suddenly they are teenagers spending most of their time with their friends and suddenly I have free time again.   I wasn't feeling well this weekend and killing time in the study when I decided to load buy FSX and fly again.

 

It all feel really familar.....yet really strange.   I had loaded up a demo version of FS a few years ago.  But only spent a few minutes with it.  This was the first weekend I really went whole hog and even came back to AVSIM.   I was sorry to see that Tom had passed, but know he would be proud of everyone for continuing his vision.

 

Some observations...

 

1.  I miss my old yoke/pedals.  Flying with a keyboard sucks.   For some reason I threw them away instead of putting them in the closet.  Looking online, it looks like the same CH yoke/pedal combo is still the go to.

 

2.  I've grown less patient in my old age.  I used to spend HOURS tweaking settings, installing gauges, editing config files, etc.   I built my PC specifically for flight simulator and would upgrade components to squeeze out every last FPS.  Now I just want plug and play.  :)

 

3.  The default FS scenery looks dated.   It makes sense, the program is 10 years old and PC graphics have come a long way.  What was cutting edge then, looks a bit blocky now.  Based on the youtube videos out there, it seems like there are a lot of scenery upgrades available.  I just need to find the best way to get them added.  (see #2).  The plus side is that hardware has more than caught up.   Everything runs silky smooth maxed out.

 

4. I forgot how expensive FS is.  Yeah, the $25 gets me the program.  I already added Traffic 360 (see #2).   I'm working on what scenery add-ons give me the best bang for the buck and what planes I want to buy.  And I'll likely be springing for the yoke/pedals.   On the flip side, my hobby for the past 12 years has been golf - so I was spending the same money on green fees, equipment, etc.

 

5.  It's not like riding a bicycle!    While some things came back naturally, I still feel a bit 'behind the plane' in the cockpit.   Each flight has been a little rough...and that's with the default Lear.    My 'go to' plane was the PMDG 737.   It's going to be a bit of a learning curve coming back.  At $70, I may be looking for a new 'go to' aircraft, LOL.    There is SO much out there, it's really hard to get a handle on the 'must haves'

 

 

But it's good to be back.  My wife joked last night that it was like old times.   I look forward to logging a lot more hours this year.

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I'm tending to agree with ayarov.

 

If I were to start fresh, I would probably go the X-Plane route. Much less tweaking, patching and makes full use of all modern hardware/OS.

 

I am resetting up my FSX install due to a fresh install of Win10 and am NOT enjoying the process at all. I'd rather be flying or outside.

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Only thing that would put me off going the X Plane route would be the lack of add ons as opposed to FSX.

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Welcome again Mantan!

 

I kinda understand your feeling of "known but weird" at the same time. It happens to me every couple of years. In my case it's long periods (2 years or so) of flightsim-inactivity coupled with a few months of an intense come-back.

 

I also want to agree with the 2 users before me: Try X-Plane 10. It's changed quite dramatically in 12 years.

 

Also: Have you considered Prepar3D instead of FSX? In case you don't know: Microsoft Flight Simulator was discontinued some years ago and Lockheed Martin took the ESP platform (like the core/engine of MFS) and developed it into Prepar3D (P3D). So we could say that P3D is the natural "evolution" of FSX.

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Thanks for the suggestions guys. I took a look at both and will be giving them a spin. The graphics look a lot closer to what you'd expect with today's hardware. And if I'm starting fresh anyway, it's a good time to switch.

 

Funny about X-Plane. For years it was always the alternative that was decent in some ways, but limited. But with FS not being supported, it looks like they've moved quite a few steps ahead.

 

And I'll never stop marveling at how high the bar is raised. I remember when I left thinking graphics had reached their peak. And now it looks dated. But that X-plane demo was mind blowing.

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Hey Mantan,

Being You are talking FSX to Begin with !!, Don't forget there is a Mountain of Freeware out there, Written specifically for FSX, the Key word here is "FREEWARE", Simviation being a Good place to start - Good Luck - Johnman B)

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Welcome back to simming! You'll find that we've taken a few great leaps since you last flew... Since you're starting anew, I'd highly recommend going down the P3D route for your simming future - it's supported and will be for the foreseeable future, has MASSIVE performance enhancements compared to FSX (in situations where you'd be getting 20-30fps in FSX, you could very well be getting 50-60fps in P3D), and has a very large selection of aircraft addons - much more than XP10 has - most of which, if already purchased for FSX, can be transferred to P3D with no/little cost (with notable exceptions, however). For joysticks, I recommend grabbing the Saitek X56 - it's a reliable and very capable HOTAS stick that does its job well. If you're also interested in rudder pedals, the MFG Crosswind rudder pedals are a great option that have received quite positive reviews in the FS world, notably by many famed simming YouTubers.

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Welcome back!

 

If you would like to see what good addon scenery might look like, download the free Orbx PNW demo scenery.

 

https://fullterrain.com/demos

 

If you like flying along the West Coast of the U.S. you are in luck, since Orbx has this covered, all the way to Alaska.

 

Secondly, I'd suggest getting Orbx Global.  It is a texture replacement that makes the entire world look much better.

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Welcome back mantan, I was a little bit in the same boat, away from Flight Simulator for a few years due to work and other life events. Enjoying it again now...

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Welcome Back!

 

There have been times when I was away from FSX and have returned to "flying" it again. I have 2 or 3 boxes of FSX, because the price went down and at the time I did not want to lose access to the game because of a bad disc.

 

Because I already have FSX I have not switched, I do have an "older" 4 year old yet powerful computer however. [intel i5 3570K @ 4.0 or 4.4GHz and a very good air cooler to let my system last 5 to 7 years - or more if it holds up and Intel continues to improve integrated graphics and almost ignore CPU performance.

 

For a comparison of FSX vs P3D, please check out this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdoBByXFSa4

 

Look at ZZstaff and Darrin Ward's comments especially.

 

ADD-Ons for FSX:

 

I use the newest version of GEX [Ground Environment X] by Flight1. http://www.fspilotshop.com/flight1-ground-environment-world-edition-north-america-p-4148.html

 

Among the many aircraft I have purchased, my favorite aircraft is the Carenado B200 King Air. It is VERY stable, even at 90 knots and can be used on relatively short runways [note, use the F2 key to reverse the props for short landings and you can see over the nose of the aircraft better at 105 knots than 90 - remember, you can use the keys Shift+Enter to raise your seat to allow you see over the nose better {Shift+Backspace to lower seat height}]. It is great for both low level flight and mid-altitude, such as 20,000 feet and can fly around 2,000 miles, depending upon wind conditions. It can be found at www.Carenado.com or http://www.fspilotshop.com/carenado-b200-king-air-series-p-3944.html

 

If you like something smaller you might like the Cessna 310R by Milviz, just remember it behaves much like a real C310, including when landing a little "hot". http://www.fspilotshop.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=Milviz

 

Read the reviews by purchasers, some of whom have been real pilots, such as myself.

 

I also have Track IR5 and it adds realism and permits views a hat switch will not, however, with a hat switch on the joy stick you can get by without it. http://www.naturalpoint.com/trackir/trackir5/#1

 

I wish you happy sim flying !

 

 

NOTE: Edited slightly for easier viewing

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ha, you dropped out just when I was dropping "in". :smile:   Can't imagine what it would be like to see such a difference in what simming is like today.  Must be quite a shocker.  Several different platforms to choose from.  I would also check out some of the amazing photoreal scenery that is available these days.  Tile-based scenery is so "90's", ha!

 

Welcome back!

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As for planes to buy... there is quite a lot to choose from..

 

For GA:  RealAir and a2a offer the most realistic planes

 

Add a Flight1 GTN750 and you are really cooking :wink:

 

For airliners:  PMDG

 

Having said that, I fly quite a number of Carenado planes myself.. choices..

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Everyone has their favorite addons, my suggestion for a good starting base is: FTX Global and Vector (for roads, rivers, coastlines, etc through the world), FreeMeshX, If you fly in America or Europe Orbx OpenLC, Active Sky Next, Rex4 Texture Direct for the environment textures, and your favorite airplane. If you want to get better scenery like photo scenery, or Orbx regions, then you can add on to the base addons from there as you go along. I like adding custom AI traffic myself because both traffic addons have too many negatives for me. (mytraffic, not realistic schedules and dated models, ut2 old schedules, lots of missing repaints, and the biggest bug is AI aircraft disappear over water!) But you say you don't have time to spend tweaking so UT2 is my suggestion for AI traffic due to easily updating schedules manually and repaints for the areas you fly.

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It was late last night here when I made my post above and forgot to mention this. Zinertek - HD Airport Graphics is very inexpensive and adds realism at all FSX airports, especially in the day time, at night I runways are so dark I have to use runway lighting to judge my altitude above the runway, aircraft landing lights are almost completely worthless - with my Nvidia graphics card. However, airport signs, and markings are much better, actually, some are added that vanilla FSX does not have, and buildings look better, and if there are windows there are people inside. It is still on sale for $14.24 and does not interfere with whatever ground software you are using. Read the reviews, some good comments there. http://www.fspilotshop.com/zinertek-airport-graphics-p-5310.html

 

Also, some aircraft you purchase for FSX also contain the same aircraft for P3D in the package [download or DVD/CD], the Carenado B200 Beechcraft above is one of them. When shopping for an aircraft check to see if it will install on other sims you have or are interested in. Make sure the aircraft, or any software, will work with the simulator software version, such as Prepar3D 3.0+ and so on.

 

FSpilotshop had over 2100 aircraft and other software on sale over memorial day weekend, and I am not sure if the sale is still on. When going to their site click on the "specials" link, usually on the right side of the page.

 

As mentioned by Bert, there are many aircraft alone that you can spend money on, not including other software and hardware.

 

I do not know what your budget is or what kind of aircraft you feel you would like to fly. The only reason I mentioned the Carenado B200 is it is a very easy aircraft to learn to "fly". Many people enjoy tinkering with as realistic as possible avionics and systems, which can take some time to set up a flight. Those aircraft have a much greater learning curve. However, the days of nothing but "steam gauges" and "coffee grinders" are coming to a close in real aircraft and I am glad to see many aircraft with some kind of glass system in the cockpit, even light single engine airplanes.

 

The recommendations I mentioned above were provided in light of what you said in your initial post, especially # 2, you are less patient in your "old age" indicating you want as few hassles as possible. You can slowly slide back into flying a sim, that will probably make it easier. Just a note on many of the great planes available, make sure you read the manuals on all systems and avionics, they can often be downloaded and read before making a purchase, and if you cannot do that, you can download manuals for the real thing and read up, also proceedures such as cold and dark start-ups, among others can be found on YouTube for specific aircraft.

 

I have a 40 inch monitor sitting 18 to 20 inches from my face and balancing good looking video with my check book is inescapable, especially now that I have been on a fixed income, I am 67 years old. I hate the looks of default FSX aircraft, they are simply putrid on a large screen.

 

If you have lots of money, time and patience [which you said you had little of these days, specifically patience] then you can make some great looking objects on screen. In fact, once you look around for a few days at what is available you may become excited and want to jump in with both feet, along with your check book. It is probably best if you purchase a few pieces of inexpensive scenery, clouds, etc., and less complex aircraft to get things started looking better and not purchase a complex jet that will take you 20 minutes to set up [at the initial stage of the learning curve] before you even have time to taxi, let alone get into the air.

 

So, let us know what class aircraft you want to jump into and how complex you want to start with. If you want a shallower learning curve, take it in small steps, get some flight time in and enjoy yourself from day one.

 

 

 

EDIT: Forgot to use the word "all" ....

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I too have only recently come back into flight simming. I've spent months back in the day on Flight Assignment: ATP and FS98.

 

I concur with Dan regarding the HD airport graphics - a cheap upgrade which does bring better visuals to all the stock airports you don't fly to...until now :D 

 

I'm on a budget - the only aircraft I've bought is Virtavia's XB-70.... because it's the XB-70. The rest of my hangar is freeware. Honestly some of the freeware planes, especially the external model are up there looking as good as some of the payware versions.

 

I find a freeware plane I like (usually an airliner) - look for a decent instrument panel for it, look at where it flies to and from, look for appropriate freeware airports. I use a free online flight planner to generate the plans, use FSOpen Clouds to approximate FSX's own "weather" to represent real world, real time conditions (NOT winds aloft. That's another can of FSX worms!) and then go fly.

 

One day I'll get around to programming data into an FMC...

 

Welcome back.

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I have an oops to report.  To reverse props press and hold down F2.  For jet thrust reverse tap the / key.

 

I thought I should clarify those keyboard commands because you have been gone so long.

 

My apologies for not being clear earlier.

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....  Hold down F2 for reverse props and jet thrust reverse ... and / for manual spoilers.  My memory is poor, and once again, sorry about the confusion.

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Thanks for all the great advice.  I added the airport textures and ground textures which helped a ton.  Still figuring out what aircraft to get.  I used to fly airliners exclusively...but thinking about going with a business jets for awhile.  Leaning toward the Eaglesoft Citation X as my first purchase.

 

But I HAVE to get a yoke/pedals first.   Flying with the mouse/keyboard is terrible.    Was flying with the default Lear and it becomes a bucking bronco as soon as the AP is disengaged.  There is just no feel with the keyboard....

 

edit - to correct the company...

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Have a look at a CH USB Yoke, and Saitek Combat Pedals..

 

Both good value and very functional.

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...but thinking about going with a business jets for awhile.  Leaning toward the Aerosoft Citation X as my first purchase.

 

 

 

The Eaglesoft Citation X is pretty good, if you mean that.  Aerosoft has not done a CX.  There's really no recent quality bizjets out.  Flysimware Lear is pretty good.  Flight1's Mustang is pretty good, but not all systems are done and it's a fairly slow jet.  I fly GA myself, anything Realair, A2A, and pair those with GTN 750 avionics is the best!

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