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Flight Sim in a school

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Hello all, thank you for letting me join your forum.


I work in a school am am looking to bring a fun but educational flight sim experience to the children. I have a 4m wide fixed projector screen with a decent projector, great sound system and a range of decent PCs at my disposal. My plan was to mock up some kind of seating arrangement a few meters away from the projector screen. I was planning on downloading Microsoft Flight Simulator from Steam on to an i5 laptop to run the software.


I have £200.00 to spend of accessories to take my current 'computer gaming' experience in to a 'flight sim' experience, I was thinking that a set of buttons and controls would be my main investment.


If you were in my situation, what would you spend your £200.00 on to make this happen?


Many thanks in advance for your contributions,



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To FSX I would add:


- A control stick such as Logitech Extreme 3D

- A good weather engine such as ASN

- A decent addon aircraft such as one of the GA aircraft from A2A. If you want a trainer there is the C172 or Piper Cherokee, or if you want a more complex aircraft then the Piper Comanche


Depending on where you want to fly, there's plenty of freeware scenery available, and there are some good free developer tools such as Airport Design Editor if you want to enhance airports or terrain that have not already been updated in freeware. For the latter you need to download the P3D v1.4 SDK as FSX:SE does not include the full SDK.

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Since your target audience is children getting their first flight sim experience and you're on a fairly limited budget, I would recommend spending the money on some reliable controller hardware, rather than add-on software. I would invest in a joystick or yoke, throttle, and rudder pedals. CH Products makes very reliable and well-regarded flight simulation hardware. The CH Products Flight Sim Yoke USB has built-in throttle levers and would leave enough room in your budget for rudder pedals. There are cheaper alternatives but they may not hold up as well considering who will be using them.


FSX:SE should provide a fine experience for your kids out of the box. Software add-ons like ASN and the A2A Cherokee are must-haves for the serious flight simulator enthusiast, but I think the high-realism nuances they offer will be lost on kids who have never tried a flight simulator before. Also, since you're going to be running it on an i5 laptop, running a complex weather setup like ASN may be too much for your hardware; FSX's built-in weather engine should be more than enough for your target audience. In my opinion it's better to spend the money on reliable controller hardware, then later down the road think about adding some additional add-on aircraft if you have the budget for it.

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