Cactus521

What do you think the future of flightsims will be?

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Given where we are now, with photoreal scenery, immersive aircraft, does anyone have a vision for the future of flight simulation?  Have we reached the end of what we can do or are there still milestones to be conquered? My estimate is clouds and weather, more of a 3d effect as in real life.  It's fair now but I know it can be enhanced.  Next, ground handling in crosswinds, in all sims too much rudder is required on the ground to compensate.  In real life crosswinds are a distraction corrected with a light touch of rudder on the ground, but in the sims they are way too strong and make for unrealistic takeoffs and landings.

I think if those two things can be tackled in the next generation of sims we will have outstanding choices for our hobby.  Currently I think P3D and XP 11 have done an excellent job providing the platform for simming.  A mid range computer like mine handles them just fine, their code has been optimized very well.  I still fight between both sims, each has their own value for me.  I haven't purchased any add-ons for x-plane although there is an ultralight I may buy.  If I can figure out OrthoXP I will be happy.  I just want to do the area around Phoenix for ultralight flying.  The future seems to be here, given what these sims can do.  What next, that will be the surprise!

John

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Good question,

for sure the future will be mostly about rendering and VR, optimization with the ever growing computational power available from CPUs and GPUs and probably land definition and resemblance to real world, which is great even for those who fly for real becauce the closest to reality we can have in the sim, the more we can profit from using it, for instance to simulate immergency scenarios.

I am mostly using XP11 as my civil flight Simulator, although I am a long time Aerowinx addict, as well as a long time ELITE IFR user. X-plane, even with it's quirks, offers me still the best overall replica of reality I can find in civil sims when it comes to visuals, and even some aspects for physics.

Yesterday as I was operating the club PW-6U, and we had a 5 knot "gusting to" 10 knot quarterly at LPMN, mostly from NW - NNW, I knew that for sure even using full downwind rudder on landing as soon as I lose speed, the glider will depart upwind, and exit the narrow rw because of it's huge weathervane characteristics. the same applying to the Phoebus B,and many other, so... I wonder if the corrections pilot do IRL on prop aircraft are indeed pronnounced, and we just notice it more in the sim because of teh 3d perspective and lack of good hardware used in the controllers ... 

Weather and integrated ATC are areas where all flight simulators lack a lot imo. Unfortunately the focus of users whe we talk about weather modelling can differ quite a lot, from those who are more worried with the looks than the feels, and those who will accepts lesser looks in change for better physics. Having both would be simply great, but it's usually heavy.

ATC would make any civil flightim shine above the competition if it was made correctly / plausibly and opened to 3pds and other sorts of enhancements like those of AI traffic. This is yet another area where the future of flight simulation has a lot to invest...

 

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Particle Modeling for clouds, fog, snow, dust, moving water, waterfalls, sparks, fire, explosions, smoke, exhaust, Condensation trails, etc will make a huge difference when the CPU will be able to handle something like that. The current 3D poly models or Cloud Texture images come no where close to what Particle Modeling would do.

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2 hours ago, Matthew Kane said:

Particle Modeling for clouds, fog, snow, dust, moving water, waterfalls, sparks, fire, explosions, smoke, exhaust, Condensation trails, etc will make a huge difference when the CPU will be able to handle something like that. The current 3D poly models or Cloud Texture images come no where close to what Particle Modeling would do.

The thing is, most GPU's have been able to handle this sort of stuff for years and years, but it's just never made it to the world of simulation. Physics libraries like Havok and others could easily handle a lot of this, but when I've occasionally asked over the years why its not happening, the reply, in various forms, keeps coming back that sim developers seem to have a big thing about getting dependant on any third party systems like that.......

So the game world keeps leaping ahead, and sims sit and sit, and so (mostly) do our Gpu's.

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Yeah, I'm also in the VR camp. It's definitely going that way. However, I think the cost of having a VR setup will need to drop to suit more people's budgets first before flight simulation in general goes down that route.

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AI ATC with the flexibility of a real controller. Even better if it could interject your aircraft into the real time real world scenario at the airport you're at.

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 I think Google Earth will come into our virtual flying world at some point in time. 

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I'll soon be a part of the VR generation myself but what about Augmented Reality (AR)? Does it have any potential in the simulator market?

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1 hour ago, krazyk said:

I'll soon be a part of the VR generation myself but what about Augmented Reality (AR)? Does it have any potential in the simulator market?

I imagine so.  For me VR doesn't work so well, because I am partially blind in one eye and that inhibits the 3d experience you get with VR.  Plus I couldn't imagine simming for more than an hour with gear attached to my head.  Anyone remember the movie "Brainstorm" with Christopher Walken and Natalie Wood?  That was a good predictor of VR, made some 30 years ago.  We're getting close to that today.  I still watch that movie from time to time.

I can see VR being very good for training military minded pilots, where information needs to be collected and gathered at a fast pace.  I don't see it as much in the civil market, as cockpits in new airliners get simplified and workload reduced.  I watch these youtube videos where the autopilot is turned on just after takeoff, running the entire flightplan.  The pilot just punches in the numbers that ATC directs him/her to.  I've never flown an aircraft with an autopilot, they are not commonly found on light sport and certainly not found on trikes.  It was always hand flying for me, and when trimmed I did not have to do much, even in the chop other than keeping an eye out for traffic and always being prepared for an engine out situation.

John

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Continued piecemeal, slow advancement, that's the flight sim future I see.

Considering we are 11 years with FSX, I'm disappointed where we currently are - not a single flight sim has it all.

 

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The effects on air masses from thermals, terrain, trees and man made objects is an area for development in flight sims. These effects contribute greatly to the dynamics that make every single takeoff and landing a unique event that must be planned and evaluated throughout execution. In cruise, it is a factor as well.

A ridgeline, a row of trees or large hangars upwind of a runway can make for a challenge. These can create all sorts of up and down drafts, head and tail winds in very small spaces all requiring prompt and precise control inputs to maintain control and alignment with the runway.

None of the current simulators provide this. It is the skill that deteriorates most quickly for me when I am away from the real plane for a few weeks. I believe that improvements in this space would be very valuable for training and it would add more depth to the simulation.

As it stands, every landing is very static and mechanical once you are stabilized. You can hold the stabilized inputs with minor corrections, flare and land. It is rarely like this IRL.

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On 9/18/2017 at 6:42 PM, Oracle427 said:

The effects on air masses from thermals, terrain, trees and man made objects is an area for development in flight sims. These effects contribute greatly to the dynamics that make every single takeoff and landing a unique event that must be planned and evaluated throughout execution. In cruise, it is a factor as well.

A ridgeline, a row of trees or large hangars upwind of a runway can make for a challenge. These can create all sorts of up and down drafts, head and tail winds in very small spaces all requiring prompt and precise control inputs to maintain control and alignment with the runway.

None of the current simulators provide this. It is the skill that deteriorates most quickly for me when I am away from the real plane for a few weeks. I believe that improvements in this space would be very valuable for training and it would add more depth to the simulation.

As it stands, every landing is very static and mechanical once you are stabilized. You can hold the stabilized inputs with minor corrections, flare and land. It is rarely like this IRL.

Whilst I'd certainly like to see that too, rather than the obsession with more and more eye candy which prevails, I suspect we won't witness that any time soon. Partly because that is easier to do than developing new computations/calculations for flight etc and implementing that into a sim, and partly because it is generally all that ever is available, so becomes false confirmation of what people want, as it is all they can buy. Sadly, I think that means it'll just be a future of yet more eye candy rather than a genuine attempt to actually simulate flight more accurately.

Not that VR is not a worthy direction to explore, nor any visual acuity for that matter, I just wish it was one of many avenues of advancement rather than pretty much the only one we're actually seeing courtesy of 64 bit allowing file sizes to be larger. There is some light at the end of the tunnel for weather depiction with FSW's trueSKY stuff, but again, even that does seem to be more of a visual advance rather than a physics-based one.

The day we can drop to just above stall speed at a high AoA and then kick on full rudder and witness anything from our big 737s to our little Cessnas go into a believable spin, or feel our virtual chopper experience a retreating blade stall or VRS, or have the wind patterns and cloud formations interact with the terrain profile, then we'll know things have truly moved on for the actual simulation of flight. And unfortunately, I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for all that to occur.

Just for giggles, I'll tell you what would be fun... How about a little unit sat on your desk which could generate the smells associated with various phases of flight, you know, the smell of castor oil when you crank up your Sopwith Camel, or the faint hint of burning rubber after you brake too hard on landing, or the smell of avgas when you crank up the RPM on your JetRanger with the doors off. Here's to the arrival of SimuScent (TM) lol.

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29 minutes ago, Chock said:

Just for giggles, I'll tell you what would be fun... How about a little unit sat on your desk which could generate the smells associated with various phases of flight, you know, the smell of castor oil when you crank up your Sopwith Camel, or the faint hint of burning rubber after you brake too hard on landing, or the smell of avgas when you crank up the RPM on your JetRanger with the doors off. Here's to the arrival of SimuScent (TM) lol.

The upcoming Pimax 8k VR headset will offer a "Scent module".

No, I'm not kidding.

 

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