PATCO LCH

Best Sim for a 6yr old?

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Thanks to introduction by papa my 6yr old grand loves airplanes. I gave them my old rig and thought I would go over and install a sim for him. He has been simming on my lap since he was old enough to sit up and understands a good bit of the fundamentals of flying though he's just learning to read. He knows a little about turn coordination, stall avoidance and recovery. and a little about instrumentation. So I was wondering if anyone could recommend the best sim for a little guy. FSX is the only one I have used and thought of FSX Steam or FSW but don't know if they would be too complex for a little guy to play by himself. His Mom or Dad would have to start it for him. So how about it Dads and Gramps. One of the older sims maybe if they can be found? 

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I would say any sim would do - just start him on less-complex aircraft (default, for instance).

Imagine the sims this little guy will be using in the course of his lifetime!

 

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Set him up in DCS with the Leatherneck Mig-21. That should be a good way to get him going- kids these days are too coddled!!! :) 

In all seriousness, AeroflyFS2 might be a good choice. It has modern graphics, great performance,a variety of aircraft, and very easy systems to understand. I haven't ever used FSW, but Aerofly seems more visually appealing and has both small aircraft and large airliners. 

That being said, FSX is also great because of the massive amount of voice-guided lessons and missions, despite it being a little bit on the dated side. 

Sims are great, but be sure to bring him out to the airport for some spotting regularly! If you loiter around the local FBO I'm sure you'll come across some pilots willing to take him up on a flight, or at the very least check out their plane on the ground. 

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If you and his parents are thinking the child will pursue an aviation career and will be taking real lessons eventually, then I would dive in deep. I would even consider getting a video training course to complement the simulator use. To start, the Aviator 90 series by Angle of Attack is free, easy to understand, with illustrations, and very good. From there or later, there are various commercially available PPL DVD/online courses. 

If this is just possibly a passing interest, then FSX-SE is complete, with something for everyone, and its inexpensive.  

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If this spurs a real interest in aviation I would check into local EAA Young Eagles programs. They offer all sorts of opportunities to learn from pilots and flight instructors. There are also opportunities to get some free stick time from time to time.

I started with a VIC20 and then over to a C64 with FS2 at about the same age. I'm sure a 6 year old can manage the likes of FSX. The sim planted the seed for me to become a pilot.

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31 minutes ago, hamoody said:

In all seriousness, AeroflyFS2 might be a good choice

+1

Cheers and good luck!, Ed

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Thanks for the great tips guys. we go out to Greenville Downtown every year to see the War Birds come in and I have taken him on a helicopter ride around Myrtle Beach. He's getting a little timid now but sports is getting that out of him. He plays organized soccer. I want to see him get competitive but of course Mom and Dad have the last say. Any way, let me tell you if you don't already know, being a Grand Parent is a blast!

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I’d also advice Aerofly FS 2. Easy to set up (just a few basic options), loads in a few seconds, runs incredibly well (don’t know how old that rig is but on my PC fps is +200 where P3D gives 30), and it has a nice brunch of various default planes. Compared to full blown sims it has some severe limitations but for a 6 year old I think it is great!

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There is Aerosoft's Ready for Take Off (also sold under the name Holiday Flight Simulator), which is specifically aimed at kids. It lets you fly the Airbus A320 and the Beechcraft Baron, and has a series of progressive 'missions' which open up new destinations and qualifications for your pilot character. It runs well on a modest PC, looks nice and has a lot of pointer features on screen to help in learning to fly, such as a green route line in the sky which you follow etc. If however, he's a smart kid, then it might be a bit pedestrian for him, since the flight model is somewhat limited (for example you can't roll the aircraft, it has a bank limiter), even if that were not so, it is unlikely to have a long-lasting appeal once all the challenges have been met.

Personally, I'd recommend Aerofly FS 2, which has loads of stuff to keep a kid happy, not least of which is the fact that it has a bunch of nice PPL lessons in it which teach you how to fly properly, i.e. how to fly a circuit, how to take off and land properly, using power to control descent and ascent and pitch to control speed, which is not what most people imagine is the case, so it is educational. It does the lessons much like they would be done in the real world, i.e. the instructor handles one of the controls whilst the student handles the other, and then the other etc, until they understand all the controls and then it builds on that cumulative knowledge with a final challenge. Once that is done, you've got brilliant photo scenery to fly over, and everything from GA singles and twins to jet fighters, vintage prop fighters and airliners, and most of all, there is little to concern one with tweaking the settings, since it runs at blistering frame rates. Aerofly FS2 doesn't have the best flight model of all, but it is reasonably convincing and you'd have to be wanting to do accurate spins and such before you'd really notice that, so it is a 'proper' flight simulator in most respects, but without all that ATC nonsense which would bore a kid to tears.

You can be pretty sure he'll love Aerofly FS2, and don't worry about thinking it might be too complex for a six year old, kids are smarter than most people think, just see how much faster they'll figure out a smart phone than we will!

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Patco Lch.

My thoughts are that if he remains keen, his learning path will probably be faster than an adult. I believe the problem in the long term is going to be keeping him interested in our hobby, or in real world avaition. Therefore, I think that you would be well served by FSX-SE because of the following reasons.

a. It can be purchased cheaply and is probably one of very few that are offfered on sale occasionally,

b. He can start off with ismple aircraft and progress to more complex ones at a later date

c. The Sim itself can become as complex and scenery wise as nice as he needs it to be as he progresses, and,

d. By the time he becomes competent (read obsessed) who knows what the state of our hobby will have reached. He will, however, be then able to assess for himself which Sim platform will suit his needs.

Above all, I advocate that he is not pushed, and that he is encouraged to go to the nearest airport and indulge in the manner outlined by Harmoody, as indeed, in all things aviation in conjunction and as part of his learning program. Mostly though, he should be encouraged to treat it as a learning platform and NOT as a game. although that is an aspect that is extremely hard for a child to ignore.

Your are also absolutely right about the role of a Grandpa ... it is truly wonderful. Good luck.

Tony 

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Falcon BMS or Aerowinx PSX. :laugh:

Jokes aside, I vote for AeroflyFS2 as well, for the reasons explained above.

 

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Just remember, in any sim, to deactivate crashes so the airplane just bounces up off the ground and flys again without any damage. :laugh:

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37 minutes ago, PATCO LCH said:

Does AeroFly FS2 have a seaplane?

Nope. It has..

Boeing 747, Bombardier Dash 8Q-400, Boeing 737, Airbus A320 airliners.

McDonnell Douglas F/A-18, McDonnell Douglas F/A-15E Strike Eagle, Aermacchi MB-339 combat jets.

Cessna 172, Beechcraft King Air C90, Beechcraft Baron 58, Bombardier LearJet 45 GA aeroplanes.

Extra 330, Pitts S2B aerobatic aeroplanes.

Vought F4U Corsair, Lockheed P-38 Lighting, Sopwith F.1 Camel historic propeller fighters.

Marganski Swift S1, Schleicher ASG 29 gliders.

Be aware that it is a big download because of the terrain detail (104.6Gb for the base program, so it'd take a few hours even with a decent connection), but that is what makes it look good.

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