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Guest DerMeister

Need help in buying add-on planes

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Hi, I'm new to the AVSIM forums so this topic is probably posted the wrong place but I have spent some 20 minutes trying to figure out where to put it - please bear with me.I am getting a little tired of the too simple default planes in FSX. I would like an airplane where I can start up from a cold and dark cockpit, configure the FMC, and so on. However, as I am not a expert in airplanes, I don't want something that takes an eternity to learn. Of course, I expect to read the manual over and over to master the airplane, but I have heard of airplanes that really require godlike skills and that is not what I am looking for.I am not looking for a specific airplane model - it could really be anything between a A319, B737, B747, B767, A380, you name it. The main thing is that I can get a realistic flying experience but without beeing too difficult - I must be able to control the plane by reading the enclosed material. I hope you understand...Now for the options so far:I have heard of the Level-D 767 which everybody praises. What are the advantages and disadvantages to it? I presume it is possible to operate by "just" reading the manual and without possessing further expert-knowledge on aviation...As stated on their webpage, PMDG is about to launch a 747, 737 and MD-11 - all of them catch my interest :D I know they have not been released yet so no one can probably comment one them but asuming they are not much different from the FS9 editions, what are your thoughts on them? Are they easier or difficultier to operate than the LVLD? Are they simply better made? Do they come with more liveries? etc.Then I fount Sky Simulations

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Hi guys, thanks for the answers and links!I'm sorry I forgot to say it has to be a modern, commercial jet-aicraft. My bad...EDIT: The aircraft must also support Windows Vista 64 bit - I have actually come across some that don't.

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At this moment in time, the Level-D 767 is the best payware available for FSX. It has an excellent manual and is very flyable. The FMC will take some reading and some practice but it is quite rewarding. Once you learn the Level-D, it will be similar to any Boeing which comes out in the future. I expect there will be a good Airbus in the near future and the upgraded 747-400 from PMDG. All FMC's use the same principals and the learning curve will be easy after you have mastered one.Good luck.

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Okay, John, sounds like I have got to pick the LVLD. Thanks for the advice! :)If I would maybe like to have another aircraft, in addition so I can get some variety, what would you (or anybody else) recommend?

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>without possessing further expert-knowledge on aviation...It all depends on what you mean by 'expert-knowledge'... It'll be pretty though to fly any of the good add-on-airliners if you know nothing about aviation. Most serious add-ons require knowledge about basic aviation stuff, otherwise you won't even be able to understand the manual. All in all I wonder if you don't reach too high too soon... >in addition so I can get some variety, what would you (or anybody >else) recommend?One big airliner may give you enough variation because you have a lot of systems to keep an eye on. The FMC alone is something completely different from anything you will find in FSX. Buying another big plane now already might make things only more confusing for you. It also seems to me that you expect to fly the LVLD-plane within a day or so, just by reading the manual. You won't. Well, you can get it up in the air like a default plane quickly enough, but to master every aspect of it will take a lot of time. If I were you I'd focus on this one plane first and see if it all works out.Ha, I'm sounding a bit negative, I know, but I'm just trying to prevent a big disappointment for you! If you want too much too soon, it might not work out at all...

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Another aspect of add-on aircraft selection that deserves consideration is its impact on frame rates. FSX has less headroom than FS9 for complex aircraft and you don't want to find that your new purchase is a slide show. The Level D is not without its detractors in this area.Anyone care to suggest well-modeled airliner (not GA) add-ons that also have minimal impact on frame rates? Cheers,Noel.

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IT looks like you have a conflicting requirement.Let me ask you this.. Have you managed to fly the default airliners like 737 etc? Is that too simple for you?if you want to use the FMC and what not... then there is only 1 way. Flying the airliner like flying it for real. Since you are willing to read the manuals then you should be ok. (Ofcourse its very diffcult to satisfy your ". However, as I am not a expert in airplanes, I don't want something that takes an eternity to learn.")Lvl-D is available in FSX. You can get the DVD training for it too http://www.flyaoamedia.com/about_aoa.phpIF that is too much. Then the default is the way to go.Manny

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At the moment I only know of 3 that meet you're requirements, Level-D 767, Leonardo MD-82, and Flight 1 ATR.Personally, the MD-82 from Leonardo is as good or better than the Level-D in my opinion. The Maddog isn't getting near the recognition it deserves for such a wonderful add on. You get all the realism of the Level-D plus weather radar and visual EGPWS. I'm only using this plane in FS9 right now, but it handles like a dream and works perfectly. The Level-D is just as good in quality/quantity though.The ATR from Flight 1 is another wonderful plane, however, it's a turboprop, so it's a slower and lower flying aircraft.As far as reading is concerned, you will have a lot to do and may become overwhelmed, if not lost, if you don't understand the basics. Flying complex pay ware like Level-D, PMDG, Flight 1, Dreamfleet, and others take plenty of learning and skill. You have a lot of work to do during take-off and approach when simulating the workload of two pilots. I suppose you could fly these planes much like the default, but that defeats the purpose of their design. You won't have, and shouldn't have a map GPS either. The FMC is a text based GPS and won't give you any information but numbers and basic data for navigating, therefore, you can't rely on it. You also have to enter weight, fuel and other information in a lot of these depending on the developer who made them. Real world FMCs require the input of this data, including takeoff speeds.

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Before moving up to heavy iron, if you haven't already I'd recommend learning how to navigate by charts (http://chartfinder.vatsim.net/ has US, UK, Australia, and some of Canada for free) with ga planes, following dps (sids) and stars. You can force default atc to follow flight planned procedures, but I'd suggest getting something like Radar Contact (IFR only). To me, it doesn't make sense to move up to a complex add on like the level d 767 unless you have learned to fly the slower planes as realistically as possible. You can also have a lot of fun using VFR sectionals (http://skyvector.com/), particularly with Ultimate Terrain X. And as others have said, there is the performance factor.

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Hi again, thank you very much for your input - it really is helpful.I know my demands sound weird, and maybe I was too "cautious" to start with. It seems I will have to spend a reasonalby big amount of time mastering the LVLD which I am now 99 % sure I wull buy. I can accept that :D.I really feel like I master the default 737 and 747 (like others have said on these forums the Airbus is unflyable) using their AP and filing IFR flight plans and using ATC.As to the basics of aviation, I feel I have a basic knowledge of terms and so on, and I have read through the manual that is available for anyone to download on the LVLD homepage (http://www.leveldsim.com/files/LVLD767_Manual_for_FSX.zip), and most of it, I seemed to understand.Btw. is that manual the full version? Because I am going to buy the download version of the 767.Orlaam, that MD-82 looks very interesting judging from their homepage. However, I don't see any screenshots of a VC? Does it have one?Once again, I would like to thank you all for the invaluable help.

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You have said that you are mostly interested in flying airliners. I would recommend that you also consider GS aircraft. As a retired fighter jock and GA pilot, I find flying straight and level, autopilot does everything rather...boring. Give me a afterburner or better, two afterburners every time. Still, I have a wonderful time flying GA aircraft. Planes like the SF-260 or Dreamfleet

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Some folks prefer general aviation and some prefer the airliners (not to mention helicopters, gliders and who knows what else). I don't think one is any better than another. Different strokes for different folks. You seem to have spent enough time with the airliner defaults to know what you like.I have been flying airliners for several years on FS9 and love them. Two warnings: First, the complex airliners, such as Level D, do give your hardware a workout. Second, they are very addictive. You will soon find yourself wanting realistic ATC (eg Radar Contact), realistic weather (eg ASX) and the real icing on the cake (my favorite addon) FS2Crew. I guarantee that, after flying Level D or comparable heavy iron, you will never go back to the default airliners. I fly the PMDG 737 and 747 and the Level D in FS9. I fly the Level D and Wilco Airbus A319/320/321 (one addon)in FSX. I will buy the PMDG 737 and 747 for FSX when they are released.To answer your question, the downoad of the Level D includes the full manual in pdf (which includes a pretty good tutorial). If you want a truly excellent introduction to airliner simming, try Mike Ray's books. You can get his Boeing 700 Series book from Amazon, among other places, and his new Airbus Series (I only found it as pdf download)from several online stores. They are not free, but they will walk you through in a simple, humorous manner and get you in the air faster than the addon manuals or tutorials. I found them useful even after years of simming. I wish I had purchased his Boeing book when I first started flying them. This leads to a decision you should make early on: Boeing or Airbus. You will find that the flight approaches are different. I would not say one is better than the other, they are just different. I fly both.Good luck in your decision. Craigjjs

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Thanks for the last inputs as well - mostly welcome.I think I will buy the LVLD and then some PMDG when it gets released.

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