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AlaskanFlyboy

FSX And Children

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Fairly recently, a friend of mine with a young child expressed interest in having the kid play with FSX on my computer rig. The child in question was about three years old, and cantankerous. At the time, I was re-installing FSX onto a new hard drive, so very few of the bells and whistles I am used to running were active, and stuff was just lying around in pieces.I begged off letting the kid onto my rig and directed the child towards some Fisher-Price loot that was lying around for just such an emergency. Anyway, I've been thinking, how young is too young to get started with flight sim? The FSX box says E for Everyone (in Canada), while the Acceleration box says E10+, for ten and up. I would be interested in hearing from others on the topic of kids and FSX, although I think I know where I stand.Jeff ShylukAssistant Managing EditorSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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Depends:1) If this is your own child, steer him towards "Volkswagon Simulator." This will save you untold tens of thousands of dollars as he grows older and decides he wants to "experience the real thing."2) At age two Earl Woods put a club in the hands of his son Eldrick. Worked out pretty well, I guess, except that most people nowadays don't call him Eldrick. They call him Tiger Woods. The thinking here is to give your child a sense of wonderment about a hobby that will INSURE your retirement, rather than ENSURE you're one-way ticket to the poorhouse.Heh.

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The beauty of the platform is the ability to add the base package with other sorts of vehicals, while at 6-7 years old my son was able to get a model off the ground he was never able to land .The addition of some cars and other sorts of land vehicals made his day , in fact i made and released a Jeep for FS9/X with an active suspension and lots of animated parts so we could do some 4 wheeling together , there was also a yamaha Banshee i did for racing and remember the beta session for that was a hoot as i always do thoseonline at WestCoastATC.com , there were 20 some guys in the sessionrunning around Las Vegas in a cross country race.So while serious simming may be somewhat beyond a six year old , there are many ways to enjoy playing around with FS and i found that my son and his friends didn't know a Corvair from a Connie but they really had a good time anyway .. but i wouldn't let a three year old anywhere within spilling distance of my rig, at that age they are going to destroy your joystick ... take my word for that ;)

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The age range of my grandchildren is quite wide.My 11 year old granddaughter did a repaint of the Lockheed Vega and flies it quite well. She has participated in some of our on-line events.The younger boys seem more interested in crashing into things or each other - so I don't attempt to teach them.But it's largely a matter of interest. My 6 year old grandson loves trains and handles my HO models with care and respect. I trust him with engines and such which cost one heck of a lot more than my FSX computer.I've found that if the child can and will follow the Rod M flying lessons - they will be okay with FS. If they cannot or will not follow his directions - too young.The hardest part is getting them to understand that FS is not a shooting or crashing game.If they want games like that - Snoopy vs the Red Baron is excellent.

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I had both of my sons sitting in my lap at age 4 and simming with me. I have the full CH setup with TrackIR4. At 4 they could both take off (yes - by themselves - except I would rudder cause they cant reach) including flaps, speed up, watch speed indicator and pull up - and fly straigh and steady. Now (they are 8 and 6.5) they can fly steady and straight, turn, watch attitude indicator, keep from stalling and understood basic principals of flight, and now my oldest can land - again with a little help and USUALLY hit the runway LOL. I'm now teaching my oldest advanced concepts modeled in some planes like hot-starts, pressurization, and feathering props - he's fascinated by this stuff! We also enjoy multiplayer dogfights with JF18 (they love trying carrier landings), IL2, or BoBII and they LOVE the A-10 in LOMAC FC LOL! Of course I don't turn up all realism (leave blackouts off, set unlimited ammo and disable crashing into other aircraft) with them but the fact that they "get" how to fly and turn and shoot guns and missiles just blows me away. Anyway - it's something I'm proud of because I love my "flight time with the kids" so this thread really captured my attention. Great topic!Gino Coughran

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Hi,My youngest grandchild started flying FSX at 2 years age. He's still flying FSX at the age of 4. Pretty good on crashing.Ulf B

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My kids (6 & 4) love the way the sim and my GoFlight hardware looks at night, all lit up in red and green, and with a supplemental red cockpit lamp. But thus far my 4 year old daughter has shown more interest than my 6 year-old son. I do most of my flying when they are asleep, so who knows how this will change as they witness me doing it more as they grow older and the longer they stay up. That said, they both enjoy a good takeoff on daddy's lap, usually one on each knee, which really makes it hard for me to use my rudder pedals! Anyway, they take turns steering the 777 around the pattern, but usually jump off my knee when I take over to land. http://www.my-buddy-icon.com/Icons/objects/red_3d_plane.gifAlex ChristoffN562ZBaltimore, MD

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My 4.5 year-old daughter prefers Falcon 4 Allied force over FSX.She claims it's "easier". I guess if all you do is endless rolls I suppose it might be...Bryan

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I'll catch my daughter occasionally starting up the sim, and trying her hand at it, but I really don't think she likes me watching her. She's obviously practicing to be "better than dad"... you know the drill. ;)

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Both my daughters ,ages 19 and 20 , both in college think that I'm too old to play with toy planes....BUT..They both have their own semi-built puters for The Sims and have all games and expansions for them..My wife too......so we are very disfuncitual at best...lol

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My 2 year old son likes to watch me fly, but he is just too young to take the controls, he doesn't really want to. He loves Rail Simulator though, and he can hit the (spacebar) horn like nobodies business.

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My 3.5 year old is the same way, he likes to fly with me. His favorite planeis the F18 with the Blue Angels' livery, he made me buy him a toy one to play.I think with supervision to avoid "gear destruction" any time they want to do something with you its overall goodness. The time will come way too fast that all they want to do is get out of the house and play with their friends, so enjoy it while it lasts.

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My 3.5 year old only wants to fly yellow planes and they must fly for only 30 seconds at most before they must crash into something. I'm sure he would like it even more if the planes would explode on impact.

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Thank you for sharing your stories with children and FSX. @Alex Christoff: I would imagine that if the next kids you had were twins, that would solve the problem of keeping them on your lap while operating the rudder pedals. Other than that, maybe you could have the lighter child hold some weights to match the mass of the heavier child, and then you could use your rudders.Looks like I will have to set up some kid-friendly flights for the next time the wee ones come to visit! If there are more stories and bits of advice out there, please, by all means keep it coming!Jeff ShylukAssistant Managing EditorSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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Neither of my kids ever showed any interest in the sim, but then my daughter surprised me by going into flying/aviation as a career.A few weeks ago, my wife and I flew our 8 year old grandson from Maui to Southern California. Our idea was that even Maui is a paradise, that it would be nice to expose him to things kids typically do on the mainland (Disneyland,Legoland, etc.).One of the stops was of course the great Aerospace museum in San Diego. We got there at opening, and the first thing we came across was a rendition of flight sim on a big screen with full controls. He started flying it (pretty good too) and when the ex Navy pilot found out I flew he let me sit down next to him and fly for a long while. We then sat in aircraft, and did a motion simulator. The pictures of the look on my grandson's face tells it all. Perhaps when he gets older this will have been a nice influence.http://www.mediafire.com/imgbnc.php/1b5baf...b9f427f694g.jpgMy blog:http://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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My son (age 9) has been flying with me since age 5, both sim and real life. In the sim he has far surpassed me in air races and aerobatics. Just got him the RealAir SF260 for a good report card; he is loving it.

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My son (9) enjoys the helicopters but generally flies Pacific fighters and its relatives plus Falcon 4 and Lock On. Still has problems landing though.

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Flight simulation is for daddy only. My gaming computer is a no fly zone for my kids. I got a separate computer they can bang around on.

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Same here Mike K-Even my wife is intimidated by the complexity of my flightsim rig. She stays on the wireless laptop, and is fine with that, as her most demanding software is the eBay applets. The 3 Triple Head to Go Screens wrapped around the yoke, throttles, GoFlight stack and center console have a way of making most people pause, as if afraid to touch it, which is good! But I regularly involve the kids, and in fact my son plays "Gutterball," a bowling sim, on my rig regularly, but only after asking me, though. http://www.my-buddy-icon.com/Icons/objects/red_3d_plane.gifAlex ChristoffN562ZBaltimore, MD

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I myself was 5 when I first touched Flight Simulator. Back then it was on a 286 and was the original. Though I was obsessed with aviation before that, apparently before I was a year old by most accounts.I'm currently stuck in between the private license and the commercial though thanks to being in the gray zone between my family making too much for me to qualify for financial aid, but too poor to fund me. Though as of this year I apparently qualified, but because I "failed" the flight labs courses when I ran out of money to complete them, I'm on academic suspension, but I fight on.So yes, Volkswagon Simulator X might be gentler to family and the child. :-hah ----------------------------------------------------------------John MorganReal World: KGEG, UND Aerospace Spokane Satellite, Private ASEL 141.2 hrs, 314 landings, 46 inst. apprs.Virtual: MSFS 2004"There is a feeling about an airport that no other piece of ground can have. No matter what the name of the country on whose land it lies, an airport is a place you can see and touch that leads to a reality that can only be thought and felt." - The Bridge Across Forever: A Love Story by Richard Bach

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