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Christopher Low

What makes FU3 so special ?

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I am interested in all of those features that you consider to be either unique to FU3, or else superior to those in other flight simulators.This is not an attempt to start a flame war. I would simply like to know why FU3 is so special, since this will form the basis of an article that I would like to pitch to a games magazine.Chris Low.

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It all started since FU1 with - the scenery! :-)Then, of course, FU1/2/3 had the most believable flight models from day one. All said without comparing it in full detail to any other simulator. But, it's showing its age regarding the latest VGA card technology, clearly seen by the resolution of the gauges in the cockpit.Pieter

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Hi there!Well, I would agree with Pieter,- saying it started with FU made for win.95.I did find myself standing in a softwareshop downtown Milan-Italylate summer-98, bying FU2 for my son.(with italian handbook??!!)Safe back in Norway we loaded it, and there it was.The most stunning simulator you would imagine at those days.I was hooked up from day one, and I could never understand people saying that MS.fs98 was a great simulator.I tried ms.98, and uninstalled it the next day.Later,- the clever people like Tomi Lehto,- Dan Cowan,and others made A lot of exiting adventures for this sim,- even Looking Glass studiosmade support for this sim, and everything was like heaven for thoseeager flightsimmers of those days.Including photorealistic scenery, and activ ATC,-this sim was lightyears ahead of any other publisher of sims.Then the FU3 arrived late 99, made on the same platform as FU2,-with modifications.It still had the same surprices of flying.Making A flight from A to B was never the same thing.The weather would change again when you did not expect to, and the AI traffic was changed again from last flight.This is one of the important things with this sim that is unique.other things that is special is the weather engine made soooo goodfor gliders using the weather itself as a challenge.This kind of realistic behavior I have not seen on any other sims,and for Floatplanes-pilots,- It speaks for itself.Thats what I like with the FU series.Last thing,- and very important is the entusiasm of freeware developers to make advanced addons like new aircrafts, scenery, panels, sounds, etc-et.A summary of all things makes this for me a unique software to keep alive on my harddrive,- even if if does not support the new tecknologymade for DX.9Take care.Lars Peter.

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I'll second the above. Still, unlike most of you guys I had been using FS98 for a couple of years when I discovered FU3. FU3 provided photo-realistic terrain for a limited area. This looked awesome compared to what I was used to seeing.Equally important, the aircraft handled convincingly. While it may be hard to judge each aircraft's flight dynamics objectively any FU3 aircraft conveys the experience of real flight. I believe this is due to the flight model being based on flow dynamics. The ground handling is way more realistic than in FS.Then there's weather. First of all, there's always some amount of weather in FU3 since a static dead calm doesn't exist. There are little bumps in the air wherever you fly and the weather varies. Rain and haze look stunning, even by today's standards. Further, FU3 has slope lift -- the wind interacts with the terrain just as in real life.The main disadvantages are lack of "tweakability" and the limited terrain area. Due to a very closed architecture it's hard to create different types of aircraft. While we have a piston engine model and a jet model there's no turboprop model. Hence, our turboprops entail inherent compromises since they're really piston engine aircraft. The main shortcomings are the lack of feathering and reverse prop pitch. Then, for some reason the FU3 piston engine model doesn't work properly as mixture (leaning) is concerned. To me FU3 really shines when it comes to piston engine GA aircraft and gliders. It captures the feeling of "riding the relative wind" extremely well :-)Hans Petter

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I would add the Beechjet to that "realism" list. Peter James indicated that this was simulated to within one per cent of the real aircraft....and he should know :-)Chris Low.

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I rarely fire up FU3 anymore; but when I do, it's because of the emersive environment. By that I mean the combination of "real" feeling flight, great scenery/lighting, and realistic weather dynamics, "wind over terrain" effects.

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>It all started since FU1 with - the scenery! :-)>>Then, of course, FU1/2/3 had the most believable flight>models from day one. Don't tell anyone, but the twin Baron (was it a Baron?) in FUII, was much too under-powered. I was flying a Piper Seminole at the time for multi-instruction, and it was easily outdoing the simulated twin. And real life Seminole's are not high powered performers............. although they still do okay. And the Lake amphibian (spell?)acted like a high aspect ratio glider. It could just glide & glide & glide with it's engine out. Very impressive, but I doubt the real one is that way! :)L.Adamson

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Larry,Where do I start regarding poor representations of flight dynamics in MSFS ? ;-)Sorry, I couldn't resist.Chris Low.

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I can't point to any specific feature, other than maybe the wind / turbulence modelling which still leaves FS2004 in the dust.In the past, there were many other areas where FU3 surpassed FS and other sims. FU2 introduced AI traffic and ATC back in...1997? The first version of FS to feature this was FS2002 several years later. Up until FS2004, FU3 also featured superior terrain visuals and graphics. Dynamic weather was introduced in FU3, where as FS2004 only partially supports this.What I still like about FU3 is the immersive "feel". The combination of the realistic, sometimes humourous ATC, the flight modelling (including buffeting and turbulence), sky/haze modelling and more make the sim challenging and gives each flight a purpose. The world of FU3 seems more lively, The world of FS2004, even with higher resolution textures and more detailed models, seems clinical and sterile by comparison.

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Jimmi,I will always rate satellite (or aerial) mapped textures above generic ones, irrespective of how high the resolution is for the latter.Chris Low.

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>Larry,>>Where do I start regarding poor representations of flight>dynamics in MSFS ? ;-)>>Sorry, I couldn't resist.>Chris,At the moment, some 3rd party aircraft additions to MSFS, beat all flight dynamics everywhere for home P/C's. Including IL-2 (which is great) and even those from X-Plane. I know, as I have all these simulations.........including all three versions of Flight Unlimited.L.Adamson

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>The world of FU3 seems more lively, The>world of FS2004, even with higher resolution textures and more>detailed models, seems clinical and sterile by comparison.FUII/III, had it's fun moments. But much too phoney to me. And that started with most of the panels to ATC.I don't find FS2004 sterile by any means. When I'm sitting at some desert airport as the sun comes up, the wind sock is blowing, and a twin starts it's engines in the background............. I find it quite gratifying!L.Adamson

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>Jimmi,>>I will always rate satellite (or aerial) mapped textures above>generic ones, irrespective of how high the resolution is for>the latter.>>Chris Low.Don't we all? Like I previously said................ FLYII's photo-real scenery is the best I've ever seen from altitude. It has the "crispness" that the panels had.But at the moment, to duplicate real life flying, we have a very limited data-base of photo-real textures. And besides, they look pitiful at lower altitudes......................which is why it's all a compromise at the moment.L.Adamson

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Larry,Whilst I admire the achievements of many of these aircraft designers, I find it hard to believe that flight models that are not based on the physics of airflow over the wings can be as good as those that are. What types of plane are you referring to here ?Chris Low.

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