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  1. I can put it another way: On a realistic control feel scale of 1-10, 1 being keyboard, 10 being real flight: your standard band/spring resistance controls are probably sitting around a 2 or maybe 3. Brunner gives me at least a 7, maybe 8. You can tell it's simulation still, but it's a huge jump.
  2. When I come in for a gusty crosswind, the yoke absolutely will jerk in my hand. It's not just some vibration feedback... the yoke actually moves, varying amounts, with force, as it would in a real plane. The rudders kick at your feet a bit. Albeit not as strongly as they would in a real life mountain valley landing with strong winds, but still - that's a massive jump into immersion and takes flight sim to the next level. You actually have to hold the yoke in your hand and feet on the rudders in expectation of the movements and respond to them. That's the difference. You have do to the dance... the only thing more real would be if you could get the changes in inertia on your body as the winds kick the plane around the sky, but that's what the real air is for :) As for customization, everything I just mentioned above is pretty much out of the box for the C182 that I do my IFR practice runs in. I fired up an Extra for some acro fun once, but without a stick... meh. If you're techy enough to know what the spec listing in your signature means, you're plenty well armed to handle setting this up. Personally, I consider it a great investment of time for what it brings to the table. (forgot to note: I use XPlane for my stuff, so the above is based on XP11, just today fired up MSFS again for the first time in a few months just to see something pretty, but I didn't really dive in, so to speak...)
  3. I got the CLS-NG and the rudder pedals a few months ago, absolutely love them. There was an issue with a misconfigured hard-stop when I first set up it, but their support took care of me in good order. I don't find the setup bad at all, after spending a day with all the initial stuff, my process is now just to hop into their software quick after loading the flight and connecting the sim. No biggie. Regarding their (lack of) support for specific configurations: might be worth keeping in mind that they're a motion solution company. While that does include sims, their bread and butter is really in manufacturing automation, assembly chains, etc. Their flagship simulation products are world-class and the yoke and rudder a general simmer like you or I can invest in is really drops in a bucket. Which is to say, their expertise is in the hardware, which they do support, very (very) well. I think they have a "when it comes to software config for your specific sim/plane, you're more or less on your own" approach, which I can sort of understand given that these are the only consumer-level products they have. Not ideal, but... I consider it a fairly small investment of my own time (though I tend to stick to a relatively small handful of planes I'm currently flying in the real world). I'm happy to deal with that myself, given that they're the only company making these types of products. All in all, I love them and find them to be worth the investment. Hopefully I can get many, many years out of them (I expect to). (mounting took a bit, had to make up an adapter plate, but a 6mm sheet of polycarb and a few countersunk holes from each side matched it up fine)
  4. I did almost all of my ground school with FSX and his lessons (had bought his Private Pilot Handbook as well), well before I ever had the nerve to go to a real plane. By the time I started my actual PPL training it was fast and smooth. I've flown dozens (irl) planes since and probably would never have had the confidence to start it with Rod's lessons in FSX. I'm wanting to get my son into it (the right way though, prepping for actual flight via good sim practice), and really wish they would have kept that material ported forward somehow. It was invaluable to me and could still be to others - it was like an actual ground school course with some sim work - later versions' "lessons" are more about how to use a sim than how to be pilot.
  5. Hi all - I'm surprised I couldn't find anything on this... thought someone in here must have done it. I'm trying to practice partial panel and looking for a plugin that can "inop" certain instruments. I know I can get some of this in the Failures settings, but was looking more of a "postit over the dial" type plugin where I can slap one over any given instrument on the panel (I can't do real postits as I use a head tracker). Any ideas? Thanks
  6. I've used both Modern and Legacy, and neither one I find to be satisfactory, control settings aside. For example, I often run crosswind landings at an on-shore airport. In XP11, a steady 16kt crosswind with minimal gusts acts as it does in real life flying: the plane (GA) steadily pushes off track and aileron and rudder are required to maintain centerline. In MSFS with the same wind setup, regardless of the flight model chosen, the airplane is all over the sky. It's as if there's little actual wind, but ridiculous gusts. The nose of the aircraft will be repeatedly thrust anywhere from 10 to 45 degrees off center, as if the nose is being hit with Thor's hammer, first one direction, then the other. This happens frequently, perhaps 4-5 times on short final. Pitch variations are present as well but not nearly as bad. I've not found it possible to set up any sort of even semi-realistic crosswind conditions. I'm not sure if it's due to the flight model or the weather model (it's certainly not the controllers), but I've decided that MSFS is a good for navigation practice and looking pretty, where ground reference (including crosswind) and maneuver practice is best done in XPlane.
  7. Hi @himmelhorse - if it's not against the forum rules, could you recommend some of these 3PDs that I might look into? I'm wary of these things usually - I'd only want to use well-supported, well-adopted solutions (e.g., not some weak attempt that has a high chance of being abandoned in 3-6 months as is so often the case in development libraries I deal with as a software developer). I'd be perfectly content to invest in a paid or subscription-based service that is run by a solid company with attention to stability (particularly as this sim is so new and with so many changes, it's a tough time for that right now). What I'm not looking for is to join an online community of simmers who work together over ATC. While it's something I may do someday, for the foreseeable future my aim is to become more familiar with general ATC operations, both VFR and IFR, on my own time at my own pace. I can (and have, lightly), look around myself, but I'm not confident what I'm looking at and what the solutions are really geared for, how well they're supported, etc. If you (or whoever) has an advice or recommendations in finding a suitable one given what I'd like to do, I'd certainly be appreciative. Thanks, -jack
  8. I've tried all frequencies at the destination airport, but I'll try again and make it a point to squawk 1200 to see if that helps. Thanks
  9. Hi - I've never really spent a lot of time with ATC in sims, but am trying to now, specifically in fs2020. I have some general questions and wondering if someone can give me some high-level responses... Departure: I'm doing VFR flights with a C172. When I start a flight at parking I can pick up ATIS and tune to Ground and request taxi clearance, and I can switch to Tower when holding short and request takeoff clearance. Once I get that, I'm pretty much done with ATC other than "I'll let you know when you're out of my airspace." I don't get any vectors for my takeoff direction (I have no other planes in the sky despite having tried to set that up, thinking some traffic and ATC chatter might be nice...). Cruise: I can't really do any radio work in cruise. I could request flight following (yay!), check nearby ATIS, but that's it. Not that there's much I expect to be able to do here, but it'd be great to be able to request winds aloft or a TAF from a nearby station or something... anyway, no biggie here, I can deal with it as-is Arrival So I near my next destination, a field in class Bravo. I can't do anything here. I can tune the radios to approach or tower or asos or whatever, but I can't make any calls. The only option i have is to request flight following (still, if I haven't already). There's just no option to initiate any of these calls in ATC. Therefore, instead of being vectored into Class B airspace for landing (which would be nice), I just do it myself (oh well, there's no traffic anyway, so I'll just pretend I was asked to enter a left pattern at downwind 45...). I land, turn off the runway, then I can contact Ground for taxi clearance to parking. This is a huge hole in the experience. I must be missing something?!? Or, my expectations are way too high? Re-Departure (Same Flight) Ok, so same flight here, I've drained the dragon, grabbed a snack, stretched my legs, ready to get back in the air... I can't do anything on ATC. No option on Ground to request taxi clearance to a runway (I have Ground Services, which doesn't include anything useful), no option to contact Tower for takeoff clearance. The best I can do is hop on the runway (not a problem, it's an eerily empty ghost-airport anyway), and take off. At about 200 feet, Tower finally speaks up: "XYZ, you were not authorized to take off!" Thanks buddy. There's apparently some pretty big holes in the ATC system. At very least I'd expect to be able to have the things noted above. Should this be possible? Am I missing something? Is it because I'm not filing a detailed IFR flight plan, that VFR at controlled towers just doesn't really work with ATC? In this latest flight I did actually set my arrival airport as part of the flight setup (which I hadn't been doing), hoping that'd at least let me contact Tower on approach and get vectored in for landing, but no luck there either, it made no difference. Any recommendations on things I may be able to do to make this experience a bit more authentic? Be it settings, configs, game operation, plugins... Thanks
  10. I'm not positive (haven't tried it myself), but suspect this should work. I'd expect sim should read it as just another type of input controller and you'd be free to configure/map them however you'd like from there. I don't think there's any particular restriction about having a single type of controller (though the default setup for it might be a little wonky).
  11. Partially, maybe, but hardly fully. I'd suggest it's a matter of risk... how much risk of a virus being downloaded to your machine while using a flight sim? There's many ways aside from AV to be security-conscious, and I think turning off active monitoring during a sim session is relatively low risk, provided you're careful about what is running during that time. Sketchy add-ins may be a risk, and email is usually the only other thing that "listens outside" that's also risky, but that can be mitigated fairly easily by closing your email client or having it download headers only by default. Anyway, it's a bit far afield the original post now, and I'll respect anyone's opinion/practices on matters of security, but that's my 2cents worth. Cheers
  12. Thanks for the confirmation. Odd though, at least in the US, couldn't they have gotten digital (and marked!) images from the FAA? Maybe there's some license/usage issue with getting it directly from there, but geez, they're way easier to interpret than aerial images, and it has all the info: https://www.faa.gov/airports/runway_safety/diagrams/ Anyway.. wish in one hand... By chance, do other sims have the same issue? (I'm thinking of perhaps firing up XP-11 as I hear the flight model is slightly more realistic there)
  13. (re-reading that post sounded a bit condescending - not what I intended at all, was more of a post for future lurkers that might have come across it due to the title and wanted some general tips...)
  14. I would highly recommend shutting down all non-essential background services and applications prior to running this. In recent years my little bit of playing with FSX:SE didn't really matter as I could never push the boundaries of my system (I didn't use any add-ons, really, tinkered only), but with 2020 being such a resource hog (for good reason)... I build a system from the ground up specifically for this, and the first thing I did after installing Windows was remove everything unneeded, the check all my startup services, etc. So, the OS is squeaky clean (or as squeaky clean as Win10 gets anyway...). If I were running this on a box not dedicated to the sim, I'd definitely come up with a batch script that shut all that stuff down prior to firing up the sim. Anti-virus, backups and update services are notorious for causing performance issues when they run. If they can't be turned off entirely, at least try to be careful of their scheduled run times and turn off live monitoring during flights, etc.
  15. Hi - in my setup, I'm using ForeFlight on the iPad and streaming sim's GPS data to it. Works great. Except... most airports I've been in don't seem to have taxiways laid out correctly in the sim, and while they're sometimes close "physically", the names are way off. E.g., Bravo might be on the south side in the Sim, but it's actually on the North side in real/on ForeFlight. This is a bit of a letdown as I was really hoping to practice ground ops situational awareness with ForeFlight. Further, there seems to be no way to find a taxiway diagram for the sim: all I can do is look at signs (which I guess is a good old-school way to do things, if my plate flew out the window on the flight there maybe, but not what I had in mind). Is this a known issue (or has it never been expected and I was just blindly wishfully thinking)? Is there some data I can upload to "fix" it? Is there some way I can view a taxiway diagram the sim provides, in a worst case scenario? Thanks
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