There are plenty of brilliant websites about flight simulation on the Internet and a lot of very clever people who are more than happy to share their knowledge and experience with others. Aeroclicks is a new flight simulator website which acts as a sign post to all this information and a lot more.
The Starter section will be of interest to anyone who is interested in taking up the hobby for the first time. We will be exploring what you need and how much it might cost, looking at the capabilities of flight simulators and what you might use it for. We will also be looking at the next stage once you have got your fledgling wings and how we can improve the realism of virtual flying. Underpinning all this is a directory of where you can find the software and hardware for your flight simming hobby (or should that be obsession?). This will be of particular interest to cockpit builders as I include a section of links to suppliers of various gauges, controls and other components.
I will also be sharing some of my experience as a flight simulator ‘improver’ and someone who undertaken basic training on ‘the real thing’. So, I hope you enjoy this website and should you have any suggestions as to what you would like to see on these pages then do let me know.
If you have some real word flying experience, have just started training, or you are serious considering it, I want to introduce you to what I feel is the kit which will help you most. The sort of areas I plan to cover are: What space you need to set up your Sim? Which Flight Sim software to use? How can I make it as realistic as possible? WHAT SPACE DO YOU NEED? The consideration here must be what space do you have available for you to go virtually flying. If you have to share the space with your nearest and dearest, your kids, the family cat, etc. then it is possible to use the computer you are already using, preferably a desktop PC, although a laptop could be used at a push. Where space is less of and issue and for a number of reasons you are best off finding a bit of room where you aren’t going to be disturbed by the usual household hubbub and the household isn’t going to be disturbed by your calls of ‘clear prop’! That said, you don’t need a great deal of space. Being a bit cramped can add to the realism […]
Taking a Walk on the Wild Side
The Flight Simmer is by and large a solitary creature as seen by other members of its genus Aviationae. That’s why any excuse to meet other species in the flesh is usually grabbed with open arms. That’s why the flight sim shows are as popular as they are and the UK’s RAF Cosford show is no exception. It provides the opportunity to discover what the latest tech is, it’s a gathering point for fellow simmers who normally only meet in the virtual world to get to chat amidst the ozone, and it also gives the flight sim community to champion its hobby to the public.
Back in the Fold
For a number of years I have been away from flight simulators – hardly touched them in fact. I was going through a period of disinterest in sitting at my desk making up flight plans before jumping into my virtual Cessna 172 (Flight 1) or Piper PA 28 (Caranado) and going for a bimble. I had found the real thing – a great little airfield and friendly flying club with a resident flying instructor. I was smitten!
The Baked Bean Syndrome
One of the reasons why flight simulators (and other simulators for that matter) are so popular is that they can appeal to the individual on so many different levels. Whether you are a young enthusiast looking to discover the thrills of high speed flight in a state of the art jet fighter or enjoy the challenge of handling heavy metal in the form of an airliner; whether you want to step into the boots of our heroic pilots in their WWII fighters or bombers; or whether you already pilot an aircraft in real life and you want to get some procedural practice in; there is a flight simulator configuration to suit you. You don’t have to go down the route of building your own cockpit to achieve your goal of simulated flight although I have to admit it does help. Most of us, myself included, has to make do with a shared desk space to act as our cockpit and technology can go a long way to help us achieve a quite useful set up. So, here are the various categories of set up depending on the space you have available. Small Space: Joy Stick with integrated or separate throttle. […]
'Got a Question?
What Equipment do I need?
While it is possible to use most flight simulators with a mouse and keyboard the minimum equipment should be a joystick. These can be obtained at little cost and enhance the flying immensely and is expected of all flight simulator manufacturers.
Can a desktop simulator be used for real world training?
Flight Simulators have been a part of pilot training since there have been human powered flights, so with this pedigree then we have to say YES!
Using a flight simulator can help you with the basics of flight, what the control surfaces do, what the basic instruments are for, etc. It can also help you when it comes to practising flight procedures such as instrument approaches and with decent photo scenery installed visual approaches to unfamiliar airfields. If you are training to become a pilot ask your flying instructor for how best you might use a flight sim to improve your real-life flying.
Which is the best flight simulator to use?
The difficult ones first, eh? It's a bit like asking which is the best car... It depends what you want to do.
The most popular flight simulator by sheer volume has to be Microsoft's Flight Simulator (FSX) which has been around for so many years. [https://fsxinsider.com/] The number of add-ons which have been produced commercially or available from the flight simulator community free of charge is vast. Then there is P3D, or 'Prepar3d' from Lockheed Martin who have built on FSX and improved it.
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