Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) - We're really sorry about Microsoft Flight

Yeah, partly because most of the economy add-ons start you off small and I need structure in my sims, and partly because I’m a very casual flight simmer so a full on jumbo jet is beyond me (especially if they lack the lovely mod cons of my Longitude). I’m putting a lot of time into MSFS though, so I’m sure I’ll get round to the big jets soon enough.

I would definitely recommend giving Neofly a go. It’s GA focused, but it’s pretty reasonable on what it penalises you for - mainly hard landings.

Thanks, I may well do that eventually. My current project, however, is teaching my friend to…well, to fly basically. She just bought the game a week ago (even bought a laptop just to play it) and she started with zero knowledge. She wants to go from GA to mastery of the A32NX. This is going to occupy me for quite some time!

That new Spitfire is a blast. It’s been a while since I flew a vintage warbird, and I’ve forgotten how exhilarating it can be. Took a while to dust off those skills and figure out how to get it off the ground without corkscrewing into the earth. But now I have and wheee. My NeoFly career might take a while to get back on track.

Good on her for starting with the basics before jumping right into big iron! Lots of folks start out riding the magenta line then don’t know what to do when something goes wrong and they get into trouble :D

Absolutely. The temptation is huge but I’d never tell anyone to start with an airliner.

She’s actually doing quite well. In a week she’s gone from not knowing literally anything to doing a couple of formation flights with me today. We’ll be doing this until she’s comfortable doing full flights (and the planning) without my assistance before we start thinking about anything bigger.

Nice. You should also cover radio navigation, too, at some point. That’s one of my favorite skills to exercise, as I’ve rambled at length about here before.

I discovered this morning it’s more of a challenge to get off the runway with full fuel. I can attest that ground loops are simulated.

Nice tweak up on to replace the FlyingIron logo with the actual Silver Spitfire logo used for the flight. Wish I’d known about this when it was visiting Paine Field a few years ago! (Click for full photo; Discourse annoying crops pics wider than 16:9.)

Yep, no worries there, I’m definitely teaching her the correct way. We’re flying the DA62 at the moment and I’ve forbidden her from using the GPS system. We’re using VORs, NDBs etc only and I’m explaining the differences between them (and the reason the numbers are sadly declining).

I just finished teaching her how to create a plan in Little Nav Map, and the next lesson will be what considerations go into a plan - altitudes, terrain types, METAR, how to choose the correct runway, fuel planning etc.

I had not flight simmed since prior to a lot of the GPS add-ins and also had not actually flown an aircraft since way prior to that. The GPS stuff has been really fun for me to learn. :)

It’s also amazing to think how far things have come just in those years. Hell, 50 years from now, will people actually still move the controls on airliners? Strange to even think about but I feel like aircraft are far beyond cars regarding autopilot and navigation.

Heh. Yes, GPS is definitely the way to go and I totally understand it. I suppose I just have a romantic nostalgia for the slightly earlier days of aviation. I love using only VORs and NDBs to find my way around. GPS takes the fun out of it! Absolutely the safer and better option though.

I think all of us old-school navigation folks still like those ways. The question is how long all of that will be in use. Are new VORs still being built? I guess they have to as long as aircraft use them, even if as a secondary system. God forbid we have something take out GPS satellites.

That’s purdy.

I have no idea whether VORs are being built but I’d be surprised if they are. A few years back the FAA made the decision to cull their numbers and leave just enough for there to be a reasonable fallback in the very scenario you describe.

I’m not sure, that’s an interesting question. I can ask some real-world aviation buddies who might know.

With areas like Austria and Hungary leading the way into free-routing airspace (which is why the victor airways map in Europe looks like this) there’s not going to be much motivation to keep the old systems up any more.

For a real pilot I think there’s every reason to prefer GPS, and given the choice if I had a real world plane I’d definitely rather have it than not. But in the sim I’m not as worried about things like “having the most effective tools possible for saving my life in an emergency”.

Edit: phoned a friend: there are 0 new VORs going in in the US, at least, these days

That’s kind of crazy to think about but the major shift to GPS is older in aircraft/boating than in self-driving cars, etc.

I did end up reading up on all the redundancy built-in to a typical multi-display aircraft GPS. It was much more than I thought. I guess we should all embrace the new. Still, it’s kind of sad thinking the old ways are slowly dying.

So I know for you guys it’s probably something you don’t do anymore, but I’ve been burning the 50% EXP bonus on ships I own and some of the most fun I’ve had has been low tier stuff, like T2-T5. Games with those tend to be a mix of lower exp folks and I have a shot in them, literally.

Three new payware planes out now:

  1. IndiaFoxtEcho’s T-45 Goshawk. If you liked the MB-339, you’re going to love the T-45.

  1. Golden Age Simulations’ Kinner Sportwing. 1932 low-powered monoplane. GAS was an FSX/P3D developer and even though the Sportwing is inexpensive, a very niche aircraft, and flies and sounds really good, the eye-candy crowd is savaging it for the low resolution of its cockpit textures. (Which are admittedly early FSX.) I got it for $16 (discount for Sim-Outhouse members) and I feel it was money well-spent, but the visuals in the cockpit do need some sprucing up. Flight model is really challenging and feels like what you’d expect an underpowered 1930s monoplane to feel like. I’ve died twice.

  1. MScenery FA-18C. From the commentary on the FS forum, the devs bought a 3D model, then apparently cribbed the flight modeling from IndiaFoxtEcho’s MB-339 (they forgot to remove the loading text for that plane, according to a post on the FS forum), and put it in the sim. No instruments work. The landing gear apparently doesn’t retract. The alpha channels on the paint are wrong so the plane has a metallic sheen. It’s literally apparently a 3D model shoved into the sim. Happily, I read about this one before buying, so I only own #1 and #2 on this list. :)

Took the Spitfire for a nice long flight today, was going to follow the Adriatic cost from Tivyat to Corfu, but low clouds and undisciplined fuel use meant I had to make a side trip halfway to refuel. Oopsies.

Took about a million screenshots, but will try to restrain myself to just a few.

Gloomy out of Tivyat:

Looking for some sun:

Beautiful speedster:

It’s amazing how real this game looks sometimes:

Powering away from my pit stop:

Descending into Corfu:

There’s the end of the road:

I love this game.

This is the perpetual tragedy of GAS. They make some really enjoyable, unusual planes that no one else does. But their texturing has not progressed in years and they’re starting to look like hot barf.

Sometimes, though, it’s worth looking at hot barf to have fun in an old bipe.

That could totally be their slogan.

I mean, they did a Fleet Finch, the kind of plane my great uncle trained on in the RCAF in WW2, for Prepar3D. It was so cool to be able to fly that. Aerosoft, Carenado, and Aeroplane Heaven aren’t about to do a Finch.