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What Flight Sim Software Do You Use?

Discussion in 'Flight Simulators' started by Golden Child, Nov 10, 2012.

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What software package do you use for your "Simming" adventures?

  1. RealFlight

    2 vote(s)
    40.0%
  2. Phoenix

    4 vote(s)
    80.0%
  3. AeroFly

    1 vote(s)
    20.0%
  4. FMS

    1 vote(s)
    20.0%
  5. Clear View

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Golden Child

    Golden Child Moderator Staff Member

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    You can select up to five if you're using more than one. Please give your input on the one(s) you use so others looking to get into using simulators can make an informed decision when they purchase :) If you have any links for additional aircraft/flying sites to download for your software, please also include those. Thanks!
  2. Golden Child

    Golden Child Moderator Staff Member

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    OK, so I'll get the ball rolling.

    First, I use RealFlight v4.5 currently and have ordered the upgrade to v6.5 from Tower Hobbies. I am actually expecting that to show up today. My impressions of this software is excellent graphics and realistic flight characteristics. Lots of great customizing options. With v6.5 the big "upgrade" is True View graphics which brighten and sharpen the whole screen for better visibility, really looking forward to it ;D The only "not-so-positive" thing (can't really call it negative), is that being produced by Great Planes/Electrifly they present mostly their aircraft, especially in the upgrades and expansion/mega packs. Don't get me wrong, with all the additional downloads and expansions I have loaded, I have most of my current hangar represented in this package.

    Second, I am using Phoenix 4.0.m. The really cool thing about this sim is the 3D flying sites! Ridiculously engulfing scenery! The program is smooth and realistic with almost as many customizing options as RealFlight. Awhile back I actually found a thread on how to take a picture of your own flying site and integrate that into the program!!! Now that It comes back to mind, I have no idea where I saw it :( I'll make an effort to relocate it and post the link/info here. What I really like about this package is it contains the remainder of the planes in my hangar including my Blade MQx. It also has many of the aircraft I am still considering adding to my hangar.

    The third sim software I'm using is AeroFly. This I actually just installed and have not yet had an opportunity to test. I'll give my opinion on it when I've had a chance to make a thorough perusing of it.

    Lastly, there's FMS (Flying Model Simulator). This is a free software package that you can download and even comes with several RTF airplanes. This is the first sim I used as it came with my first airplane, my beloved Pitts Special bipe from BananaHobby.com. Very little in the way of customization and graphics are "acceptable". The one real plus for this one, aside from being free, is it's an open source program and there are LOTS of additional aircraft to download. Keep in mind though, that all the additional downloads are programmed by individuals not necessarily educated in aerodynamic theory and principle (!) So flight characteristics aren't always accurate. That all having been said, it's a great place to start as you can use your own transmitter, with a readily available USB cable, and be up and simming for next to nothing!

    Most of you know I use the SimStick wireless adapter for my sim use. I can use my Spektrum DX8 with all it's programming features to get the closest realism short of actually putting a plane in the air. I have successfully programmed it for use with both RealFlight and Phoenix, doesn't work with FMS, and haven't tried AeroFly yet. I have high hopes for my 9-in-1 wireless adapter, still hasn't arrived yet. See my other posting in this topic heading.


    ReaFlight updates and add-ons can be found here - http://www.realflight.com/addons.html, and here - http://www.knifeedge.com/forums/downloads.php?

    Phoenix updates and add-ons can be found here - http://www.phoenix-sim.com/downloads.asp. WOOHOO!! The Phoenix Creator software can also be downloaded here to allow you to add you own customized flying site ;D

    No info yet on updates for AeroFly, will post when I find some.

    FMS updates can be found at dozens of sites - do a Google search for "download FMS aircraft", "download FMS planes" or any other similar wording. My favorite is this one - http://gunnerson.homestead.com/files/fms_models.htm.

    ENJOY!!!
  3. GPS

    GPS Registered

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    Can you tell us about your computer hardware?  I know some folks don't have the latest CPU, motherboard and graphics cards needed to run some SIM/Games at their best qualities that might detract from the benefit of the new versions of some, or all, of these SIMs.
  4. GPBill

    GPBill Registered

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    I have Phoenix and my PC is a HP a6567c 4.00GB RAM with Vista SP2 and a Nvidia GeForce 9200 GE graphics card.

    There would be a bit of hesitation at times when flying in any of the sites with water but worked fine after I turn down the "water reflections" a bit.
    It has always worked quite well other than that.  ;)
  5. Golden Child

    Golden Child Moderator Staff Member

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    Great question John! You're right of course that the different sims require different levels of hardware to run. Here is the breakdown as I have them installed...

    I have three laptops and one desktop configured for sim practice.

    Laptop one runs Phoenix 4.0.m and RealFlight 4.5. The 3D sites in Phoenix are smooth and no dropped frames or other hiccups. RealFlight 4.5 requires Shader Model 2.0 in the video processing of the computer so on this machine v4.5 is as high as it can go. This is the laptop that I have donated to the Rogue Valley Flyers for our Intro Pilot Training Program. It is configured as follows:
    Windows7 Home Premium 32-bit, AMD Athlon 2650e 1.6GHz CPU, 3GB RAM Memory, ATI Radeon X1200 Video, Screen Resolution @ 1280x800.
    [​IMG]

    Laptop two runs Pheonix 4.0.m and FMS (though I really don't use FMS anymore). Not able to run the 3D flying sites in Phoenix on this one as the video system is lacking in performance. The 2D sites however run smoothly and the display is crisp. System configuration for this one is below:
    WindowsXP Home, PentiumM 1.6GHz CPU, 1.24GB RAM Memory, Intel 82855GME Video Controller, Screen Resolution @ 1024x768.
    [​IMG]

    Laptop three runs everything. This is my newest and most powerful laptop. System configuration for this one is:
    Windows7 Home Premium 64-bit, AMDA4-3305M Dual-Core APU, 4GB RAM Memory, ATI Radeon HD 6480G Video with Shader Model 3.0, Screen Resolution 1600x900, AND as you can see looks fantastic connected via HDMI 1.4 cable to my 55" LED TV!!!!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    My desktop is another story all in itself. It will run anything I throw at it, flight sim or otherwise:
    Windows7 Ultimate, AMD FX-8350 eight-core CPU, 32GB RAM Memory, Dual Radeon HD 7870 Video Cards each with 2GB dedicated memory, Dual 26" LCD Monitors each running a Screen Resolution of 1920x1080p. Currently non-op and in the middle of upgrading, but again as you can see, my computer room is also my hobby room, and currently (sadly) my storage/junk room :( I don't really do much simming on my desktop (although all are installed), as it it mostly for work - CAD programs, 3D modeling, etc.. Plus, not even dual 26" monitors looks as cool as a 55" display ;)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And although it isn't connected at the moment, this is my DX8 with my SimStick wireless adapter:
    [​IMG]
  6. Golden Child

    Golden Child Moderator Staff Member

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    Two more sims worthy of note...

    FlightSim One (FSOne) - http://www.fsone.com/
    ClearView - http://rcflightsim.com/

    I've heard good things about both of these but haven't tried either one myself.
  7. w00d

    w00d Registered

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    The 'heli' community and myself generally recommend Phoenix if looking for a Helicopter Simulator only
    ... but if looking an Airplane SIM only then they would say Realflight ...

    Truthfully, IMO with either one or the other we would be doing well but especially so if one need both heli and airplane support
    ...  ;) A greedy 'simmer' would argue, it's don't HURT to have both ;)

    Although I would mention with my SIM recommendation, Phoenix 'upgrades', extra Aircraft and Flying Fields are FREE but w/ RealFlight it's my understanding (to imply I don't own RealFlight) you have to Pay. But with respect to Realflight by paying you get allot more for your money than offered FREE by Phoenix. Yes Realflight upgrades cost but in the end one would have a really robust simulator for our money which probably is a bigger and larger package than offered by Phoenix.

    FYI: Looking for the instruction on how to create your own Flying Areas for use w/ Phoenix !?!
    ... The official PDF technical requirements and instruction file from Phoenix themselves, Creating a Custom Flying Sites [PDF]
    ... That PDF along w/ a few 'Panorama' Stitching Tools I've just recently posted here, Panorama Stitching
    ... Also another good PDF doc from Phoenix, Taking pictures of your model,
        "this guide provides detailed instructions on how to photograph and submit your model to Phoenix"

    If any of this has previously been mentioned then consider this my +1 vote, either way it's JUST my 2¢

    Pontifications done with, I'm a helicopter fanboy and currently running Phoenix.
    ... but not so much a 'fanboy' ...  Although I don't own any 'planks' myself I really DO ENJOY simming with em ...
    ... With little more money in my pocket I wouldn't mind trying RealFlight and even a 'REAL' Rc Airplane, meh, someday!

    Eye SEE, VOICE of the O·pin·ion·at·ed:
        [acronym=EYE See! "w00d's Photo Musings" LINK to my BLOG][shadow=grey,left][size=1em]w[/size][size=1.25em]00[/size][size=1em]d[/size][/shadow][/acronym]


    [hr]
  8. Pelagic Pilot

    Pelagic Pilot Registered

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    I don't actually have a sim yet, but will probably end up with Phoenix because of what w00d said, helicopters. But I hear that real flight has a FPV view from a helicopter? Or was it that phoenix now offers a FPV view? Anyway, I used Phoenix once last year and it was cool enough as is.
  9. w00d

    w00d Registered

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    Correct PP your referring to Phoenix (v4) and their recently offered 3D Cockpit View ...
  10. Golden Child

    Golden Child Moderator Staff Member

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    Not trying to push RealFlight, just some info...

    w00d, you're correct that RealFlight used to charge for their expansion packs. With the introduction of v6.0, and now v6.5, the expansion packs are now offered for free download at the links posted in my opening review. They do however still charge for the Mega Packs (Airplane & Helicopter versions). I ordered the v6.5 upgrade with the Airplane Mega Pack for my current v4.5 software. I had a $25 coupon for Tower Hobbies that was expiring and with a couple other promo ad codes I got the $80 combo and a new Hobbico Deluxe Power Panel II, and free shipping for just under $50 to my door ;D

    I am going to do some digging and go through the steps to create a custom flying site (two actually) and test them out on Phoenix. I think it will be really cool to be able to practice flying at my actual flying fields :p

    Stay tuned...
  11. GPS

    GPS Registered

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    Thanks for the computer hardware update Mike.  I think that helped a lot.

    You know what be nice in this thread?  Some screen shots from the various SIMs running with some different flying fields and aircraft - airplanes, helicopters and quadcopters - with some notes describing what us SIM challenged are looking at.
  12. w00d

    w00d Registered

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    No, don't or didn't think you we're pushing anything, I'm certain your just passing alone the info as I am.
    ... That said thanks for the correction as it certainly is NEW info I will incorporating into my next SIM recommendation ;)

    Also I have NOT tried creating my own flying site in Phoenix so I can't say I have anything offer that would make the process any easier
    ... But it's as said it would be cool reproducing a flying site I personally fly ...
    ... From what I've read on teh subject creating the 'panorama' or the 360º Image is the hard part ...
    ... Well it use to be 'hard' work but these days there are allot of fine panorama, software and even hardware which will, should help get the J.o.B done
    ... Two pretty good Panorama Stitching Applications I've just looked at, User Review: Panorama Stitching
  13. w00d

    w00d Registered

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    haha, "challenges" ??? Meh, it's NOT like anyone needs a Flight SIM for those little flying robots, eh ...

    haha, just kidding, I actually liked flying the QUAD in my SIM ... Just wish they had more of them.
    ... Oh yes I was kidding as I found in my SIM ...
    ... Yes it is easy to get them up but actually "flying" with anything that could be called 'style' does take some talent, where as a SIM could certainly AID one in the getting the 'Skills'

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