I seem to be visiting here quite a bit lately so thought I'd better introduce myself properly.
I've been 'flying' sims since Mig Alley Ace and then the the early Microprose titles such as F15SE, F19 Stealth Fighter, Gunship and early versions of Flight Sim. Racing sims, subs and armour have also featured along the way but I always - always - come back to Flight Sims. Barring a few of the esoteric UK sims I've just about flown them all over the years.
Most recently Rise of Flight has been my favourite, combining an engrossing flight model with a diverse array of aircraft in a setting I truly love (who else saw all them DR1s at Omaka recently?!). I've not got into Battle of Stalingrad owing to its weak campaign setting but am watching it with interest. Another favourite of mine has been Falcon 4 - in large part due to it having a superb campaign engine. Some of my multiplayer sessions have been the most intense gaming every - rivalling those Grand Prix Legends online races that just about gave me heart attacks given the stresses of fending off my mates. I've not played Falcon 4 it in a while but still have a hankering for some more Viper action. In contrast DCS has never hooked me owing to its hard coded mission structure, weak tutorials and until recently very poor performance on my hardware.
Over the last few years it's fair to say I've had less time for sims owing to two wee lads (now nearly 5 and 3 respectively) so have tended to spend more time in shoot em ups and so forth I can pick up and drop them easily. But I've also been watching a few youtube channels - and one in particular by Frooglesim has really drawn me in and gotten me hooked on Flight Simulator X like never before. Sure I've dabbled before but without a 'mission', guns or bombs I've never truly really gotten the *point* of Flight Simulator - take off, fly about, and land... Now, watching Froogle doing his thing my eyes have been opened - and my general interest in aircraft and sims has been translated into a newfound fascination (or should I say obsession) of "GA" and all things Flight Sim.
In the last month I've:
- bought FSX SE (seems to offer better frame rates than my old box edition)
- upgraded my CPU to a kick ass 4790K (goes nicely with the 970 video card)
- bought FTX NI, SI, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Scotland and England, and HDTrees.
- bought Active Sky Next and EZdok
- bought A2A's 182, 172, Cherokee, Piper J3, and the RealAir Turbine Duke V2
- also picked up the REX Direct textures
So far, I've spent most of my time in the 182, and have gotten quite good at starting it(!) and following the checklists. I've done VFR flights around much of the North Island and have journeyed from Auckland to Wellington - enjoying some of the weather, scenery and generally getting to know my aircraft. I LOVE the fact that the A2A planes feel like living aircraft. Last night during the mag checks my left mag was misbehaving badly (it wasn't great in my previous flight) so I shut everything down and replaced it. Much better, and I enjoyed a very engaging flight into Wellington that was worryingly real in how the weather was depicted.
My real challenge is that I can do VFR flights with simple A to B flight plans, can interpret and deal with the weather from ASN, and can land and takeoff OK (though a yoke and pedals would be better than just my MS FF2 stick) while following ATC with very basic COM frequency handling, but I don't know _any_more_than_that_. I've got no idea about beacons, more complex routing, IFR or autopilot etc and am on the lookout for some great training guides.
I picked up the book "Microsoft Flight Simulator X For Pilots: Real World Training" (http://au.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle ... 88222.html
) and am now working through the lessons. I'm hopeful it'll give me the skills needed to make use of the more advanced aspects of flying Flight Sim. I'm not far into it yet - and have been doing the basic takeoff and flight skills (wind - course, heading and track, and cross wind and cross wind take offs and landings) in my A2A J3. It's very hands on and sure is giving me good rudder and stick time.
So all in all I'm LOVING Flight Simulator at the moment (despite the slightly off 3D/FOV giving me headaches after long sessions - which I'm tinkering around to try to prevent but I think it's an engine problem as CFS3 used to do the same thing) - and here I am.
Some of you might also know me from Kiwisim.net.nz which I've 'run' for years and years after the sim crowd broke away from GamePlanet - the flight sim fans went to KiwiSim, the racers to KiwiSimRacing and a few to SimCentral.co.nz. It's quiet over there these days as we've all gotten a bit older and busier with kids, and there being fewer sims, but there's a very active (and awesome) IL2 multiplayer bunch over there who run 'The Flying Kiwis' and some outstanding multiplayer/co-op sessions.
So hi everyone - I guess everything above makes me a simaddict! And hey, if you've got any pointers to good (gentle) introductions and training to the stuff I outlined above that'd be appreciated. And yes, I do know about the FS lessons hidden away in there and will be working through them alongside the book lessons as it links to them too.