Monday, May 15, 2017

Flight Simulations

In 1981 I bought a cassette from a firm named Sublogic, it was called Flight Simulator.

It was crude but it began me down a road that has lasted 36 years. Through one iteration to the next I followed.

Recently I restarted my pursuit of a private pilot's license. While talking with my instructor the topic of sims came up.

"If you don't already have one I suggest you start using P3D or FSX to hone your skills. Specifically using  the A2A Cessna 171 or 182. I prefer the 182."

Flight Simulator X (ten) was the last iteration of Sublogic's code before the whole kit & caboodle was sold to DoveTail Games.

A2A Simulations has been on my radar since their very excellent stab at the Battle of Britain,  Then known as Shockwave they produced in 2005 a sim with both depth in strategic gameplay and they also began acute modeling of aircraft. Down to minutiae such as the affect of recoil from eight machine guns on an aircraft flying at 350 mph.

Over the years they abandoned full fledged games to produce addon aircraft for the popular simulations.
It naturally began as modeling WWII aircraft.
What brought them to the General Aviation community is anybody's guess.

Once they had decided to pursue the GA market they went for it with the same sense of fidelity that had been an obsession in their WWII aircraft.

The culmination of this experience became the Cessna 182. An "upgraded" version of the ubiquitous Cessna 172, this thing is modeled down to the rivets.

If you run the mixture rich you will foul the plugs. There are consequences to operation of the aircraft. Parts wears and fail if not maintained.

Where many aftermarket aircraft tend to ride on rails, Carenado & A2A being notable exceptions feel like real aircraft reacting to the winds  and environments you encounter.

Furthering that bent is Accu-Sim (AccuFeel V2.0 is the solo addon) technology. A2A has modeled wind tunnel and ground data so the aircraft reacts to the simulation as it would in the real world.

You feel the bumps in the taxiways and runways. If you land at an angle you will hear the individual tires land and perhaps bounce. Each flight is different, no two takeoffs or landings are the same. THAT is what a sim is supposed to do.

And it is done with meticulous care and attention. At any time you can inquire as to the condition of your aircraft - whatever maintenance needed is outlined and available for you to initiate.

And then A2A gives you choices - turn the whole shebang off and fly blissfully unaware. Do you want wheel covers? Different spark plugs? How about a two blade prop? All there for you to choose.

This has added to my education in many ways.
I picked up pointers from the sims walk around inspection that directly translated in real life.
I look forward to much more of this.


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