Flight simulators for IFR training

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by Blueangel, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. Gucci Pilot

    Gucci Pilot Pattern Altitude

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    ifrsim.com
     
  2. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    I never use TrackIR when doing sim instruments. I just zoom in on my panel and fly. I'll use TrackIR when I'm goofing off trying to land on top of airliners or inside football stadiums.
     
  3. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    The American Flyers Instrument Course comes with a FSX sim course which is actually really nifty for working on scan, attitude flying, partial panel, and procedures. It's really a lot of bang for the buck considering you get also get a full IFR course written/practical.
     
  4. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I occasionally do currency approaches on my CFII's commercial Xplane setup in his living room. I think they are good and realistic for scan practice, but even with a CFII beating on you, there are still a lot of procedural issues (like comms mostly) that tend to get ignored. It augments but doesn't replace practice in the airplane.
     
  5. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    2 & 3 definitely. The ASA Sims/Accusim products (I think they have a T182, PA-28-180, and a C172 that are Accusim) they are BY FAR the closest to flying I've come on my set up. My only complaint is they don't play nice with GoFlight modules, but they work fine with Saitek and products using FSUIPC.

    Active Sky is must if you're looking for more realistic scenarios in the clouds.
     
  6. Blueangel

    Blueangel Line Up and Wait

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    All great ideas!
     
  7. Caramon13

    Caramon13 Pattern Altitude

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    I used Prepar3D and the A2A Piper PA-28-180 (exactly like my plane even with the STEC 30 in it). Very helpful for flying and helps reinforce my experience in my own plane. Highly recommend picking up any model that will look like the plane you fly in, it does make a difference in the plane.
     
  8. Blueangel

    Blueangel Line Up and Wait

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    I was not aware that ASA put out an instrument simulator. Have to look into that. For now the FAA sim in our club is not that expensive at $33/hr so doing 10 hours for credit with my CFII will help.
     
  9. OkieAviator

    OkieAviator Cleared for Takeoff

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    He meant A2A... I have their 182 because the setup is the closest thing to my plane.... However since being instrument rated I now only use the Milviz E55 with a custom baby blue 1960s paint job.

    I also have dual throttle quadrants so I can control each engine individually. Makes it pretty fun.
     
  10. eetrojan

    eetrojan Pattern Altitude

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    How do you guys get setup to and repeatedly fly approaches with FSX? Do you actually fly the sim from departure airport to destination airport, or is there some sort of shortcut? Do you use something like this:

    http://www.fsipanel.com/

    Joe
     
  11. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou En-Route

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    Never heard of FSI panel. It is a good idea, though with poor execution.

    In FSX, you can save and load a flight at any time. If I want to repeat an approach, I set it up and save the flight (and label it properly). You can recall the approach as many times as you want and it only takes a few seconds.

    There is a way to position your airplane anywhere on the map but I have never used that feature and do not actually know the procedure for doing so. But it is supposedly easy, just Google it.

    If you try to set up an approach to save it, you can take off from the destination airport, fly to the IAF with higher simulation rate (16x is the max with A/P engaged, IIRC), pause somewhere before the IAF and save the flight. Doesn't take more than a minute or two.
     
  12. eetrojan

    eetrojan Pattern Altitude

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    Thanks Lou!
     
  13. Blueangel

    Blueangel Line Up and Wait

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    Today I flew the club Elite simulator with my CFII. Was helpful doing similar things at less cost than paying to fly airplane. Not crazy about the yoke however.
     
  14. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    It's not great but still better than the plastic Saitek/CH crap.
     
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  15. Blueangel

    Blueangel Line Up and Wait

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    True and I can get credit and still train during TFRs.
     
  16. Jeffythequick

    Jeffythequick Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It is spectacular on a 27" Retina iMac with 24GB of RAM. It takes about 18-30 seconds to load (I am waiting until I get my allowance to get off of the demo).
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
  17. Blueangel

    Blueangel Line Up and Wait

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    I love my Redbird Jay it works great.
     
  18. comanche pilot

    comanche pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I love the A2A Comanche. Some nice chap in England redid the skin so I can fly my own plane. Did I mention, I love it! :0)
     

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  19. olasek

    olasek Pattern Altitude

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    I agree, once tried an expensive yoke at some flight sim convention - the feel has nothing to do with real airplane.
     
  20. Sam D

    Sam D Cleared for Takeoff

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    That's great. I would love to be able to send someone a list of my avionics and a picture of my plane and somehow get a sim plane appropriately modeled. Currently, it seems you've got to be a real sim enthusiast to get all the pieces working together.
     
  21. wilkersk

    wilkersk Cleared for Takeoff

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    I have a 6 year old PC running Windows 7. I use FSX with a Saitek yoke and rudder peddles.

    I've said before that I had trouble keeping it running. But, with all the software updates installed, the registry cleaned up, and a little tweaking on with the control settings, I've managed to hand fly a very realistic IFR round robin KPAE-KPWT-KPAE with ILS approaches at each, down to near minimums. With the exception of ATC coms, it was all very good. I can definitely see the value of using this for practice in between instrument syllabus flights.
     
  22. WaltF

    WaltF Filing Flight Plan

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  23. jallen0

    jallen0 Pre-takeoff checklist

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  24. Sundancer

    Sundancer Pattern Altitude

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    Did a Redbird session out of curiosity, at a FBO; motion was kinda pointless, herky-jerky, and the panel was no better than MS FSX.
     
  25. JPH1786

    JPH1786 Filing Flight Plan

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    If I'm not mistaken, it pretty much IS FSX!
     
  26. Sundancer

    Sundancer Pattern Altitude

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    I'm not sure, but it wasn't wildly different. . .not that it wasn't useful, or was without value; you could/could get in a bunch of approaches in a much shorter time, for currency. But the presentation was kinda low-rent. . .
     
  27. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pre-Flight

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    The flight school from where I obtained my instrument rating has a Redbird SD. Link: http://simulators.redbirdflight.com/products/sd

    For under $50K, it's a whole lot of simulator, and allowed me to log 20 hours of training in this, instead of burning gas going to / from destinations.

    Of course, it's a bit rich for an individual owner, but any modest flight school should have one of these, IMO.
     
  28. coma24

    coma24 Line Up and Wait

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    For the OP, approaches flown in a BATD for the purposes of instrument currency still require the presence of a CFII. Until that rule changes and you can legally fly those approaches without an instructor present, the actual utility of having a BATD at home versus a non-certified sim is minimal, unless your neighbor happens to be a CFII.

    I'd recommend X-Plane 11 and a Thrustmaster T-16000M stick ($66). Consumer grade yokes are cancer (CH and Saitek). You have to spend $850+ on a yoke before it isn't garbage in terms of trimming, centering and fine grain control.
     
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  29. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    I have a PFC (Precision Flight Controls) yoke that I got on eBay for $150. Way better than CH/Saitek, deals can be found.
     
  30. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Think it's still based on X-Plane. Don't quote me on that, though...
     
  31. OkieAviator

    OkieAviator Cleared for Takeoff

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    I used a cheap yoke (Saitek) early on, was fun and all but got sick of mounting it to the desk, taking it off, etc. Recently bought that Thrustmaster and throttle for maybe $100. Easier to put up and I use it for other video games too like the above mentioned Elite Dangerous Pew-Pew!

    Too late... it's actually Lockheeds P3D product. I recently switched from that to X-Plane 11. There pros and cons to both... neither 'fly' like a real plane but it's still lots o fun.
     
  32. Vince R

    Vince R Pre-Flight

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    Just wanted to put in a plug for X-Plane 11...

    One of the cool things is that you can have multiple computers synced over Ethernet and driving multiple monitors. In my setup, I have a pair of Mac minis...one connected to a 34" Dell widescreen monitor, and one connected to a 65" monitor mounted above it. The bigger monitor displays the view out the cockpit, and the smaller monitor displays the instrument panel. One of these days, I'll add a second 65" monitor and have a wide angle view out the windshield. There are also reasonable G-1000 PFD and MFD simulators you can run on your iPad.

    As for controls, if you're into tinkering, the CH products are so-so out of the box, but with a little fine-tuning and massaging the internal parts, they can be quite reasonable for the price. A yoke and throttle quadrant is pretty reasonable, and while it won't match your plane precisely, it's a great way to practice IFR procedures.
     
  33. vanman

    vanman Filing Flight Plan

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    I use fsx. I downloaded a Cirrus model which was the G2 model with the Avidyne mfd and stec autopilot. Seldom do I use the joystick and almost never the pedals. It's great using the autopilot and learning the buttonology for first training. The joystick/yoke is not realistic (even in a Redbird, which I have access to). The joystick is harder to control in fsx/Redbird, so if you can fly fsx, the plane is a lot easier. Some of the approaches are getting outdated. Anybody know if there is a way to update the approaches? The throttle quadrant is helpful to set you approach speed but I just use the computer buttons mostly now. It also good for flying cross country vfr to see what the terrain might look like.
     
  34. Ronnie Godfrey

    Ronnie Godfrey Pre-Flight

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    Resurrecting this old thread rather than starting a new one.

    I'm starting instrument training soon, and it seems folks are in agreement that sims provide some value when training. My problem is that I don't currently have a PC capable of running a sim, especially with a lot of clouds and decent graphic settings. Would it be worth it to drop some coin on a new computer? I'm thinking neighborhood of $2000 as I want something that will last for a while (my current MacBook is a 2009 model).
     
  35. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pre-Flight

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    Find someone with a Redbird SD you can rent?
     
  36. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    $2k is more than enough. I would go PC over Mac because you have a lot more flexibility in hardware.

    One thing to consider, FSX doesn't make good use of graphics processors, NVIDIA tend to play more nicely than Radeon but you'll need a good CPU for FSX. X plane does a better job using modern PC architecture.

    There are plenty of gaming PCs that can be had for $1kish that would work. Be sure to get something with lots of USB ports and supports multi monitor setups if you want to go that route.
     
  37. BrianNC

    BrianNC Pattern Altitude

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    You can get a nice desktop PC for much less than that.
     
  38. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

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    Agree you can get something cheaper than that.
    Also, if you are (only) serious about IFR training, you won't really care too much about resolution detail, like you would if you wanted eye candy for VFR fun, so you can crank the settings down.

    I bought the Nvidia GTX 1070. It seems to play fairly well with good enough resolution for me, even VFR. If you are looking for 'future proofing' I wouldn't go any lower than that. And if you can build a pc, it gets even cheaper.
    Though it is a little pricier, I personally prefer Intel procs and Nvidia graphics to AMD.

    If it saves you even a few flights, you basically got a free computer upgrade.
    And you know you want a new computer anyway :)
     
  39. Ronnie Godfrey

    Ronnie Godfrey Pre-Flight

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    Good points. I was actually worried about cloud rendering. That always seemed to eat a lot of resources, especially with something like Active Sky. And if I’m being honest, I really do like the VFR environment to look nice. It just adds to the immersion.

    As for the build option, it’s actually more expensive at the moment due to crypto currency mining. A GTX 1080Ti costs $1200 anywhere you look and you can buy an Alienware with a 1080Ti for only about 2200 after discounts Dell is offering. GPUs are through the roof on the consumer side of things. I actually do like the idea of spending a little extra cash now and not having to worry about a computer upgrade for 5 or 6 years.
     
  40. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

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    For the really sweet experience...grab an Oculus Rift with it. :)