View Single Post
Old July 27th 03, 01:12 AM
Steve House
external usenet poster
Posts: n/a

We'll know next week. I think it's still there. The scenery is digitized
from real world nav data, most Jepp, sectionals and WAC charts, and good
amount of satellite imagery, but it has to be locked down at some point and
I think that was done before Meigs was vandalized. As a side note, there's
a huge amount of real world flying in the "game" both from MS and from third
parties For example, there's a company called "Reality XP" that publishes an
add-in for the panel to allow you to install Garmin 530 GPS, GTX 327
transponder, etc and another package that installs a UPS Apollo GL50 GPS,
FL70 Xpndr, FL30 NavCom, and FL15 audio panel. But not just pretty
pictures - fully functional in the sim. Both packages feature the real Jepp
database. The Garmin's is the Sept 2002 edition and the software behind it
actually driving the sim is Garmin'sown training simulator package for the
real McCoy. Want to fly your 182 with a glass cockpit? Replace some of the
steam gauges with a Sandel 3308 HSI. Real weather? One of the add-ins
available is a package called ActiveSky that accesses the NOA and NavCanada
weather systems via the Internet in real time and downloads current
METARS/TAFS/WindAloft data for the reporting stations in the

Realistically it is not a substititute for real flying but especially for
instrument flying and navigation training it's mighty damn close. Toss out
the documentation and use your real world charts and approach plates. Most
of the landmarks on the sectionals are there, virtually all the VOR and ADF
navaids are there in the right locations and on the right frequencies, the
airports are accurate as to runway and taxiway locations and orientations,
even a lot of the on field buildings, all the ILS frequencies are correct,
the ATC frequencies are correct and ATC will complain if you deviate from
your clearance or otherwise misbehave. Tune the radios to your local tower
frequency with your speakers on, taxi to the active and just roll across the
hold line and into position and start your run and your speakers immediately
come to life with "Cessna Seven Mike Sierra you are NOT cleared for takeoff,
turn left at the next taxiway and clear the runway immediately!" Events
happen in real time at the same pace they do in the real world. The
aircraft flight models are extremely close to the real thing, speeds are
correct, fuel burn is correct, heck, leave the master switch on with the
engine shut down for a little while and you're going to find a dead battery
when your try to start up. Going on a trip into an unfamiliar airport?
Pre-fly the trip in MSFS as an orientation flight.

Not trying to shill for MS - as a long time flight simmer and current PPL
student I'm painfully aware of it's limitations. Even with only 10 hours
under my belt my CFI has me flying partial panel for a while almost every
lesson to help break the Flight Sim habit of focussing on the instruments
instead of the horizon picture, engine and wind noises, etc. It's certainly
not the same thing as going down to Flight Safety for a course in their full
motion sims. OTOH, it's 50 bucks, not 100 or 1000 or 1000000 time's that.
I'm just amazed that they've done so much real world aviation in a $50
program and I do see it as a potentially valuable (and incredibly
inexpensive) tool in the kit of a pilot at any level, IF used within its
limits. Take the Mooney Bravo, say, from Boston down to Miami using your
real charts etc and it's going to go pretty much the same as if you're doing
it for real.

"Neal" wrote in message
On 26 Jul 2003 05:36:09 -0500, "Steve House"

2004 is due to be released next week

[sarcasm, disbelief, and contempuous attitude mode = ON]

Did they make sure and remove Meigs Field from its database?

[sarcasm, disbelief, and contempuous attitude mode = OFF]