Coanda F. Eckt
15th May 2006, 14:04
A chap i talked to said he used the Microsoft Flight Simulator integrated with some extra software (named Level-D [sic]) for his B767 typerating. It was not an official part of the training, but he used it as a personal aid, said he could reproduce allmost everything they did in the real sim. I thought he was joking, but apparently he wasn't.
Now, I have tried the Microsoft game several years ago and to me it appeared to be just that: a game. Don't know how it is these days though. Do some ATPL pilots actually use the application in this way?
15th May 2006, 14:18
Have a look at this dedicated site through the link below, you'll be surpised...
15th May 2006, 14:21
Yes, indeed. For me the FS2004 with the addon software 737-800 from PMDG proved to be a very good aid to me. It is very useful for familiarization and for testing various scenarios. Combining this with CBT before you start your typerating gives you a huge advantage.:ok:
15th May 2006, 15:23
Wouldnt be surprised if a lot of airline pilots used this for practice - i have most of the addons on my setup and they are very impressive. The FMC/FCU's representations are excellent, however the actual feel of the aircraft would probarbly be the area where such adons decrease in realism.
15th May 2006, 15:25
I'm personally a member of a virtual airline in which Microsoft flight sim is the foundations of our hobby.
Granted there are many things that you cannot reproduce in a PC based simulator like CRM training and very spcific component failures. However you can do an awful lot with it. Microsoft flight sim is mearly the base package that you need to learn basic airmanship, using navigational aids, basic flight maneurvers and so on. However the real interesting part is when you start to buy things like add-on aircraft. The Level D 767 is replicated to extrodinary detail. So too is the PMDG series 737NG and 747-400. There are some Airbus titles out too but i've heard a lot of problems with flight dynamics and model problems. Basically they're not flying right.
Then to add to all this you can actually fly on-line and interact with Real ATC (real people I mean). Many of them are real Air traffic controllers. The procedures and terminology used are that of what is used in the real world too. Clearences, SIDs and en-route ATC is often available. Even NAT routes and clearences are replicated. Fly-in events are fun when theres over 200 aircraft flying over the pond. :}
Non ATC arrival routes are listed from STARs so you know what heading to fly when leaving Lambourne for example. Not everyone online adheres to this though. Ground movements try to replicate closed taxiways and aprons too. There's even some newish software that allows the ATCs to control the airport lighting. This is a big development as Red hold short bars can be activated and I imagine even 'follow the greens' maybe a common expression to be used in the near future.
In summery it can get very realistic. The software and PC power is good enough these days to have almost any systems simulated. The ability to fly on-line with other pilots also makes the experience very fulfilling. Microsoft flight simulator does make for a very good ground studies based learning tool for basic flying. You won't find much in it to help with ATPL exams but you can hone some basic skills with it.
In my experience though it is much easier to fly real aircraft than those in MFS. But for learning about certain aircraft systems in your own time it is very useful.
Coanda F. Eckt
15th May 2006, 17:24
Interesting. The B767 software looks pretty good if they actually have implemented all the systems the way they claim on their web site. Will have a look into it. But no good Airbus models you say?
15th May 2006, 17:54
But no good Airbus models you say?
It's a grey area really. There are a number of payware models from designers. PSS (Phoenix Simulation Software) have a few Airbus packages.
They charge for liveries though and in the FS community it is highly frustrating. := Some people have said it's fine and others are a bit more picky and don't like it. There are opportunities to merge the panel from the PSS model to that of freeware models available on AVsim. Most noticable the IFDG model available from Avsim.
Avsim is a place where designers can upload their work to be made available to the to FS community. Many things are available. Too many to mention really.
Aerosoft also have an Airbus package.
Not too sure about this one as I haven't heard much about it. It's probably ok.
I personally have an Aerosoft package called 'Commuter Airliners' This has the Airbus 320/319, ATR-42/72 and the RJ100/BAe-146 models. The RJ100/BAe-146 is the only aircraft I like to fly without any problems. The Airbus is ok but the autopilot is pants. Theres no Virtual Cockpit either. Not really a problem except it is showing its age.
The Airbus is a funny aeroplane to model as you have to consider the auto-trim application to control inputs. I've never flown a real Airbus but i'm under the impression that you can rotate to 10 degrees and the aircraft will automatically trim to stay at that attitude. To my knowledge no model, PSS or Aerosoft accuratly models this. However I don't have them so I could be wrong.
PMDG will be producing an Airbus for FSX though and we're all looking forward to that. :8
Ultimately if you fly airlines for real then there will probably be a certain 'artificial' feel to the models. However developers are constantly looking for real world pilots to beta test thier aircraft and to get them flying as realistically as possible. Most of the time they do a pretty good job.
There are a number of other specialist flight sim forums for us 'wannabes' with far more information and insider knowledge than what i've got. Virtual Airlines are also a great place to go if you have to time to fly a bit now and then. 99% are completely free to join. Mine even has real world pilots and ATC guys so there's a wealth of proper professional knowledge available.
You may want to wait a while to get an Airbus model for Flight Sim but the Level D 767 is top drawer and you won't find many better aircraft to fly 'virtually' :ok:
Hope that helps.