Airplane Games

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Modified desktop flight control system

Rodger Dodger has this really cool modification to your desktop so that it looks and feels like a real cockpit. He shows in this video the possible setup.



Fun watching, right? You can get the modified keyboard here
and the flight sim gear





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How to use flight sim yoke

Ben shows us how to use the CH Products Flight sim yoke and CH rudder pedals with Microsoft FSX. It's a nice and simple homemade video. I'm also going to shoot something similar with Paolo by early September so that newbies won't feel so intimidated by all the equipment.






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Get your CH Products cheap or secondhand

Get your CH Products flight sim yoke and rudder pedals for your flight control system cheaper by getting them secondhand or through other sellers. Standard retail price SRP at CH Products is $149.95 so you can compare whether you should buy direct or go through Amazon or eBay.






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Microsoft Flight Simulator X Acceleration! Expansion - When?



The wonderful Microsoft FS Team is set to release the Microsoft Simulator X: Acceleration! Expansion pack this fall. Can't wait to see the new scenery, new missions, and new aircraft, especially the P-51 Mustang air racer! I do tend to press on the gas pedal when I drive alone which is pretty much the same with the need for speed when you're up in the air.

Paul Lange, Lead Game Designer for Microsoft FSX, reveals some of the latest development (more like teases us!)

So how did we end up deciding to do air racing? Well, real-life interest in air racing has been active and popular since shortly after the first aircraft took to the air in the early 1900's. People will race anything and aircraft are an obvious choice...

Obviously, the FSX expansion pack does have multi-player racing, and that is a big part of the package, but it's only a large third of the deal. For those of you that don't think you want to race (maybe the same people that didn't think they would like missions...) we have more missions to offer with new experiences and things to do. Of course along with those missions, you get new scenery enhancements, new functionality, and new aircraft. Plus the mission system gets some upgrades along the way too.

Looks like the Flight Sim world can't wait for this Microsoft FSX acceleration add-on!





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Computer setup for flight sim

Please see my squidoo lens:

.





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Free Microsoft Flight Simulator 2008

Watch out for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2008.

You get a real 3D in-home Microsoft Flight Simulator 2008 free... if you get at least 1000 Vista licenses! Haha.

Straight from the Cockpit of Steve Ballmer (That doesn't sound right.)





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Kinds of Flight Simulator Games

Flight Simulation Games

I understand that there are different kinds of flight simulator games and software available for download and it can get confusing. Here it is plain and simple. I mean, you just wanna play right?

Standalone Flight Simulator Games
This is the most basic software you'll need to get flying. These three are recommended in the flight sim world as the best flight simulation games.

  1. Microsoft Flight Simulator X (Microsoft FSX) is the most popular and has the most powerful add-ons.
  2. Flight Gear (Free / Open-source software) is free and is a beautiful product of collaboration. You can also find add-ons for this.
  3. Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 3: Battle for Europe if you're more the fighter pilot type! Missions are full of suspense.

Flight Simulator Games Add-Ons or Flight Simulator Games Expansions (Extensions)

Once you've set up your PC with your flight control system, high RAM and one of the 3 software above, you can make your flying experience extra-cool with add-ons. These expansions for flight simulator games range from new aircraft, new scenery, new missions and airports, and extra tools for flying. Flight sim developers sure take "the sky's the limit" literally!


You don't have to have add-ons. They cost extra anyway. But I guess flying the Space Shuttle Expansion for Flight Simulator X is just too cool to resist.





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Free Flight Simulator Games Download

Flight Gear
One free flight simulator game download is FlightGear. There are many free flash-based games but I'd rather get into realistic quality games and the guys who collaborate on FlightGear have given it their all.
Paying for proprietary simulator games and buying extensions on top of that really can get expensive, but as long as you have your flight sim yoke and high-powered video card and PC or Mac (See Flight Simulator Games Requirements), you're welcome to enjoy the product of the hard work of the collaborators of Flight Gear.
You can fly in any of the following primary flight dynamic models: JSBSim, YASim, or UIUC. This is a whole new level of network gaming since you can also connect with other pilots as well as "GPS receivers, external flight dynamics modules, external autopilot or control modules, as well as other software such as the Open Glass Cockpit project and the Atlas mapping utility." (Flight Gear Features)
Excited? You can get your free flight simulator download for Flight Gear now. That already comes with basic aircraft but if you're feeling extra nifty, you can get more planes or get some new scenery.
Oh yeah, the Flight Gear download file's a whopping 135 mb! That's okay, you can still get it on CD/DVD .

Space Flight
ORBITER developed by Martin Schweiger lets you fly the Space Shuttle. Download Orbiter Space Flight Simulator.

You can also try out Microsoft Flight Simulator X (817 mb!) which is really just too much fun! There's a Space Shuttle Expansion available too.





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Flight Simulator Games

Whether you're an aspiring pilot still stuck at home or if you're a professional pilot, flight simulator games are an effective and cheap way to get you up in the air without endangering lives of any passengers (or yourself) and possibly wrecking any aircraft.

"A flight simulator is a system that tries to replicate, or simulate, the experience of flying an aircraft as closely and realistically as possible. The different types of flight simulator range from video games up to full-size cockpit replicas mounted on hydraulic (or electromechanical) actuators, controlled by state of the art computer technology.

Flight simulators are extensively used by the aviation industry for design and development and for the training of pilots and other flight deck crew in both civil and military aircraft." (Wikipedia)

The most popular (because it's so realistic) flight simulator game available
is the Microsoft Flight Simulator X Deluxe DVD. You assign your point-to-point objectives and test your skills. Fly passengers or cargo as if you were a real commercial airplane pilot.
You can choose from...
  • 21 new and legacy aircraft (such as Air Creation SL450 Ultralight, Cessna 2G8B Grand Caravan, Grumman G-21A Goose)
  • more than 30 structured missions (like flying a Red Bull race or rescuing a downed pilot)
  • 40 high-detail airports, and
  • 28 cities.
The Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight is a good enough starting point but the Microsoft Flight Simulator X Deluxe (Microsoft FSX to fanatics) is just out of this world.

You can try out Microsoft Flight Simulator X for free or you can use another free flight simulator software called Flight Gear.

Once you have your software, you can always use your keyboard and mouse but for the ultimate flying experience, you have get your own flight sim yoke. Enjoy playing your flight simulator games!





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9/11 Flight Simulation

Flight simulator games have become so realistic that they're suspected to have helped the 9/11 hijackers carry out their "mission". I guess some minds are twisted enough to find ways to do something evil with Microsoft Flight Simulator X , a very popular civilian flight simulator game. These games are supposed to satisfy the aspiring (frustrated?) pilot in each of us and they manage to use them as training ground for terrorism.

Speaking of the Microsoft Flight Simulator X, did you know it's certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for training? How cool is that? You can actually imagine you're driving a Boeing 747. I think being a fighter pilot would be way cooler though - not that I want any fighting. It's just exciting in the same way being a spy or private eye (or dating one) is hot.

If you want to get technical about flight simulation, you can check out this (long) academic paper The Art of Flight Simulation by Jonathan Gabbai.





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Flight Simulator Games

What is so cool about Flight Simulator Games?
For people with passion
My nephew JP (he's 24, 2 years older than me, weird) aspires to be a pilot. He's dreamed of becoming a pilot since before he could spell. He's worked 3 years in and around the airport, transporting fuel, navigating the insides as a professional driver. What he earns goes to his pilot lessons. He hardly has any vices. People like him, people in the aviation industry are single-minded. It doesn't matter if it takes years or if they have to slave away for flying lessons. Their focus is almost tangible, all for the glory of being up in the air.

The glory of being up in the air
If you've tried living your Second Life or Flyff, heck, if you're any kind of normal, you've dreamed of being able to fly. I guess I've forgotten about even fantasizing about it until I got to fly in Second Life. My 13-year-old sister is addicted to it with her MMORPG called Flyff (Fly for Fun). Being free of gravity shows our innate desire to be free, to break loose from the traditional. There's something very spiritual and free about being up in the air and being in the pilot's seat, having the beautiful view from the cockpit is the closest we can get to flying in real life.

Or skydiving?
Yeah, I guess that can work too. I don't think my heart's ready for that though. I think I'm fine with tinkering with Second Life and supporting Paolo with his pilot dreams by writing here about flight simulator games. I have much respect for this specialized craft (not to mention the serious high PC power required!)





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