Ask a group of flight simulator enthusiasts what features are “must haves” for their systems, and chances are very good that you will receive as many different answers. Fortunately, the answers you get can probably be boiled down to a few that this post will be able to itemize.
There was a time when the technology only allowed simulator enthusiasts to get so far with the tools that were available. There was a mouse, in some cases a throttle and maybe foot pedals. That was pretty much it. Fortunately, the technology has evolved to the point where it is catching up with the demands of today’s forward looking simulator buffs. Today there are more throttles, pitch and fuel mixers and other fine tuning instruments than you can handle. In fact, it’s getting to where if you want more realism, you will have to enlist.
It’s not good enough anymore to have graphics that are just as good as those from video games of the past. Here again, simulator enthusiasts want nothing less than the best available. They want detail that they can improve on and share with their fellow enthusiasts in multipilot situations and beyond. Excellent graphics goes for not only scenery but instrument panels and their effects from control operations as well.
3. Multiple Aircraft.
The “latest and greatest” isn’t always the answer simulator enthusiasts want to have when they want to purchase their equipment. Sometimes a long and lumbering B-52 or other aircraft from the past will be the only thing that satisfies them. Taking what their grandfathers flew (or at least a simulator’s version thereof) in the war will be the only thing that will do.
4. Complete Communications.
Again, the more realism features available the better. This extends to communications and other effects. This doesn’t include canned communications effects, but real time radio contact with other pilots. Fortunately, manufacturers are keeping up with the demands for more and better sound tools. You can even experience these with high quality headphones with mics and other features that make your simulator even more realistic.
All of these features are included in the new Saitek Flight Simulator, which not only offers their simulator for PCs but for other platforms such as X Box, PlayStation, Nintendo, and others. There’s also the gamut of accessories for pilots, the same as those offered and used by pilots in the real world, headsets, and so much more.
Fortunately, manufacturers are also up to date when it comes to all of the sundries for making their systems integrate such as cables, switch boxes and others. Why take a chance when you don’t have compatible connectors when you need them? You can also turn to pros when you need advice and guidance for setting up your system, especially when you have the right peripherals. Today’s simulators are realistic as you want to make them.
After retiring 4 years ago, Mike has become a flight simulator enthusiast and enjoy blogging about it as well. For more information onÂ Saitek flight simulators you can visit pilotmall.com
Image courtesy of Tim Beach / freedigitalphotos.net