You really can't start flight simulation
without any flight simulation software so that's the first
requirement. If you already have something like Microsoft Flight
simulator then no problem. But if you're just thinking about
purchasing software there are several choices that range from
free to "not too expensive."
The most well known general simulation
software is Microsoft Flight Simulator, the latest version being
Flight Simulator X, before that Flight Simulator 2004 (FS9).
There is also X-Plane 9, 10 and soon to be 11. These packages
offer a wide variety of aircraft for the enthusiast to fly and
thousands of locations to fly to or over. Prices on this
software may range anywhere from $30 to $50 from retail
Now for the good news, there are some
great alternatives out there that should meet anyone's criteria.
There is a software package that will give you the feel of the
afore mentioned packages that is absolutely free. It's called
FlightGear and it can be freely downloaded off the internet or
purchased for a fee already downloaded to CD. We include it free
on our CDs that are included with several of our products. While
not as polished as the commercial packages it is definitely up
to par as a very good flight simulation package. It can be found
and downloaded from
There are other flight simulation software
packages available as well. Many of these packages offer
realistic combat based simulation. Microsoft Combat Flight
Simulator, Combat Simulator 2, Combat Simulator 3, LOMAC and
IL-2 Sturmovik, are some of the older games but they still
make for great flying. Some of the more popular combat games
model the F-16 fighter. Titles like Falcon 4.0 and Falcon 4.0
Allied Forces. These are very in-depth and complex games that
model almost every facet of modern air combat. There are also
free downloadable packages as well such as Free Falcon or Open
Falcon based on the original game.
Now for the saving money part. You really don't need a brand new
out of the box version of this software unless you're a box
collector. The savings will come in when you purchase these
items form sources like Ebay or Craig's List, the savings are
great, you may find unopened new packages as well.
So decide what you want go online do your research and and
save. You should be able to find what you want at well below
full retail price.
An Inexpensive Controller
I'll just start out here by saying trying
to use a keyboard to control many of the modern flight
simulation games is futile don't even think about it. The most
inexpensive controller is the joystick and it will suffice for
most beginners or most flight simulation games. As you become
more involved in the hobby and need more sophistication you can
start looking in to flight yokes, rudder pedals and other
You can use a joystick in combination with
the keyboard and mouse to control and fly most simulation
aircraft. So what should you get? Does it need to be expensive?
The answer is no it doesn't need to be expensive but should have
The major manufacturers of joysticks are
CH Products, Thrustmaster, Logitech and Saitek. Products from
these guys are pretty sturdy for the average simmer. There are
the high end HOTAS systems which range anywhere from $80 to $400
but here we're looking at the single joystick and what you need
for the basics of controlling the aircraft.
Basically the joystick should have at a
minimum a trigger, at least six buttons, an eight way hat a
throttle control and a twist hand grip. The reasoning is buttons
are assigned to aircraft controls and can help eliminate using
the keyboard, the more buttons the better. The eight way hat
lets you view your surroundings, again, without using the
keyboard which can be very awkward in a combat situation. The
twist hand grip comes in handy as a substitute for rudder pedals
which are almost essential for proper aircraft control. With a
good stick you won't have to purchase a throttle or rudder
pedals until you decide to move up. Some typical sticks are
shown in the following pictures.
Again shop on Ebay or Craig's list for these sticks which you
may find anywhere from $10 to $20, less than half the new price.
Now that you've acquired your software and
controller you're set to experience the world of flight
simulation. You may find that setting your equipment up on your
desk and then having to remove it is a hassle. Here's where one
of our products come in.
The Eze-Pit Mach II can be used to
set your equipment up on a small table or roll around stand. It
has room for your controllers, keyboard, mouse and a LCD
or CRT monitor. One scenario would be using a roll around cart
as I have done here. Plug your controllers a spare
keyboard and mouse into a hub, and plug the hub into a usb port
and connect your monitor into your main computer and you're set.
Roll away and store when finished.
Who knows, as you expand you may want to purchase the complete
Kwik-Pit kit for total emersion. Until next time happy
Eze-Pit Mach II
Anywhere Quick Setup Cockpit
A Quick Inexpensive And Easy Pit
Move Those Controls Off Your Desktop!
Comes Complete and Ready For Action!
Designed For A Table Or Desktop!
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Don't Be The Last To Find Out
You Should Of Had The Eze-Mod
Designed for CH Pro Pedals™
Improves Rudder Precision!
A Must Have Mod !
Compliments the KwikPit.
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The Cockpit You Can Build From Plans or Kit
for a compact cockpit project?
The answer to your simulating needs!
Available in plans and kit form!
Compact, inexpensive and easy to build!
Build from plans or from
Great project for the first time builder!
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This newsletter was
The KwikPit Company
Suite 100 PMB
Phone: 888 371 8821