FlightSim Journal
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(updated January 22, 2015)

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Welcome to my updated Flightsim Journal. Previously this section only covered Microsoft Flight . . . now I'm also covering Lockheed Martin's Prepar3D, since it is now my primary flightsim. [I also use X-Plane 10, and a few other sims, including some combat flightsims), but at this point, I will only be covering Prepa3D and MS Flight in my flightsim journal.]


I have no idea how many female flightsimmers there are, but only 6% of real pilots are women,
and in the American military; only about 700 of the 14,000 current military pilots are female.

Based on what I have seen on the most popular flightsim forums, female flightsimmers are not all that common. There have been a huge increase in female gamers in the last few decades, but flightsims have remained a male dominated domain. One of the main reasons for this is because"Women pilots, for example, represent only six percent of the total pilot population." And "in the American military; only about 700 of the 14,000 current military pilots are female." On top of that, guys just tend to be more interested in flightsims, so girls are rarely even exposed to them. I was lucky that my older brother was a huge fan of flightsims, so was I pretty much raised on them (since he raised me). I have used every single Microsoft flightsim since MSFS4. Some of the other flightsims I have flown are Sierra Pro Pilot, Flight Unlimited, and Fly! (I was a beta tester for both Fly! and MS Flight). I've also used a number of combat flightsims . . . mostly attack helicopter sims (such as: Jane's AH-64D Longbow, Enemy Engaged: Apache vs Havoc, and DCS: Ka-50 Black Shark). So I have been using flightsims for a pretty long time. I prefer flying small aircraft over airliners, and I've always enjoyed the challenge of flying helicopters (landing a helicopter is like standing on a ball, while trying to juggle).

I'm just a flightsimmer who has learned a lot over the years (mostly the hard way) and now I want to share what I have learned (and am still learning) with others. My goal is to provide information on these two specific flightsims, along with some tips that may improve the virtual flying experience and help users get past the quirks, that are unique to each sim. (See my Tips section under each sim).

Please let me know if you find any errors in what I wrote or if I didn't explain something correctly or very clearly. I will on occasion include my opinion, but my intention is to still be informative and fair.


Site Navigation:

This home page only includes my flightsim intro/news section.

To navigate directly to my MS Flight or Prepar3D sections, click on their banners below.

Scroll down for the News section and for more information about flightsims in general.


latest Journal news

January 22, 2015:

P3D v.2.5 Nearly Finished. Many P3D users have been wondering when the next update will be released, and yesterday LM finally posted some news on this: "We are currently finishing development on the first update to Prepar3D v2 for 2015, Prepar3D v2.5."

October 11, 2014:

Version 2.4 of Prepar3d was released on 9/29/14. The full list of changes is post HERE.

Orbx FTX Base Update: version 1.30 was released on 10/02/14 (make sure that you also update to the latest Libraries). Download Link

Orbx FTX: new Libraries for P3Dv2 were released on 10/01/14 (version 140927). Download Link

Active Sky Next was updated to SP1 on 10/08/14, which is now the official (non-beta) SP1 for P3D. LINK

September 8, 2014:

Updated my P3D Tweaks page to include latest fixes for Prepar3D v.2.3 cloud cover FPS issues.

Orbx FTX: new Libraries for P3Dv2 were released on 9/07/14 (version 140901). Download Link

August 22, 2014:

Version 2.3 of Prepar3d was released on 8/11/14. The full list of changes is post HERE.

Active Sky Next was updated to SP1 Open Beta on 8/18/14, which is a major update (you need this version to use with P3D version 2.3). LINK

I've updated my Prepar3D section, mostly by adding new content to my Navigation Page, including a brand new section on Navigation Instruments. Also updated my P3D Tips page due to changes in version 2.3.

Previous news is in my
News Archive Page


Page last updated 01/22/15:

Flightsims can be really complex beasts. They can be both frustrating and rewarding, and initially you will likely spend more time trying to get them configured properly, or just trying to figure out how to use them, than actually flying.

Even MS Flight can be difficult to set up and fly properly, and Prepar3D is VERY complex, every update can change the way it needs to be configured (see my P3D Tweaks page), and there are a ton of add-ons for it that add even more layers of complexity. My flightsim section is meant as a basic guide for both of these flightsims (and this page covers the basics of flightsims in general).

Since Prepar3D is the much more comprehensive flightsim, I've included a LOT more details in that section than what is in my MS Flight section (in order to cover things like navigation, flight plans, and ATC; along with details on my favorite third party aircraft, scenery, and other add-ons).

MS Flight is a very inexpensive way to get started with flightsims . . . it a really good, but a rather limited flightsim, which satisfies the virtual flying needs of many users. Other users want more than what MS Flight offers, and this is where Prepar3D fits in (along with sims like FSX and X-Plane 10). One of my goals in expanding my Flightsim Journal is to provide resources to help users who have never used a more advanced flightsim before, and are just starting out with Prepar3D (or are thinking of making the move to P3D)

At the bottom of this page, I've included some links to additional flightsim resources (there are additional links at the end of most of my flightsim sections).

Computer Requirements:
Most current flight simulators require a fairly powerful computer (although most will run on less powerful PCs . . . if you're willing to use the lowest graphical settings).

If your system is a not-so-powerful-one (as in it struggles to run many of the more current PC games), then I would suggest you try MS Flight, as its requirements are much lower than what is required to run Prepar3D.

Flight Controllers (input devices):   
With most flightsims,  it is possible to control your aircraft with just a mouse and a keyboard , but you really need a good joystick (or a flight yoke) in order to have the control that is necessary to fully enjoy any good flightsim. And it is a LOT easier to hit a mapped button than to hunt for the right key to press. Plus having good controller can greatly add to the immersion of virtual flight.
This is what I'm using:

Saitek X52 Flight Control System
(Throttle and Joystick)

Thrustmaster F430 Pedals
(for Rudder control)

Note: the Thrustmaster Pedals are designed for racing sims, but can be configured so that the default separate gas and brake pedals can be combined a single push/pull axis (which are how rudders are set up). Personally I find that the Saitek Joystick's twist (rotate) is nearly as good for controlling the rudder, and a bit easier for me (since I'm so use to it being set up this way) . . . but good pedals (the ones designed especially for flightsims) can improve your ability to control your aircraft (for many users, once they get use to using them).
Additional Optional Devices:
(Just mentioned here, as I don't own any of these devices.)

These include addon hardware like TrackIR (using head tracking software), and instrument peripherals like Saitek PRO Flight Switch Panel.

Page Menu: | Intro | News | PC Requirements | Controllers | Additional Devices | Links
Flightsim Links (off site)

Arwen's Realm (my forum) - The is often the fastest way to contact me. Under the Game Portal, there is a separate Flightsim forum, so if you need some help with MS Flight or Prepar3D, or just want to discuss the sim - just drop in and post a message. Arwen's Realm is small, friendly, moderated forum community (where members actually respect each other) - this is my personal invitation for you to drop by and become a member.


Mutley's Hangar

Flight Simulation Magazines (available in print and online formats): PC Pilot (UK) and Computer Pilot (USA)

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