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Best Ifr Flight Sim


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I am looking for opinions on which is the best IFR flight simulators out there. I would like to hook up a joystick and if possible , integrate my iPad foreflight to it. Would like to be able to track the flight, set weather mins, fly ILS, rnavs, holds and such. Cheers

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Not sure, but there are a few flight sim forums around. Looking on the apple store woud be a good start - there is some that connects over wifi for an FMS system,, for example.


If you get FS 2004, BTW, make sure you get the 4th disc - people often leave them in their CD players when they sell their computers :)



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  • 3 weeks later...

X-Plane 10 will do all of the above. It is very powerful, and actively developed for helicopter users. Chinook uses X-Plane as the base engine for their certified IFR FTD's as well.

It has a real helicopter flight model, with real blade physics.

The nav database is up-to-date and current whereas Flight Sim is out of date.

Your iPad running ForeFlight can be connected and provide real-time location of your virtual aircraft as if you were actually flying.

There is even a human-powered voice ATC service available for practicing IFR phraseology and practical applications from pilotedge.net.

The payware BK117 model for X-Plane is good enough to do pretty much any IFR procedure once you update the GPS on the aircraft to a GNS530. I've been using it for practical IFR training myself and would be happy to answer your questions.

A decent set of flight controls will set you back about $300, the software is about $100 after the payware aircraft, and the voice ATC service is $20 a month. You will need a computer with a dedicated graphics card, so anticipate about $1000 for the computer to get something IFR-ready, $2000 if you want good VFR photo scenery. (My GeForce GTX 970 4GB video card for VFR was $500 alone).

Some shots from X-Plane 10:






Extreme graphics-card punishment:



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It doesn't really matter how accurate a representation X-plane has - I find it aroyal pain in the a** if you want to increase the resolution because the cockpit doesnt carry over to the outside world and you get ridiculously small instruments.


Out of date or not you can still run FS 2004 on an XP machine for next to nothing (2002 is not configurable) - and you can input your own approach plates. Make sure you have plenty of memory, though, for any flight sim, especially on the graphics card. if you use MS, use an Nvidia card as the "file System" used on the card is the same as the graphics files in the flight sim software. The speed of the CPU doesn't really matter because the rest of the average IBM compatible is crippled anyway. Sadly, these days that includes Macs.



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3D cockpits are becoming increasingly common with next generation sims. The fully clickable aspects are a trailer of many of the payware aircraft such as the Dreamfoil 407, 206, x-trident 412, as350, and more. X-plane is designed to be used with a mouse as your virtual hand, and the scroll wheel lets you zoom in on instruments quickly, and right click drag to pan your view around.


To further enhance that, you can run head tracking or external monitor dedicated to instruments.

There is third party software for running dedicated instruments on a dedicated monitor if you want a full immersion sim. A 27" 2560x1440 resolution monitor is plenty immersive in 3d cockpit, or you can hook up a cheap LCD TV at 1080p.


FSX is highly cpu limited, as with Prepare3D (the Lockheed Martin evolution of FSX) and X-Plane as well. I notice a big difference in frame rates going from 3.5ghz to 4.9ghz on the same quad core cpu.


you can get basic graphics with a cheap off the shelf PC, but as soon as you want better visuals you will need a better GPU. XPlane is OpenGL based, FSX and P3D are DirectX (9 and 10 respectively) based. Even a $150 2GB GeForce 950 will be a great add on to an integrated graphics machine.


Also, Xplane runs on all three platforms, Windows, Linux, and Mac. A $1100 MacBook wouldn't have a problem running Xplane out of the box, and you can plug in an external monitor or TV and a joystick and be done.

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