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For the guys that believe the simulator has been a benefit to you, I would like to know what controls you are using. I have done a few searches on the internet and only really found a couple that seem to resemble the real controls, at a cost of over $2000. I'm planning on starting my training in the fall and would like to get a headstart with the radio use, etc before I begin. Also, where did you buy you Flight sim program? Is that a program that would be sold at the local Best Buy or Future Shop?

 

Thanks

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For the guys that believe the simulator has been a benefit to you, I would like to know what controls you are using. I have done a few searches on the internet and only really found a couple that seem to resemble the real controls, at a cost of over $2000. I'm planning on starting my training in the fall and would like to get a headstart with the radio use, etc before I begin. Also, where did you buy you Flight sim program? Is that a program that would be sold at the local Best Buy or Future Shop?

 

Thanks

 

I use FSX but it is pretty demanding to run so lots of people are still using FS2004 (but now you can generally buy a setup that can run it pretty well for under $1000 US). If you buy FSX you will probably want a duo core processor and a good video card. From what I have heard the Intel Core 2 Duo E6800 (processor) and the Nvidia GeForce 8000 GT(?) (video card) are pretty good for running FSX. You will also need at least 1.5 GB of RAM. You can look around on FSX forums (I use the FSX forum on Avsim.com) to find out what works and what doesn't.

 

I use a Saitek Cyborg Evo joystick ($60-70 US) and have been very impressed with how sturdy it is and how long it lasts (you twist the joystick to use the rudder). I will soon be upgrading to the Saitek X52 ($105-120? US) (the throttle is seperate form the joystick to make it more realistic) and the Saitek Rudder Pedals ($100? US).

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Yes, you can pick up your copy of flight sim at your local Best Buy, Future Shop, Wal-Mart. They all should have it. As EC-130 stated, if you're buying the new version (FS X) then you're going to need a GOOD computer. That is if you want your graphic settings mid-range to max. I'm getting 30 frames per second and all my settings are pretty much at the lowest point. If you don't have the best PC, I suggest getting FS2004 and download some scenery for it. You can get some spectacular scenery (mesh) products that will look just as good as FSX if not better.

 

As for controls, I myself use the X-52 joystick and the Saitek pedals. Both are awesome. If your looking at something a little more realistic you can either spend $2000 on buying controls or simply make your own. There are articles on Hovercontrolthat will show you what some people have done. For instance, buying the X52 and then extending the shaft so it's longer (more realistic). Best part about that is it's cheap. Just remember if you do do that, your voiding your warranty so make sure you know what your doing before attempting!

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My personal experience with Flight Simulator is positive. I couldn't actually run the game on my computer since this game is so hardware intensive. I just started my commercial heli training about 3 weeks ago and was struggling a bit at the start with hovering and just getting used to everything straight away (it's a **** of a lot to take in at first with no experience). A student in my class had a much better computer that could run the Flight Sim and asked if I wanted to try it out, so we went over to his place and played around on it for a few hours to get more comfortable with the co-ordination required.

 

I went in the next day to fly (was at about 5hrs at this point) and had very noticably improved. I'm at 21hrs flight time now, I can't really see a Flight Sim being much more practical use to me at this point (as far as I know, I could be very wrong though) but it is an excellent tool to improve your co-ordination for starting out!

 

Hope that helps or at least gives another perspective on things.

 

Dichowj

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I've got some saving up to do before I start. I've given myself 3 years to get as much funds as possible and then I'm getting a loan. I'll be doing it in Ontario, not sure exactly where as of yet.

 

Sounds like a solid plan, 3 years will give you plenty of time to investigate lots of schools etc. Try not to put too much emphasis on Sim training with all the time you have, focus more on reading and studying so your knowledge is top notch when you finally start up. Flying the helicopter isn't what will seperate you, your personality (ie - don't be a ****!) and your knowledge/willingness to learn will :lol:

 

A good book to pick up right now and start reading is "From the Ground Up". It's got planes on it etc, but it's basically just good knowledge on general aviation for a lot of what you'll need to know. Just try and set aside a little bit of time a week and start "training"!

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