Aircraft and experience progression

I’m hoping the title explains my post well enough that the body of the thread isn’t too off mark when you come in and read it, I wasn’t sure exactly how to phrase it.

I’ve never really got into flight simming despite being an aviation lover since my childhood. Living close to Duxford, UK most summers involved at least one air show and usually several (Mildenhall isn’t far either.) However translating that to gaming (sorry, Simming?) never quite happened despite buying various titles over the years - MS Combat Flight simulator, Jane’s WWII flight sim, loads of smaller titles long forgotten for my old 486. Maybe the peripherals I was using didn’t help, or I was just too young and impatient to dig down into it all or perhaps it was having to wait for VR to really get that “I’m flying” feeling. Whatever the reason I’m a long way behind most of you guys and girls in experience and knowledge…not just in the ‘how to’ but also the ‘what next.’

I started with the C152 and fairly quickly progressed to the JF version of the PA28 (I bought the MkIII/IV pack and love both) as I really wanted a retractable gear (maybe I’m just a big tart but I like a sleek looking craft in the air.) With the changes in SU5 I’m struggling until JF can patch it and have been considering both what my next step may be and where I’d like to go long term. Having found myself looking at the Carenado Mooney Ovation and wondering if it’s too similar to the Piper Arrow and thinking about whether there’s a general pathway that most pilots/simmers follow?

I understand many will always prefer a basic Bush craft or have a deep love for VFR and that flying 747s at 40’000 ft isn’t an end game but is there a general progression, a sensible path to take?

Apologies for the waffle, once I’ve been here a while maybe I won’t feel the need to make clear my inexperience with every post!

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