preamble: I know this is a bit of a rant, but it’s because I really do love the game and have been a fan of MS Flight Sim since Noah was a boy. I have played almost every version of Flight Simulator ever released from the wireframe version 1 on the old
Apple ][ in the early 80’s through to this current version (with the exception of “Century of Flight” I’ve owned them all). Please be gentle
I have never had any control gear, never even had any rudder pedals, only ever a joystick.
With the exception of graphics, I have felt FSX gave a much better flight experience out of the box than FS2020. It seems that everything I do in FS2020 I need something extra, or it’s harder or just not possible.
FSX had an awesome in-game map tool to bring up all the information about all the airports, and there’s absolutely zero that i can find in 2020. I need to either purchase additional software or download my own charts, manually trying to enter a flight plan or look up VOR and ILS frequencies seems impossible in 2020.
I have found liitlenav and that is now sitting on another monitor and that is awesome. But IMHO, the inclusion of this in the box with FSX seemed to make it a complete product, the absence here seems weird. It’s just incomplete.
I find flying all the smaller aircraft quite enjoyable, and easy enough, even in difficult conditions, but the game is very unforgiving in larger aircraft:
- The other day I was flying an Airbus A320neo for the first time. I thought I had everything lined up, AP set correctly, and when instructed by ATC to head up to FL340 I was enroute when all of a sudden (with only 2000 feet left) the aircraft was continually stalling with much too great an AOA, I kept forcing the stick forward and it would constantly trim to 100% up and try and kill everyone on board. I got ATC to lower us and was able to descend only to find it overshot the descent and then again began to stall trying to gain that last 2000 feet. I came across a thread (I think it was in this forum) that controversially detailed a way to override what was happening. I ended up doing that and was off on my way. Now, I know I was obviously doing something wrong, and that’s fair enough, but throughout it all I was trying to find a way to make the aircraft “just jump” up those 2000 feet. There seems to be no slewing at all.
- Continuing on from that last point, when I stuff something up, there seems to be no way to go back and do it again. I can’t rewind 30 seconds, or 5 minutes and give it another run. If I’m on the wrong line and want to shift it over to a different angle, altitude or heading or whatever, there’s just no way to accomodate this. Really? I remember when I first got FSX (I was playing at a mates house and he re-introduced me to the game) and he set me up for a landing which he deliberately made hard. I overshot and he slewed me back for another go-around. It seems I have to do the whole flight again to try that landing again? Am I missing something?
- Bridges: oh bridges, aren’t bridges in FS2020, they’re walls/dams. Flying under a few bridges around various places Australia, USA and Europe, and it’s just a black screen and a message about landing gear… So I tried it in the Icon A5 and it also crashes. err, black screens.
- Gfx overload: I’m running an RTX3070 and an i7-10700F with 64GB RAM. I know it’s not the beefiest of systems, but I can’t run 4K and get any decent frame rate. I really thought I’d be able to run Ultra, but was greatly let down. I was slightly comforted when I saw that someone with an RTX3090 also wasn’t getting close to 30fps in many of their demos, especially SanFran.
- Camera navigation and control panels: This is probably the one that hurts the most. It is awful getting to certain controls in a hurry without having a physical control panel to use. I was in a difficult landing this evening and I must have entered the ILS wrong, not sure how, but I was manually bringing the 747 into Fiji on R02 when I decided to allow the ILS and AP take over. I had already lined it up and all of a sudden FS2020 decides it wants to head to it from a different angle. I wish I’d recorded this flight, but I was scrambling around between camera views to try and disengage certain things and I realised I didn’t have a keyboard control for auto-throttle (that I knew of at first hand) and something else, so I’m scrambling around trying to get different inside camera views to show me different things all the while trying not to crash. I was super stoked when I managed to fly around and come in from the other side. A little hot and heavy, but it never black screened on me and I stopped well short of half way along the runway, so I was happy. But to be honest, I really wanted to go back to the ILS approach and try it again, but how?
Now, having ranted for all that, and if you’re still here, let me say…
I LOVE THE NEW FLIGHT SIM! I just do wish it was a little better!
So much so, I am now inclined to want more controls. I’ve looked around and have drooled over what’s available, but I have decided I want to make something myself and I have the knowhow to to do. I don’t really care too much for true to life, because flying a flight sim with various aircraft, unless you’re going to build multiple control systems, one generic one will suffice.
In the mean time, I would like to use something that’s on screen that could be off the main screen, or even preferably (I don’t know if this is possible) on an iPad?? that allows quick and easy access to various control surfaces, especially in the AP arena, flaps, landing gear, reverse thrusts, NAV and COM settings, generic gauges (horizon, vertical speed etc).
The only thing I’ve seen so far (and will probably buy) is Air Manager. But that’s about all I’ve seen. Is there something else? Especially that could be run externally on an iPad or Android tablet?
And lastly, most of the videos I’ve seen on youtube about flying different approaches in commercial airliners seems focused on point and click, do this, then do that. But I learn by understanding and would much prefer knowing exactly what this button does and how to best utilise it. eg, VS over VNV.
Appologies if this has come across as a bit negative, largely I do love the product, I just had to get those few things off my chest.
I’m about to go jump in a Caravan and do a mail run out bush