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Warbird simulations.


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#1 Flo

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 03:39 PM

In your opinion, do they have any value?

I enjoy, or have enjoyed, playing several of them over the years, so much so that my choice of desktop will be driven by its' ability to run the latest version. Like all games they are a fun distraction, but can they serve any other purpose?

I propose that they do.

Firstly, they maintain our younger generations' interest in World War Two history. The War shaped the world we live in, but much more than an explanation of why the world has its' present form there are huge lessons to be learned about the very nature of humanity by studying the period.
Kids always want to know more about the things that hold their interest, be it their favourite sports team, band or TV show. In an age of instant access to information on any subject, they can learn huge amounts simply through asking their laptop or i-pad about the markings on their preferred fighter 'plane.

Secondly, they can illustrate the environment our forefathers fought in. A decent simulation will quickly show the difficulty in maintaining a position of advantage, the benefit of factors such as the suns position, cloud cover, terrain if you're interested in low flying missions, and the advantage of teamwork.

Lastly, I propose that they can provide a useful laboratory for investigating and testing tactics and manoeuvres. I have no real world flying experience- beyond jumping out of perfectly serviceable helicopters! :rolleyes:- so I have no way of telling how accurately the simulation models the flight characteristics of any given aircraft. But even after allowing for errors and inconsistencies in the simulation I propose that the majority of modern flight simulators are close enough to reality to provide an acceptable answer to questions concerning the manoeuvre of fighting aircraft.

What does the board think? Are they as useful as I believe? Or are they just the three dimensional equivalent of shooting zombies? :D

#2 GregP

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:21 AM

I think they have value, but are not reflective of real performance.

Yes they keep young people interested, but the sims are only as good as the equations, and most people fly on "easy" settings with unlimited fuel and ammunition ... and sometimes with "player cannot be killed". When you pull g's, there is no g-force for the player.

Sims are pretty good for real pilots, but give a false sense of security to non-pilots. A Cessna 182 in Microsoft Flight Simulator doesn't typically flutter if you go too fast, can dive straight down wthout damage and can fly inverted. Try that in a real C-182 and see what happens! Most WWII fighters didn't even HAVE inverted fuel and oil systems. I can't think of one that did.

So, they have value, but not all that much, at least to me. They may very well be the salvation for general aviation in real life, but you couldn't prove it by me ... even though I like them in general for casual entertainment.

Edited by GregP, 26 April 2012 - 06:24 AM.


#3 Flo

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 12:04 PM

;)

I take your point that the realism settings can be modified or even switched off, Greg. But that means they're available when required.
Most on line communities insist on a minimum level of realism- usually no external views, stalls, spins and environmental effects on, no visible tags. With fuel, weapons, gunnery and damage simulations on their maximum available setting.
It's difficult, verging on impossible, to simulate real world effects on the pilot in multi-million dollar military sims, but that's probably a bonus for home use- PC pilots tend to be a pasty bunch! :D
The physics of each successive sim are improving all the time- there are a number out there which would give you the realism/deadly consequences of mishandling a light aircraft you describe.

Which leads back to my original point- this for the board, Greg and myself already having made our position clear- if the simulation 'flies' in a reasonable approximation of the real aircrafts' motion, could you see it having any value for testing the interaction between opposing aircraft?

#4 Ricky

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 02:54 PM

If there was no value in it, then the military would not use them...

#5 GregP

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 04:14 AM

I don't think they're all that valuable because there isn't any way for me, as a home user, to look around short of a keyboard. If I had a slip-on headset (sort of like glasses without the lenses) that could allow me to look around, I would change my mind.

I HATE it when an Fw 190 goes by and you simply lose him! All I have to do in the real world is look at him, but the sims (home variety) won't let you DO that. They have (or had) an eyeglasses set that alolowed you to point a mouse, so why not something similar to allow the pilot to look around without a keyboard. The rest of it I can handle, but the limited view is just bogus and makes the sims almost useless to me. ... not in normal flying, but in combat.

If I want to fly normally, I use a Cessna. If I want combat ... i have almost no option other than the Air Combat Marchetti's that are so expensive t fly (but FUN).

I'd like the opportunity to have a headset that allows me to look around!

Edited by GregP, 27 April 2012 - 06:01 AM.


#6 Ricky

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:05 AM

I'd like the opportunity to have a headset that allows me to look around!


I couldn't agree more - this is why I don't have flying games

#7 Flo

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:16 PM

Gratuitous plug time. Hope Paolo gets some commission for this! :D

The device you're describing already exists. In fact, it's an almost indispensable tool for virtual combat. It's called TrackIR and I can't recommend it highly enough. Even if you never go near a combat sim, the ability to see everything going on in and around your (virtual) 'plane is worth the price all by itself. There are scenery packs available for Flight Sim X that generate stunning, photographic quality visuals in real time. If you can't afford to fly- and I can't :(- it's the single most immersive addition you can make to your setup, infinitely better than tripple screens, home cockpits or upgrading to the latest, ruinously expensive computer.

It's incredibly intuitive- just turn toward whatever you want to look at. Worried about fuel or temperature? Just look down 'into' your cockpit. Got a mate flying behind you? Turn 'round, see what he's up to.
It amplifies small movements of your head, which sounds a lot trickier to master than it actually is. The device itself is a small clip you attach to your headset, or a wee reflector you stick on your favourite cap, working with a tiny camera mounted to your monitor. Simples! ;)

The biggest benefit is the one you described, Greg, the ability to keep an eye on that git trying to get on your six. I like the added 'realism' of having to look around cockpit furniture, or the restricted view from some cockpits. But just glancing down and keeping an eye on your instruments hasn't gotten old for me. (I know, easily amused...:rolleyes:)

Check it out:
Slighter older vid, showing what you can expect to see on any PC:


one of the yoof of today failing completely to take heed of Gregs advice about the hazards of inverted flight in a warbird:


poor flying, great visuals!

I don't own the game, (yet!) but, again, stunning visuals, this time with the virtual pilot making much better use of his trackIR:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6CGViJrcRA&feature=relmfu


Hth, fellas!

#8 GregP

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 05:17 AM

Thanks Flo! I'll look into it and a very hearty thank YOU.

Don't let Neo get to you. If he has done what he SAYS he has, then he wouldn't be posting this stuff. Siimulator operators can get an occasional ride, but not too many. If he IS a simulator operator, why isn't he all over THIS post? ... about simulations ...

He might be a 15-year old PC gamer trying to upset things and display his "knowledge." As he continues to post it sounds more like that than a real pilot and simulator operator person ... he might even be Gaston, God forbid.

Beware of the dreaded "thrust column" and the deadly microsecond motion of the center of lift ...

YOUR posts suppport your experience and I respect your opinion. Wish you could attend our airshow next weekend at Chino (May 5 - 6).

Cheers! - Greg

Edited by GregP, 28 April 2012 - 05:21 AM.


#9 Flo

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 05:46 PM

The gizmo isn't cheap, 'bout a hundred bucks retail, maybe a little less at a big electronics outlet, but it's worth every penny.
I bought mine after I got curious about how quickly and accurately the guys posting up on youtube were looking around. Even my best efforts with a 'hat' or mouse just confused the hell out of me. The cost put me off for a while, but I couldn't believe the difference when I finally forked out for one. Like I say, proper bargain.

Thanks for the vote of confidence, by the way! But like I keep 'telling' neo, any experience either of us have of modern air warfare have virtually no relevance to '40s warbirds. That's assuming he does have the experience he claims, of course. ;)

"Beware of the dreaded "thrust column" and the deadly microsecond motion of the center of lift ... " I rofl! :D

I'd so love to go to Chino. It wouldn't even have to be a show weekend. I prefer to see the 'planes being worked on, to parked up under twenty layers of polish, surrounded by Japanese tourists! :D If I ever do make it out your way I'll definitely give you a call.

Edited by Flo, 28 April 2012 - 05:53 PM.


#10 NeoConShooter

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 02:14 AM

I don't think they're all that valuable because there isn't any way for me, as a home user, to look around short of a keyboard. If I had a slip-on headset (sort of like glasses without the lenses) that could allow me to look around, I would change my mind.

I HATE it when an Fw 190 goes by and you simply lose him! All I have to do in the real world is look at him, but the sims (home variety) won't let you DO that. They have (or had) an eyeglasses set that alolowed you to point a mouse, so why not something similar to allow the pilot to look around without a keyboard. The rest of it I can handle, but the limited view is just bogus and makes the sims almost useless to me. ... not in normal flying, but in combat.

If I want to fly normally, I use a Cessna. If I want combat ... i have almost no option other than the Air Combat Marchetti's that are so expensive t fly (but FUN).

I'd like the opportunity to have a headset that allows me to look around!


Just my opinions!

1. SIMs do have several valid uses, including those mentioned and the ability of some SIMs, to accurately mimic the real aircraft's performance. You have to search and buy the right one, set the switches to max reality and realize that even the best of them do not mimic weapons effects well, or even fairly! At least according to the real live service pilots I used to hang with and the acquaintances who own some war birds. (Living next to a Spit owner and two hours ride from Oshkosh!)

2. Buy a SIM which has the "Padlock" view setting! It will keep your vision box locked on the target regardless of how it twists and turns, except that some, (most?) of them loose the lock when the target goes out of sight under your plane, on into a cloud.

3. The tags should be enabled IF you want to get any sort of semblance as to what the experts see. If you do not have 99th %-tile Visual Acuity which all military pilots who actually shot any one down in the war had, your typical vision is less than 40% of theirs if it is 20-20! I can not over state this in the least! The lack of distance accuracy makes doing the right maneuvers hard if not impossible! If you do not have 8-20 or at best 10-20 vision, you can not see and recognize planes that the Aces CAN see and recognize. In other words the computer makes those of us with extraordinary visual acuity as blind as the rest of you. Tags gives you the experience of the experts/aces? They also make the maneuvers you read about in the books possible. This last is important if you really want to get the flavor of those great planes.

4. In the Goodyear Aerospace dome, they enlarge the apparent size of the target to make up for the lack of projection resolution against the dome to the pilots. This relates to part three above.

5. The various "Top Gun" "Experiences" are not that expensive, if you consider the life time memories and film you might create, if you are any good! I recommend them to all, every chance I get, even the least of them is so much better and educational than the best of the dome Sims! I guarantee that some Cessna 150s Rat Racing all over the sky is better and more rewarding than any SIM! Google that and spend a thousand bucks for the cheap seats if that is all you can afford. It's like HEROIN! Once you do it you will go back and spend much more money!
Hope this helps.




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