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 Post subject: X-Plane 10 Global
PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:45 pm 
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Not sure this is the right section for this, but it deals with a flight sim, and in this case, a remarkably good one.

X-Plane has been around for quite a few years, with the (technically) first version coming out in 1996. Until 2004, it was fairly limited, with somewhat detailed graphics only for a handful of planes, and very little detailed scenery, but with the 2004 release, you could fly from one (American) city to another and see fully rendered graphics the entire way, although it was not until 2007 that the program started using all the bells and whistles of the higher end video cards. The same 2007 release also added the ability to get new maps over the internet instead of having to order them from the company, and it was a remarkable program by 2010, when it was announced that no further maps would be made for that version.

In 2011, the present version came out, and it was better than before, and by quite a bit. It utilized virtually every facet of the modern computers, designed from the ground up to use multiple CPU cores, the DirectX 11 extensions, and any amount of memory, with the program automatically adding features with better hardware (up to a point, beyond which field of view gets extended instead). The level of detail was even more impressive than version 9 had been, and you really got the feeling you were sitting in a real airplane, which every factor found in actual flight brought into the game.

The end of June this year, this was extended with the release of X-Plane 10 Global, which extended greatly the amount of maps found in the game (essentially by bundling maps you used to have to buy into the core game), and added more 3D cockpits to the ten that were in the original version 10. It gets a bit of flack for changing the keybinds that long term players had grown used to, but if you use a wheel and pedals, there is virtually nothing new to learn. Additionally, version 9 of the program included the ability to fly on Mars (quite a challenge to fly anything in that thin air), while version 10 removed that, and that got some upset feedback too, but that sort of thing is normal for any program with such a large fan base.

All in all, a very realistic and very enjoyable game.

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 Post subject: Re: X-Plane 10 Global
PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:30 am 
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Thanks for the info Xerius, i am not a big Flight Sim'er but i used to fly a bit with the MS Flight Simulator X. A good friend of mine played a lot with X-Plane during the last decades.

But i just bought a new flight stick Saitek X52 Pro (for Elite Dangerous actually) but maybe i give it a shot..

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 Post subject: Re: X-Plane 10 Global
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:22 am 
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I haven't played any flight sims but the mention of a flight stick is interesting because it was purchased for another game. It just happens that my son purchased Elite Dangerous and went and got a flight stick for it. He has been waiting for that game to come out as he played the original Frontier Elite over twenty years ago on the Amiga. Not sure which stick he got though but I'll be going over to his house this coming weekend and I'll check it out.


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 Post subject: Re: X-Plane 10 Global
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:15 am 
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Not to hijack the OT but i tried to play Elite Dangerous with a Mouse and it was really a pain...not only that you are an easy target for everybody but also the feeling is not "right".

The X52 Pro is a bit expensive (about 250 Dollars) but its the money worth if you want to invest in a good flight stick.

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 Post subject: Re: X-Plane 10 Global
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:39 am 
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Not sure how a stick would work for X-Plane, since the majority of the types of aircraft found in the game would normally be controlled by an airplane style wheel and rudder pedals rather than a fighter plane stick, but I am sure it would still work better than the keyboard would.

I have a Logitech stick that I bought to play Dark Star One several years ago, so should try it at some point and see how it feels.

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 Post subject: Re: X-Plane 10 Global
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:02 pm 
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I have a Saitek X52 Flight Control System that I've use for years with flightsims (including X-Plane 10, FSX, Flight, and Prepar3D). It is actually way better than a yoke for flying helicopters and works fine for all aircraft. I also own a set of Thrustmaster F430 Pedals (racing pedals) that I can set up for rudder control, but I rarely use then for that, since the Saitek Joystick's twist (rotate) is nearly as good for controlling the rudder. A good Flightsim yoke/pedals combo would be nice to own, but they are pretty expensive (and the cheap ones are really not worth buying).

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 Post subject: Re: X-Plane 10 Global
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:56 pm 
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I use a Saitek yoke myself (not sure which one, since it does not say on the wheel itself, and the box is long gone), and Saitek pedals (assume they are anyways; they just say Pro on them, but I bought them at the same time as the yoke), and find it gives virtually the same feel as actually flying an airplane.

I find I need the pedals, since I am too used to controlling the turn of the aircraft with them. I find it hard to sleep in an airplane, since I often wake up trying to find the rudder pedals when I feel the plane banking. As well, the pedals I ended up with duplicate the toe controls of a standard plane, so I do not have to use the keyboard for braking.

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 Post subject: Re: X-Plane 10 Global
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:17 pm 
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Xerius, you do know how that sounds? Sleeping in an airplane when flying it????? Maybe you should elaborate a bit?


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 Post subject: Re: X-Plane 10 Global
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2014 1:08 am 
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*laughs* When I am a passenger in a jet while flying to wherever I happen to be going, I find it difficult to sleep, since every time the plane changes heading, I wake up reaching for controls or trying to find rudder pedals.

I used to sleep quite well while travelling by air before I became licenced to fly small aircraft, but it seems I have developed reflexes I have trouble switching off while asleep as a passenger.

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 Post subject: Re: X-Plane 10 Global
PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2014 3:40 am 
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I finally got my X52 Pro and i am very satisfied in Elite Dangerous with it. I even survived the first combat mission in the first try. I never managed to win with the keyboard and mouse :-)

I also tried it with Rise of Flight and i am on the brink of buying X-Plane Global...

But there is one downside: i am a left hander and the X52 Pro is desinged for right hander...:-( But as my brother told me: just learn to use the X52 with your right hand, as its a good exercise for your brain when you get older (which i am now, as i assume he wanted to tell me :-)

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 Post subject: Re: X-Plane 10 Global
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 1:01 am 
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Kind of normal for a lot of skills though, as cars are all set up with essentially identical controls, so once you have learned to drive one, you only need to learn minor modifications with different models (unless you take up travelling overseas of course, in which case you get to learn entirely new control setups).

Aircraft are the same, so if you were flying an actual plane, you would have to get used to a right handed stick.

I have no particular preference as to which hand I use for any given task (to a degree; I tend to use my left hand for tasks that require more strength and my right hand for tasks requiring dexterity), so perhaps I find it easier than most to adapt to a right handed world, but I do not see it as a failing that controls on vehicles are roughly universal.

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 Post subject: Re: X-Plane 10 Global
PostPosted: Thu Aug 07, 2014 6:08 am 
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Well it feels very akward to use my right hand, but i will do my best :-)

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 Post subject: Re: X-Plane 10 Global
PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 12:49 am 
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Doesn't hurt to be ambidextrous. But I agree it takes a bit to retrain yourself. Yeah, so how do left hand people drive a stick shift in a car since most all cars are pretty much the same? They must have to retrain or just learn to do it that way from the start I guess. In other countries where the driver is on the right side, where is the shifter? Is it on the left side of the driver??? I am curious since in the USA we only drive on the left side of the car closest to the center line. So is it that on Europe they also drive on the opposite side of the road as well? If so, they it would appear everything is opposite from here. Clue me in here.


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 Post subject: Re: X-Plane 10 Global
PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:21 am 
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Except England (of course they must be different!) in Europe you drive, like in the USA: on the right side of the street, while you sit on the left side in the car (close to the center line). True, shifting with the right hand was no problem for me to learn...but i think this is also because you have the feeling of driving the car by steering the wheel (which you do with boths hands, or with the left hand if you need to shift a gear) and using your feet on the pedals. So it never felt weird like playing with the X52 :-)

To be fair to England: in Austria they also drove on the left side of the street until 1938, then the Nazis took over and changed it.

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"There is a great advantage in training under unfavorable conditions. It is better to train under bad conditions, for the difference is then a tremendous relief in a race."
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 Post subject: Re: X-Plane 10 Global
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2015 5:29 pm 
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I have been amusing myself the last couple of weeks in X-Plane by flying the space shuttle. It is quite an experience, since the majority of the landing process is done at Mach 3, which leaves very little time for minor mistakes, as raising the nose of the ship too much shakes the craft to pieces, while lowering the nose too much burns you up.

You start out the sim in space, turn the ship so you are flying backwards, then you burn your fuel off to slow you down enough that you start to descend. You then turn the ship around again, and as you hit the real atmosphere, you raise the nose so you are flying belly first, as your primary source of heat bleeding is the tiles on the bottom of the ship, and you are guided through several huge S-turns to bleed your speed down to only Mach 3 (about 3600 - 4000 kph). You then fly halfway around the earth (you did remember the enter the atmosphere on the other side of the earth from where you were planning to land I hope), descending as you go, until you are low enough to see the runway 90 km ahead of you, at which point you fly in a spiral, bleeding off the rest of your speed down to around 500 kph, which is your landing speed. When your back wheels hit the ground, your chute pops out, which means you get the front wheels on the ground as fast as possible before the ground effect sends you up and straight down again, which is considered a bad idea at that speed.

And then you land. Simple process, which is why I have been completely successful all of twice so far.

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