Next FSNS meeting on Thursday night, Oct 2, 2014

Hi folks,

This is just a reminder that our Flight Sim NS (FSNS) meetings are resuming, now that summer is over. Our next meeting is this week, on Thursday night, 7:30-9:30 PM, at the Shearwater Aviation Museum, at CFB Shearwater.

We’ll have some new things to talk about and possibly some new faces to meet. Matt has a new flight controller, that he’d like to show and tell, if he’s able to attend (and if it’s back in time from repair). Allan will give an overview of what we covered last spring, and there is a bit of new news on FSX and a possible new release. Also, we will pick which Thursday night of the month that we will hold our meetings on. (1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th Thursday night of the month?)

If you’re so inclined, please feel free to bring your sim laptop.

Welcome back everyone. Hope to see you all on this Thursday night!


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Next Meeting on Thursday, June 12, 2014 – 7:30-9:30

Hi Folks,

Our next meeting is on this Thursday night, June 12, 2014, 7:30-9:30 PM.

We will be changing things up for this meeting. Our resident flight instructor, Allan, will be taking a break from the awesome navigation course that he has been teaching us, as he is out of town. Instead, another great Sim pilot, Robbie, will be doing a presentation on VATSIM. For some of us, flying in VATSIM will be the ultimate goal of where we want to go. It certainly is, for me. VATSIM is short for Virtual Air Traffic Simulator, and is an online place where real people (sim pilots and sim ATC folks), meet in the simulated world of flying and communicating with air traffic control (ATC), and the other pilots around you. If you are interested in learning more about VATSIM, please join us this Thursday night.

The meeting starts at 7:30 PM, but I’ll be arriving a bit early to set up my rig with yoke, rudder pedals, and throttle quadrant. As always, the location is at the Shearwater Aviation Museum (glass doors, on left side of building), in the HMCS Bonaventure Flight Ops room.

See you all there!

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The Flight Sim Software Scene in 2014

Hi folks,

Here are some links to different flight simulators, plus some info. Personally, if I hadn’t already purchased FSX, I’d probably go with X-Plane 10 or Prepar3D. FSX is no longer developed by Microsoft, and major third-party developers are expanding their add-on packages (planes, scenery, and weather packages) to work with X-Plane 10 and Prepar3D flight simulators. Something else to consider is that although FSX is no longer being developed, the Windows operating system is still changing, and overtime, it may become more challenging, if not impossible to get FSX running on newer, upgraded versions of Microsoft Windows.  Currently, FSX has the widest selection of third-party add-ons available, by far, simply due to how long the franchise has been in existence. Choosing which one to invest time and perhaps money in, isn’t straight forward for everyone, but perhaps this will help.

A brief overview of some of today’s flight sim choices:

In 2014, there are 3 main commercial flight simulators to choose from when getting into the flying sim hobby, 2 of which are still being actively supported and developed. There are also 2 free flight simulators, with one of them being more like an arcade game, and the other, being a serious attempt at a viable and true simulation contender.

They are: Microsoft FSX, X-Plane-10, Prepar3D, Microsoft Flight, and FlightGear Fight Simulator.

A few years ago, Microsoft had stopped development of the world’s most famous flight simulator franchise, known as Microsoft Flight Simulator, (last release was FSX Flight Simulator), and got rid of their developers and that department altogether. They sold their FSX sim to Lockheed Martin, who in turn, is now offering a modified, revamped version of it called, “Prepar3D”.  Prepar3D looks great and is gaining traction with third-party developers, and it is actively supported and developed for by Lockheed Martin.  As for backwards compatibility with the tons of available FSX add-ons, they are compatible with Prepar3D, using a special migrating application.

After getting rid of FSX, Microsoft, has since, released a free flight simulator called, “Microsoft Flight”, but they’ve also stopped development on that title, too. You can still download it from Microsoft, today. MS Flight, the free sim, comes with only 2 planes, with the option to buy more as downloadable content. I think most sim pilots don’t really consider it as a serious sim because they’ve added an arcade-style game element to it, (which some find fun), and plus, it doesn’t integrate with VATSIM (virtual air traffic simulator) – the ultimate sim experience, among many other reasons. On the other hand, the graphics are okay and you can learn to fly a licensed replica of the awesome, yet simple, ICON A5, (the cockpit looks more like a car dashboard). There is a virtual instructor that will talk you through how to fly, using the instruments and throttle management, and for that, I think it is well done, for an arcade-ish kind of sim.

The more serious flight sim enthusiast is using a more realistic sim (than MS Flight), which would include one of these; the old (but very good) Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 (also known as FS9), Microsoft Flight Simulator FSX, X-Plane 10, Prepar3D, or even the free, open source sim called, FlightGear Flight Simulator. Third-party developers are still releasing add-ons (planes, scenery and weather packs) for the older sims, and as well, for the newer commercial titles. The older titles still remain very popular and are very good as flight simulators go. The MS Flight Simulator titles have built-in instructor-led flying lessons. I don’t know if the others do or not, but there are third-party add-ons available for the commercial sims, that can add this feature. A top choice for many is X-Plane 10, which is a current title in the X-Plane franchise, with a team still producing, supporting and working on more developments for it. Over time, it will likely catch up to MS FSX in regards to available add-ons. I’ve heard flight sim pilots say that X-Plane 10 is a more a realistic flight sim than FSX. (Ie. more realistic flight physics, moving ground traffic on miscellaneous streets, etc.)

Another interesting flight sim is the open source (free) sim called, FlightGear Flight Simulator. It can run on Windows, Mac, and Linux. The installation process for this sim is quite complicated when compared to the commercial sims. Reading through the manual is a must, and even then, it will be a convoluted process to get it working on your PC. Some sim pilots consider it more realistic than FSX, and plus, some folks have been able to get it to work with VATSIM. I suspect that the downside of this title is that there won’t be any commercial-grade third-party add-ons developed for it, but it does look great and has a lot going for it. The fact that it is open source, gives it a great potential for longevity. Be sure to check out the list of features on the FlightGear website. On the plus side, it can run well on systems with lower-end specifications. (Note: Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 is also a good choice for systems with lower-end specs. It’s designed to run on Windows 98, up to windows Vista. People have reported that it works on Windows 7 and 8, but it could be a bit buggy. A search on the Internet reveals that some folks were able to work out the kinks.)


Microsoft Flight (free – works on Windows)

Microsoft Simulator FSX (I’m not sure how easy or well it works with Windows 8.x Strictly runs on Windows) … fault.aspx (still a very good site)

X-Plane 10 (works on Windows, Mac, Linux)

Prepar3D (works on Windows)

FlightGear Flight Simulator (free – open source – works on Windows, Mac, Linux)

VATSIM (Virtual Air Traffic Simulator)

Collection of interesting links:

Interesting blog article on what happened to Microsoft Flight Simulator: … simulators

New to X-Plane?

New to MS Flight Simulator?

Prepar3D V2 review.

If I’ve made an error, if you have an alternate view on something – (everyone has their own), or would like to comment, please post a response on our FSNS Forums, here.


Flight Sim Nova Scotia meets every 4 weeks, on Thursday evenings, at the Shearwater Aviation Museum from 7:30-9:30 PM.  Check our FSNS Forums for scheduled dates and more information, or contact us at flightsimns, over at .

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Next FSNS meeting is on Thursday night, April 17, 2014

Hi Folks,

Our next meeting is on this Thursday night, April 17, 2014, 7:30-9:30 PM.

Check here for more details on our Flight Sim meetings:

Also, a link to our FSNS Forums:
The meeting starts at 7:30 PM, but I’ll be arriving a bit early to set up my rig with yoke, rudder pedals, and throttle quadrant. As always, the location is at the Shearwater Aviation Museum (glass doors, on left side of building), in the HMCS Bonaventure Flight Ops room.

See you all there!

Notes from the last meeting’s lesson are available here:
Lesson 4 – Navigation I

There is an assignment at the end to give you some practical exercises to try.

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Next meeting tonight 20 March 2014

Our next meeting is on Thursday night, March 20, 2024. I’m not sure what’s in store for this month’s meeting; perhaps some good old-fashioned general simming. So far, our instructor, Allan, has given some great practical and hands-on classroom instruction with the basics of flying. Last month, we learned about stalls and spins, what they look like, and how to deal with them. Alan prepared some very useful notes for that class, and they can be found on at the link, below. (By the way, thank you very much Allan, for all of your effort. It’s much appreciated! 8-) )

Notes from last month’s meeting, covering stalls and spins.

The meeting starts at 7:30 PM, but I’ll be arriving a bit early to set up my rig with yoke, rudder pedals, and throttle quadrant. As always, the location is at the Shearwater Aviation Museum, in the HMCS Bonaventure Flight Ops room.

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Notes from the last meeting (20 February 2014)

Here are the notes from the stall/spin lesson at the last meeting.  Enjoy!

Stalls and spins

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Next Meeting 20 February 2014 @ 7:30 PM

At the next meeting we’ll have a lesson on stalls and spins. What they are, how to enter one, and how to recover.

Please arrive on-time so we have lots of opportunity to fly.

There will be some stations set up to try out the lesson, but you can bring your rig if you like. Please let us know ahead of time if you are bringing a computer as there is limited space for it.


As usual the meeting will be held at the Shearwater Aviation Museum.

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